Redefining Healthy Online and At The Clinic: 6 Dietitians Who ‘Get It’
Follow these six inclusive dietitians for nutrition advice.
If you are like me, you will hear the word “dietitian” and stiffen.
Discrimination in healthcare settings has been encountered by many people who are disabled or have larger bodies. It is often true for those of us from different communities of color, or who are not native English speakers.
Western perspectives and education are the main ones in the US when it comes to healthy diet choices.
The foods you grew up with are missing from conversations about healthy food because of the health food standards.
Sometimes they are actively demonized.
If you have ever had a finger in the food that is important to you and your family, you will want to avoid health and diet visits entirely.
The upside? Some people in the dietetics field push against harmful norms.
Six nutrition-focused experts and a few other people have formed their practices and social media presences. They provide sustainable and inclusive health-focused diet support by embracing rich background of clientele
The face behind The Balanced Peach Academy and TikTok page, Amanda Frothingham is a registered dietitian (RD) whose work focuses on creating healthy relationships with food and healing from disordered eating.
She’s outspoken about the dangers of diet culture and food restriction and encourages her followers to be human, not beholden to numbers on a scale.
Frothingham also shares about her ongoing journey with eating disorder recovery.
“She knows that media influence isn’t always the most positive when it comes to body acceptance, and she uses dance challenges to encourage others to follow their footsteps.”
Lauren Bell, MPH, focused her studies on the nuances of holistic gut health and works for the wellness of others and shares her knowledge on the subject through her TikTok.
She creates videos on various topics that intersect with food and identity, including the demonization of cultural foods and the ways that diet culture is rooted in discrimination.
Bell also creates content that speaks to individuals about their health and their bodies. She talks about how national and global relations can affect food security.
She calls out how racism, colonialism, and fatphobia are woven into popular definitions of “healthy.”
If you’re looking for an anti-colonial approach to health talk, give her a follow. You can also follow her on Twitter.
Cesar Sauza is a good example of a provider who is doing great work even without a big internet presence.
Sauza’s role at AltaMed Health Services in East Los Angeles, California, includes overseeing dietitians and providing nutrition consults to both Spanish- and English-speaking clients.
Alta Med Health Services gives patients access to culturally competent dietitians instead of referring them to other facilities.
“Sauza doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition. His approach is to look at both the client’s lifestyle as a whole and the root of the patient’s barriers to reaching their goals rather than giving everyone the same recommendations.”
Being a Spanish-speaking dietitian and Latino is important to Sauza.
He says that traditional Latino foods are important to offer culturally competent nutrition recommendations. To give information that is relevant to patients, they should be educated on how to make their traditional foods healthier.
Sauza wants to address the misinformation that accompanies conversations about health and food by debunking the myth that Latin roots are inherently bad.
“At the roots of every culture’s traditional diet, you’ll find a variety of whole foods, including fruits and vegetables,” says Sauza. “Our traditional Latino foods are not the problem. Our food environment and the highly processed variations of these foods is what makes them unhealthy.”
Our traditional Latino foods are not the problem. Our food environment and the highly processed variations of these foods is what makes them unhealthy.
A dietitian and nutritionist with a Haitian and Trinidadian background, Maya Feller cites her work as having a “cultural twist.”
In her work, she discusses how joy and your environment are important parts of your health.
As adjunct professor at New York University and owner of the private practice Maya Feller Nutrition, Feller’s approach rooted in anti-bias has garnered her national attention.
“Feller wants to provide support against chronic conditions without changing her clients’ culture.”
This includes the creation of a Southern cuisine cookbook for diabetes management, discussion around food’s connection to anxiety, and suggestions for how to incorporate your children into your health journey.
Registered dietitian Vanessa Rissetto is also the CEO and co-founder of Culina Health, a virtual nutrition platform.
Both Culina Health and Rissetto’s internet presence are focused on empathy, and she shares her work on various platforms like podcasts, Instagram, and the Fresh Food Fast series with Healthline (try the turkey pumpkin chili or the citrus salad!).
Rissetto is open to everyone, regardless of their background or size.
She has been vocal on social media about the need for people to be able to create their own goals without being judged for their bodies or their desires.
“Culina Health is a people-centered and accessible organization. The virtual health system is an example of something that isn’t always the case for a dietitian or a sr”
She has tons of delicious recipes and positive messages to get you through the week.
Dalina Soto, aka Your Latina Nutritionist, has created a community focused on positivity around eating that embraces the cultural foods you grew up with.
Have you ever been told that rice and beans are too high in carbs to be a regular part of your diet, despite being a staple in Latin cuisine? Soto aims to counter negative stereotypes like these, uplifting varied recipes and sharing how foods rooted in your culture aren’t inherently bad.
Her website and social media presence incorporate Spanish and English, which puts her Latinx background front and center.
As a self-proclaimed anti-diet dietitian, Soto is vocal about body acceptance rather than reaching weight goals and harmful food restrictions.
She helps clients create meals that are sustainable by recognizing that people are in different places when it comes to time, money, and capacity.
If you want to get personalized support for your healthy journey, you can find a dietitian or nutritionist through Healthline’s FindCare tool.
Asking questions about the approach to cultural foods the practice takes can be a good way to find the right person.
If you are in any of the areas where the above people are, you can reach out and see if they have any openings or recommendations for similar providers. Referrals can be a great way to find people who are similar to you.
The health practices of these dietitians and nutritionists have centered their practices on cultural competency and inclusivity. Some of them do all three.
“While social media accounts can’t replace a one-on-one visit with anRD, they can help silence the body-shaming noise on social media.”
Taneasha White (she/her), a graduate of English and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, is a Black, Queer lover of words, inquisition, and community, and has used her role within both literary and organizational spaces to make room for folks who are often cast aside, silenced, or overlooked. In addition to mental health, her other writing, editing, and sensitivity consulting work covered varied topics related to the intersections of Blackness, fatness, & Queerness, activism, and reproductive justice. Taneasha is excited to continue this work of amplifying marginalized voices, centering intersectionality, and destigmatizing mental health.