Healthy nutrition and lifestyle changes can treat or manage chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

What is Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT)?

Medical Nutrition Therapy utilizes diet and lifestyle changes to treat or manage chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Many of these conditions are improved by changes in diet, regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle. A Registered Dietitian (RD) provides these services through individual and group education and counseling.

Some of the conditions that can be helped by MNT:

  • High Blood pressure
  • Hyperlipidemia (High blood lipids)
  • Diabetes
  • Food Allergies and intolerances
  • Cancer and the problems experienced during cancer treatment
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Underweight
  • Eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, and compulsive eating disorder
  • Diverticulitis
  • Irritable Bowel Disease and Colitis

The Connection Between Your Health and Weight

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if you are overweight or obese, you are at a higher risk for developing a chronic condition such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Some types of cancers
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol and high blood triglycerides
  • Liver and gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Arthritis
  • Gynecological problems for women (abnormal menstrual periods and infertility)

“It’s cheaper and easier to preserve your health than it is to repair it.”

Working with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

An RDN is an expert in the field of food and nutrition who has a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and successful completion of a national licensing exam. RDNs work in many settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, and primary care offices.

Working with an RDN to develop a realistic meal and exercise plan to lose weight and keep it off can help you prevent many of the health conditions listed above.

Frequently Asked Questions about RDNs

What is the difference between an RD and a nutritionist?

The “RDN” credential is a legally protected title that can only be used by those who are certified by both the Commission on Dietetic Registration and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist with minimal or no training because education is not required to use this title.

What could an RDNs do for you?

  • Help you understand the relationship between food and health.
  • Show you how to create a meal plan based on your individual nutrition needs and food preferences.
  • Customize a nutritious and tasteful eating plan to help you lose weight realistically and permanently.
  • Teach you how to eat healthy to prevent chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
  • Provide guidance on the use of dietary and herbal supplements.
  • Answer your questions and clarify common myths and misconceptions about nutrition.

Nutrition and Diabetes Services at Central Vermont Medical Center

At Central Vermont Medical Center our Community Health Team offers nutrition and diabetes education and counseling at various CVMC Medical Group Practice locations. Learn more about our services.

Group sessions and classes on specific nutrition topics are also offered throughout the year as part of the Healthy Community Program.

Additional Resources

MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image—a place setting for a meal. Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your cup or bowl. To learn more about building a healthy plate, click here.