Dr. Bray Links

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Nutrition Counseling: From Clueless to Competent

Seth Bilazarian, MD

I feel ill-equipped to talk about these things, but perhaps there's value in the poor preparation I have for talking with patients about diet and nutrition. I received 1 hour of nutrition counseling in my medical training—that's not an excuse, it's just a fact—and very little training in my residency or fellowship. So I'm largely self-taught in this area, and there may be obvious deficiencies in my knowledge base, but I make the best effort I can.

I want to talk a bit about some of the difficulties I have had counseling patients about diet and nutrition, and I want to share the things that have worked for me. They are anecdotal, and I hope others will also share ideas by clicking on the comments section below. I'm sure other community-based physicians have valuable strategies that streamline effective communication with patients about diet and nutrition.

Maimonides reportedly said, "No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means." Certainly treating by other means is largely what we're doing in the United States to reduce cardiovascular risks. We could potentially reduce those risks with better nutritional strategies. I think we all acknowledge that.



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