Questions to Ask Your Dietitian

What is a Registered Dietitian?

The Registered Dietitian (RD) credential is a legally protected title that can be used only by practitioners who are authorized by the Commission on Dietetic Registration from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Is there a difference between a Registered Dietitian and a Nutritionist?

Yes, there is a difference between the two. While some RDs may call themselves “nutritionists,” please be aware that not all nutritionists are Registered Dietitians. The definition and requirements for the term “nutritionist” vary. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, have licensure laws that define the range of practice for someone using the designation "nutritionist.“ In other states, however, virtually anyone can call him or herself a “nutritionist,” regardless of education or training.

What are the qualifications of a Registered Dietitian?

A registered dietitian is a food and nutrition expert who has met academic and professional requirements including:

  • Earned at minimum a four year degree with course work approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Coursework typically includes food and nutrition sciences, foodservice systems management, business, economics, computer science, sociology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology and chemistry.
  • Completed 900+hrs of an accredited, supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency and foodservice corporation.
  • Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
  • Completes continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.

What should I expect during the initial visit?

During your first consultation with Helen you can expect to take a complete medical and social history, explore goals, previous diets and their outcomes, your relationship with food and family history. Helen will help develop strategies to accomplish your goals and coach you along the way.

Does insurance cover Professional Nutrition Consultations? 

ProNutrition accepts Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield/PPO Blue and UPMC Health Plans. They may or may not offer coverage for Medical Nutrition Therapy. Carefully investigate the type of coverage you have. Payment and applicable insurance reimbursements are the responsibilities of the client. Payment is expected at the time of your appointment. Checks should be made payable to Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC. Credit cards are also accepted.

You will be provided with a receipt that you may submit to your insurance company for potential reimbursement. Individual appointments are scheduled for a specific time. A $25 cancellation fee will be billed to the individual for the missed appointment unless the RD is notified of cancellation at least 24 hours in advance.


How do I book an appointment?

Click on the Book An Appointment tab at the top of the page.

Can I use your services if I live out of state?

Yes, Personal Nutrition Coaching can take place in person or over the phone. Helen is also available for consultations via email, FaceTime and Skype.

Can I schedule an appointment for my child?

Yes, children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Consultations take place at Helen's office.

Is it okay to snack?

Snacking can help or hurt a healthful diet. The difference depends on what you choose and how much you eat. Whether you like to munch, nibble, or simply quench the mid-afternoon "hungries," you can make snacking work for you. It just takes a little planning. 


What is the difference between Fat Free, Reduced Fat and Lite?

  • Low fat means 3 grams of fat or less per serving (or per 100 grams of food)
  • Reduced fat means the food product contains 50% (or less) of the fat found in the regular version
  • Less fat means 25% or less fat than the comparison food
  • Fat free means the product has less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving, with no added fat or oil
  • Light (fat) means 50% or less of the fat than in the regular version
  • Light (calories) means 1/3 fewer calories than the regular version