by Kim Beavers, MS, RD, LD, CDE

Dietitians can help you “cut through the clutter” of nutrition information that is often confusing and conflicting. The fact is there is no one diet that is right for everyone. In addition, health, lifestyle and budget all effect and alter what may or may not be best for you. RDNs can help tailor a nutrition plan specific to you and your health needs.

What is the difference between a nutritionist and a RDN?

• Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist because the term nutritionist is not regulated.

• A registered dietitian IS a nutritionist who has met comprehensive standards.

oBachelor’s degree (over half of all RDNs have advanced degrees)

oCompleted an extensive supervised practice program

oPassed a national registration exam

o Maintain a minimum number of continuing education credits each year

oLicensed by the states of Georgia and South Carolina

When should you see a RDN?

Any time you need nutrition guidance, from help understanding labels to more serious health conditions, there are many reasons to seek help. Below are just a few examples of how RDNs provide nutrition services.

Preventing or managing a chronic illness:

Many RDNs work in the treatment and prevention of disease by providing medical nutrition therapy (MNT).  MNT is an evidence based approach to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes or renal disease. MNT is covered by a variety of insurance plans.  Ask your Healthcare Provider for a referral for medical nutrition therapy.

Digestive problem or food allergy:

Working with your doctor a RDN helps fine-tune your diet.  Maintaining adequate nutrition despite restrictions is an important and valuable service provided by RDNs.

Pregnancy or postpartum:

RDNs can help to assure you are getting adequate nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. They can also assist with adequate nutrition for breast feeding and weight loss once your baby is delivered.

Sport Performance:

RDNs can help set goals, achieve results and navigate nutrition hype surrounding nutrition, timing of meals, supplements and ergogenic aids.


How to find a local RDN?

Each of our area hospitals has a nutrition department.

• Military: Eisenhower or the VA

• In the Augusta area: Doctors Hospital, Augusta University Health,

University Hospital, County Health Department and School Districts

• Some RDNs have their own practice

• The Augusta District Dietetic Association has a great RDN resource list. (click “outreach” to find the RDN list)

We all look forward to helping you eat well and live well! Here is a great recipe to demonstrate the delicious flavor of healthy eating.

Spinach and Beet Salad

The flavors of the beets and oranges are perfect together in this colorful salad.

Salad base:

1 (10 ounce) bag of spinach

2 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges in orange juice (juice reserved)

5 small steamed beets, sliced and diced (found in the produce section)

¼ cup reduced fat feta cheese


3 tablespoons reserved mandarin orange juice

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoons orange marmalade

¼ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoons pepper

To make salad, put all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.

To make the dressing put the orange marmalade in small bowl, microwave for about 6 seconds to soften. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk thoroughly to combine. Add the dressing to the salad and toss.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrition Breakdown: Calories 120, Fat 6g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 260mg, Carbohydrate 16g, Fiber 3g, Protein 3g,

Diabetes Exchange Values: 2 Vegetables, 1 Fat

Kim Beavers is a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator for University Health Care System. She lives in North Augusta with her husband and two children and she is the co-host of the culinary nutrition segment Eating Well with Kim, which airs at noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday on WRDW. To be notified of new recipes join Kim’s facebook fan page at To search for specific recipes go to You can also watch the segments at


This article appears in the March 2019 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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