We are asked a wide range of questions on an equally wide range of topics from our members and the public. Below we have compiled a list of our more frequently asked questions. We also have a FAQ page dedicated to children.
If you would like to send us a nutrition question- firstname.lastname@example.org
We suggest you visit the website of Dietitians NZ or the Nutrition Society of New Zealand.
A dietitian works in hospitals, private practice and the community. Dietitians have a degree in human nutrition and a post-graduate qualification in dietetics, and are registered by the Dietitians Board.
A nutritionist practices in private practice and the community. The title nutritionist is not protected, meaning that anyone can use this title without scientific training. The NZ Nutrition Foundation recommends that a qualified nutritionist should hold a minimum qualification of an undergraduate science degree with a major in Human Nutrition. A ‘registered nutritionist’ has post-graduate qualifications needed for membership in the Nutrition Society of New Zealand.
If you eat a healthy, balanced diet this should cover all your vitamin and mineral needs. The beauty of food is that it contains many other compounds which work together with the vitamins and minerals for health – compounds such as antioxidants, fibre and phytochemicals. A supplement only provides a large amount of a single vitamin or mineral. Many studies have shown these high doses do not work as effectively as eating the vitamin or mineral from foods. Supplements may be recommended in specific cases. If you think you need supplements consult your doctor or a registered dietitian.
An average adult needs to drink around 8 glasses of fluid each day – this fluid includes all drinks like tea, coffee, juice, etc. You will need to drink more fluid in the heat of summer, and when you exercise. Another source of water is from the food we eat, for example, watermelon and strawberries contain large amounts of water. Read more information on our fluids facts page.
The Ministry of Health recommends a balanced diet based on a variety of foods from the four food groups. Milk and milk products (dairy) is one of these food groups. This group is an important source of calcium, helping to give us strong bones and teeth. Dairy products also provide protein for growth and repair, carbohydrate and fat (for energy), as well as many important vitamins (such as Vitamins A and B12) and minerals (including zinc). The healthiest option is to choose low-fat milk, yoghurt and cheeses.
Most of the sodium in our diet is from eating salt (sodium chloride) in processed foods. Too much salt can make your blood pressure higher, which can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. For more information on how much sodium you should include in your diet visit our sodium facts page.
Coffee contains many compounds – your workmates are probably thinking about the caffeine which is in your coffee. There are no firm recommendations on how much caffeine should be consumed in one day, so aim for moderation, no more than around 3 cups of brewed/espresso coffee or 6 cups of instant coffee each day. Visit our caffeine facts page for more information.
There are many courses available throughout New Zealand – full-time, part-time or by correspondence, from university, polytechnic or other organisations. Visit our Studying Nutrition in New Zealand page to find out more
Last modified: June 21, 2022