Are carbs bad? What types of carbs are bad? Is LDL the good cholesterol or the bad one? What are the most heart-healthy foods and do any of them come in cool ranch?

Average Joes and Josephines ask questions like these because:

A) They know health-conscious food choices are important, especially considering the potential problems out there everything from diabetes to heart disease.

B) They don't have the expertise to weed through all the facts, figures, jargon and rhetoric out there regarding nutrition and health.

That's why hospitals, nursing homes, health and wellness centers, schools and many other organizations employ well-trained nutritionists. Whether it's helping patients fuel their bodies for quick recovery or advising an entire workplace or classroom, nutritionists use their expertise to lead people toward a healthier lifestyle.

At hospitals like Eastern Idaho Regional, nutritionists carry out comprehensive plans tailored to each person's needs. It starts with assessing the patient's situation. Then a customized meal plan is carefully crafted, monitored and adjusted as needed.

In the last phase, nutritionists teach their patients effective nutrition tips before departure from the facility. Ideally the result is a healthier lifestyle, which aids recovery and helps prevent future health complications.

The ever-mounting pile of evidence linking poor diet with health problems isn't going away. And as workplaces become more health conscious, the prevalence of nutritionists will follow.

It's probably a good thing, because questions such as, "Is four donuts at breakfast too many?" shouldn't be left unanswered.