Nutritional Therapy is based on the belief that we are all unique. Each of us has its own genetic makeup, medical history, surrounding environment and lifestyle. Therefore, nutrition should also be unique for each of us based on these factors. We call this bio-individuality.
A Nutrition Therapy Practitioner (NTP) is certified by the Nutrition Therapy Association (NTA) in the US and by the British Association of Nutritional Therapists (BANT) in the UK. Nutritional Therapy help people support their health holistically with individualized nutrition and support of foundational health. We’re trained to address and assess the foundations of health: blood sugar regulation, digestion, fatty acids, minerals, hydration, stress, exercise and sleep, in order to optimize endocrine, cardiovascular, immune and detoxification function, and help clients customize a nutrient dense diet that nourishes them and support them in achieving their health goals.
Differences Between a Dietitian, a Nutritionist and a Nutrition Therapy Practitioner (NTP)
A Nutritional Therapy Practitioner is not a dietitian or nutritionist. The big difference is that we cannot diagnose or treat disease, nor can we give medical advice. We recognize that disease is complex, so we focus on the concept of bio-individuality: where each individual has genetic, ancestral, geographic, and personal circumstances that determine their own unique nutritional needs. Our role is to analyze the person’s health problems from an integral perspective, seeing the body as a whole where everything is connected. Education is a big part of our profession. We educate people about the different ways their behavior (whether it’s diet or lifestyle) is preventing optimal health, and we work together to improve and achieve their specific health goals.
A registered dietitian is a regulated healthcare professional licensed to assess, diagnose, and treat nutritional problems. They usually work in a hospital setting and may have a more western-medicine approach versus a holistic view on health, though this is slowly changing.
The term “nutritionist”, on the other hand, is not as regulated and tends to have a broader, more general meaning. A nutritionist can be anyone who studies and or claims to be a nutrition expert.
Nutritional Therapy is personalized.
Nutritional Therapy focuses on the person and not just on the problem. It is a personalized method to optimize health based on individual circumstances and characteristics, always looking for optimal functional lab values, lifestyle, and much more.
There are no generic meal plans, because everyone is different!
Nutritional Therapy uses food as medicine.
A real food-based diet, with whole nutrient-dense properly prepared foods. Foods that are rich in high quality fats, clean proteins, tons of vegetables, unprocessed grains and cereals, root veggies and tubers, and a high variety of bright colored fruits. However, some people depending on their personal situation may require more specific interventions with therapeutic foods and / or high-quality supplements to address the underlying cause of their health problems.
Nutritional Therapy honors the fact that food is fuel for the body and an extremely useful tool to help us address the underlying cause of the conditions we encounter.
But Nutritional Therapy is not just about food.
While Nutritional Therapy honors the powerful nature of food, it also respects that overall health, including mental health, is more important than just what you eat.
That is why we see nutrition as something beyond just the food we eat. Nutritional Therapy also addresses stress levels, sleeping habits, activity levels, relationships, work, purpose in life, and also the environment. These factors not only play a huge role in overall health, they also have a two-way effect on nutrition. For example your sleeping habits or stress levels affect the way your body digests and absorbs different nutrients.
Nutritional Therapy accepts and embraces individuality and uses it to create and adapt individualized nutritional recommendations. Yes, we also use tests and laboratory tests, personalized, which helps us personalize these recommendations even more.
Within the field of fertility, what role does Nutritional Therapy play?
From a fertility point of view, Nutritional Therapy understands that fertility is the consequence of optimal health. And as such, infertility is a symptom. A symptom that something is wrong. We see the body as a whole and not as isolated organs. Nutrition for fertility is not based only on nutrients that will support hormonal production and balance. Instead, it identifies which part or parts are causing that hormonal function not to work optimally. It can be a matter of nutrients at a hormonal level, but it can be stress, digestion, the immune system, or a thyroid issue, to name the most common. And each case will require different therapeutic nutrients according to the situation, circumstance, lifestyle, diet, and genetics of the person.
As you can see, much more complex, and at the same time, much more beautiful.
In a nutshell:
- Nutrition Therapy focuses on the body as a whole. It analyzes your diet, genetic makeup, and lifestyle to address the problem and look for the root cause of what is causing the problem, rather than simply treating the symptom.
- Nutritional Therapy uses food as medicine.
- Nutritional Therapy is always PERSONALIZED. It is unique to you, your lifestyle, and your goals. It adapts to all people, bodies, and conditions. It doesn’t understand age and doesn’t discriminate.