How you eat can make a big difference in achieving your health and nutritional goals – whether you’re trying to lose weight, are training for a competitive sporting event, or are managing a food allergy or intolerance.
Did you know that, through your private health insurance extras cover, it’s possible to get help from a dietitian or nutritionist?
Here’s a look at what these experts can offer, and what’s covered under extras.
What is a dietitian and what is a nutritionist?
Dietitians and nutritionists cover a lot of the same ground – they both provide evidence-based advice about food choices, nutrition, and the relationship between your body, your health and the food you eat.
One point of difference is that dietitians are qualified to deliver medical nutrition therapy which is an evidence-based, individualized nutrition process to help treat and manage medical conditions. So if you are seeking nutrition advice and you are managing a medical condition a dietitian may be more appropriate.
So what can a dietitian or nutritionist do for you?
Help enhance your sport and fitness performance
Specialist sports dietitians don’t just work with superstar footballers and Tour de France cyclists. Whether you’re preparing for a marathon, the coming netball season, a tennis tournament, or a dance competition, a specialist sports dietitian can prescribe diets and provide advice that may improve your overall health and enhance your performance.
Help manage your digestive health
The gut is a sensitive part of the body, with more than 100 million nerve endings. That’s why it’s sometimes referred to as our ‘second brain’.
As gut-related health problems like gluten intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome become more well-known, more people are starting to pay attention to their gut health. Dietitians can help advise on and manage gut-related problems like indigestion, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease IBS, and much more.
If you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant
Pregnancy makes many demands on the body, increasing your need for protein, iron, iodine, folate and other vitamins and minerals.
If you’re pregnant or attempting to become pregnant, a dietitian can support you with a whole range of dietary expertise and advice to help reduce food-related risks, improve outcomes and ensure you’re meeting the nutritional demands of pregnancy.
If you have a fussy eater in the family
While fussy eating is quite normal for children it can be a point of stress for parents. If you are having concerns about the amount or variety of food your child is consuming it might be helpful to speak to a dietitian or nutritionist.
Dietitians or nutritionists can give you and your child general healthy eating advice. They can also provide you with some tips and tricks to help encourage healthy eating habits for your child and your family.
What’s covered by extras insurance?
If you have Complete 60 extras or Top 70 extras with HBF, you’ll get 60% or more back on every consultation, up to your annual limit*
This applies to all dietitians and nutritionists recognised by HBF.
That means you could talk one-on-one with a dietitian or nutritionist about all the topics we’ve mentioned here – and more. HBF also provides temporary telehealth benefits for these services, so you could consult with a dietitian or nutritionist over phone or video chat. Dietitians can also provide group consultations.
On top of that, you’d be covered for Dental, Optical, Physio and many other health services.
If you’ve got a different level of extras, use the HBF App or check myHBF to see if you’re covered for dietetics and nutrition.
Want to know more about extras cover? You can read a quick explainer on the basics of extras cover, or learn more about HBF extras and what services are covered.
Want to know more about diet and nutrition? Browse our related articles below.
Looking for science-backed weight management support
If you’re an HBF member, you can check what you're covered for by logging on to myHBF or calling us on 133 423.
Disclaimer This article contains general information only and does not take into account the health, personal situation or needs of any person. In conjunction with your GP or treating health care professional, please consider whether the information is suitable for you and your personal circumstances
*Benefits are payable up to applicable annual limits and only for services and programs approved by HBF and delivered by providers that are approved by HBF. Waiting periods may apply before benefits are payable.