One of the fastest-growing and in-demand fields today is diet and nutrition. While this specialty is part of the bigger overall industry of health and fitness, the fact is that nutritional information and guidance are as necessary as ever.
Between the obesity epidemic, as well as our ever-increasingly sedentary lifestyles, understanding and implementing proper dietary choices is crucial to our health.
If you are interested in breaking into this field, here are a few things you can expect to learn when getting an online clinical nutrition degree:
Macro- and Micronutrients
You will learn about the importance of macro and micronutrients in maintaining a healthy diet. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, which are necessary for the body to function properly and provide energy.
Micronutrients, on the other hand, include vitamins and minerals, which are needed in smaller amounts but are still essential for maintaining good health.
Proper Nutritional Assessments
Clinical nutrition classes teach students about the different methods for performing a nutritional assessment. A nutritional assessment is a process that involves gathering information about a person’s dietary intake, physical measurements, and laboratory test results to evaluate their nutritional status.
The course would likely cover the various tools and techniques used to perform a nutritional assessment, such as:
- Diet history
- Anthropometric measurements
- Biochemical measurements
- Physical examination
Genomics and Personalized Nutrition
An online clinical nutrition degree will help students understand the impact of genomics on personalized nutrition. Genomics is the study of the complete set of DNA in an organism, and it has revealed that individuals can have different genetic variations that influence how they respond to certain foods and nutrients.
*This means that what works as a healthy diet for one person may not work for another person*
The Beneficial Uses of Herbs
Herbs are a diverse group of plants that have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. They are rich in bioactive compounds that can have a variety of beneficial effects on human health, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. You can expect to learn about:
- Commonly used herbs
- Phytochemistry: dosage, method of preparation, and administration
- Herbs and drug interactions
- Current research and trends
- Herbal supplements
What the Microbiome Is
The microbiome refers to the collection of microorganisms that live in and on the human body, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and archaea. The majority of these microorganisms reside in the gut, where they play a crucial role in the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients.
Behavioral Nutrition and Clinical Practice
A quality online nutrition course would also likely teach about the application of behavioral science principles to nutrition counseling and how to implement them in a clinical setting. Here are a few examples:
- Behavioral theories and strategies
- Communication skills
- Managing complex cases
- Cultural considerations
- Professional development
- Current research and trends
Career Paths Available After Completing an Online Clinical Nutrition Degree
As you have probably realized by now, the things you will learn during your clinical nutrition courses will open up a world of opportunities when it comes to the field you choose to specialize in. From personal training to clinical research, your options are seemingly endless.