Practice Blog

To share practice related stories, create connections and engage readers in the amazing diversity of dietitian experiences.


Three reasons why doing Master’s level research can benefit your career in unexpected ways


Lilisha Burris is a Registered Dietitian with a Master of Health Science in Nutrition Communication. She is the Co-Founder and Director of Dietitians Explore! Education Exchange, a non-profit organization that facilitates international professional development trips for future dietetic professionals. Lilisha believes that travelling is one of the best ways to learn and grow as a person and as a professional. Connect with Lilisha and Dietitians Explore on Facebook and Twitter.

When I started my Master of Health Science in Nutrition Communication at Ryerson in 2007, I was a Registered Dietitian with work experience. I had the option to do a practicum or course work, but I chose the Major Research Project (MRP) because I thought it would challenge me the most. I figured that since I’d left a full-time job (and a full-time income!) I wanted to have a ‘go hard or go home’ attitude and I knew that an MRP was the furthest outside of my comfort zone.   continue reading

Rethinking sodium: Reflections on research and implications for practice

A DC member from Cape Breton shares why she thinks we may need to change our thinking around sodium. 

STHS1.jpgSusan Taylor is the manager of clinical nutrition at the Cape Breton Regional Health Care Complex. Part of her role is direct patient care on the hospital telemetry unit. She is the main preceptor at her hospital for dietetic interns from three Atlantic Canada universities and enjoys the ongoing learning that being a preceptor entails. Susan decided to delve into the literature on sodium following an intern’s therapeutic update focused on this topic. Susan can be contacted at

Over consumption of salt is a global health issue. Excessive sodium consumption is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke.1,2
Considering that Canadians consume an average of 3400mg of sodium/day,1 should we be concerned? United Kingdom and France also have high intakes, which vastly exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended level of less than 2000mg daily.2
Median intakes of salt in the United States are similar to Canadian levels. It is postulated that these numbers may be even higher than the research shows as studies on salt consumption are generally based on self-reported data. People are likely to underestimate the true amount of food consumed.4 In Canada, the majority of sodium consumed (77%) comes from processed food.1,2 This may explain why people may not be aware of how much sodium they are actually consuming. continue reading

Flowers in the urinal: Is the lack of men in dietetics really an issue?

Brandon Gheller, a dietitian and Ph.D. student, explores the gender divide in the dietetics profession.

BGheadshot1.jpgBrandon Gheller completed his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Applied Human Nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University where his research projects focused on pediatric obesity. In conjunction with Dr. Daphne Lordly, Brandon has recently published a review in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research entitled, “Males in Dietetics, What Can be Learned from the Nursing Profession? A Narrative Review of the Literature.” He would be ever so happy if you read it and even cited it. For those interested in further exploration of this topic you can contact Brandon at or @B_Gheller on Twitter. He has a plethora of ideas for discussion and collaboration!

As a white Canadian male, being in the minority in Halifax, Nova Scotia was foreign to me – until I entered my first dietetics class at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU). Prior to stepping into that classroom, I had no exposure to the field of dietetics and, frankly, didn’t know what a dietitian was until ten months earlier when I Googled “nutrition jobs.”
I was clueless to the gender imbalance in the profession and, upon entering the classroom, I thought the disproportionally high number of females might just be a product of the high number at MSVU. continue reading

4 insights into the comfort nutrition preferences of long-term care residents [new study]

A master’s student shares the results of her exploratory research and some lessons learned for future researchers – a must read for dietitians working in long-term care.


YH-HS-1.jpgYasmin Hamid is an Ontario-based registered dietitian working in long-term care. She recently completed a research study focused on obtaining resident views on comfort nutrition in long-term care as part of the Master of Applied Nutrition program at the University of Guelph. Connect with her on LinkedIn or via e-mail at

The current literature in long-term care (LTC) generally focuses on the opinions and practices of healthcare professionals in providing comfort nutrition, while the views of residents have remained largely unexplored.
During my Master of Applied Nutrition at the University of Guelph this past year, the opportunity to conduct a major research project around this topic arose. This gave me the chance to work toward filling this gap in the current body of LTC research. continue reading

What you need to know about chronic wound treatment [flow chart]

A Manitoba dietitian shares her experience researching the best evidence in nutrition therapy for wound healing.

KKHS1.jpegKimberly Knott is a registered dietitian who works as a diabetic educator in Swan Lake, Manitoba and at Ginew Wellness Center for a first nation’s community in Roseau River, Manitoba. She has worked in 11 different institutions in Southern Manitoba. Kim has always been interested in health issues, like chronic wound care, where nutrition has the potential to ease suffering and lower health care costs. She can be reached at  

Chronic wound healing has been identified as a growing problem in my health region and across Canada. It’s a problem that contributes to health care costs and, more importantly to me, to the suffering of patients. I began investigating the latest research in nutrition therapy to address this problem in January 2014. continue reading
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