Meet the Nutritionists and Health Experts You Need to Know

a collage showing photos of nutritionists and health experts christy wilson, hortencia jimenez, krystle zuñiga, nicole rodriguez, krista linares and gladys saucedo over a yellow and orange background

Navigating the health and nutrition landscape can often feel overwhelming, with so many diets, health tips, and fitness regimens to choose from. Fortunately, some experts have dedicated their careers to helping people understand these sometimes complicated topics, and teach their audiences how to spot misinformation and common myths, in addition to dismantling false ideas about traditional Latino foods and problematic body image beliefs.

With a fresh perspective on wellness, these nutritionists and health experts are delivering their expert advice in easy-to-understand ways:


Christy Wilson, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Christy Wilson believes in the transformative power of food and nutrition. She is passionate about guiding her clients to better health through wholesome and nourishing foods. Christy's ability to turn complicated nutritional science into understandable language and useful tips sets her apart in the field.

Christy's impactful career has enabled her to serve clients in Arizona, Texas, and New York since 1997. She is widely known for her nutrition-focused bilingual cooking classes and her consulting work with community organizations. Christy's approach always leads to informed and health-conscious choices, be it at the grocery store, a restaurant, or your home kitchen.

You can catch Christy on Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media platform. Just search for @christywilsonnutrition!

Hortencia Jimenez, Ph.D

A beacon in her community, Dr. Hortencia Jiménez is the first in her family to earn a doctorate degree and serves as a Sociology professor at Hartnell College. Born in Mexico and raised in California, Dr. Jiménez's roots have shaped her passion for public service and her commitment to community development. She carries a rich experience of working in the fields during her early years, alongside her grandmother, which lent her a deep understanding of the agricultural roots of nutrition.

Her extensive work in the non-profit immigrant rights sector in the Bay Area, California, and Austin, Texas, significantly contributed to her holistic approach towards nutrition, focusing not just on food but the social and cultural aspects that influence our diet. As a Sociology professor at Hartnell College, Dr. Jiménez leverages her background to educate about the importance of food, its cultural significance, and its role in overall health and wellbeing.

In addition to her work in academia, Dr. Hortencia Jiménez is a certified Holistic Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, New York City, and a certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise. Taking a holistic approach to wellness, she tailors individualized programs for her clients, integrating aspects such as relationships, exercise, career, and spirituality.

If you’re ready to embark on a wellness journey with a supportive and expert guide, you can connect with Dr. Jiménez via her webpage or Instagram

.

Gladys Saucedo, RDN

Las Vegas-based registered dietitian, Gladys Saucedo, offers a unique blend of clinical and cultural expertise in her work. She specializes in organ transplant nutrition, guiding her patients through drastic changes in their nutrition requirements and goals pre- and post-transplant. She is deeply committed to her patients, helping them to reclaim their quality of life.

As a proud Latina and first-generation Mexican-American, Gladys works with Latinas outside of her clinical setting, helping them reconnect with their cultural foods. Her work is about much more than just food; it's about helping people find a balance between their nutritional needs and their cultural heritage.

Follow Gladys on Instagram for all things nutrition, culture, and community.

Krista Linares, MPH, RD 

Krista Linares stands as a transformative figure in nutrition, bridging the gap between health and cultural heritage for the Latina community. After her personal journey with PCOS and food allergies led her to confront the cultural disconnect within standard nutrition guidelines, she decided to return to school and become a Registered Dietitian. She aspired to guide Latinos in their health journey while preserving their ties to their culture, emphasizing PCOS management. Krista, a proud Latina, and dietitian, dedicates her practice to the unique nutritional benefits intrinsic in Latin American heritage foods.

Through her private practice and her initiative, "Nutrition con Sabor," Krista primarily assists Latina women grappling with PCOS. She offers a specialized "PCOS for Latinas" program and creates nutritional guides spotlighting Latin American heritage foods. Her mission pushes the boundaries of traditional nutrition perspectives, advocating for recognition and respect for cultural foods. By challenging the outdated idea of cultural foods as problems to solve, Krista encourages an inclusive approach that values the unique nourishment Latin American food culture has to offer.

To keep up with Krista's insightful nutrition advice and her ongoing work, you can follow her on Instagram or dive into the Nutrition con Sabor webpage!

Dr. Krystle Zuniga Ph.D, RD-CSO

As a bonus, we can’t forget to mention Dr. Krystle Zuniga, who specializes in cancer nutrition. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S., and yet the amount of cancer nutritionists is abysmal. Dr. Zuniga speaks often about the role of nutrition and can be found sharing her knowledge across podcasts and other public sources of information.

As a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition, Dr. Zuniga educates her audience with evidence-based nutrition information to help cancer patients and survivors develop individualized nutrition care plans that meet nutrient needs, manage side effects, and promote health and recovery. No cancer or treatment plan is the same, so it’s logical to conclude that every patient should have an individualized nutrition plan as well.

Dr. Zuniga is currently an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at UT Austin, and she can be found giving the occasional product review and unfiltered commentary on nutrition misinformation for cancer patients at her Instagram @cancernutritionhq.

Nicole Rodriguez RDN, NASM-CPT

New York Metro-based Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN, NASM-CPT) Nicole Rodriguez is more than just an award-winning dietitian nutritionist; she's a co-founder of Step Bite Step and an advocate for food choice empowerment. Her practice served via telehealth, is a testament to her commitment to making health and nutrition accessible to a diverse clientele. Nicole is Italian with a mix of Greek and Argentinian roots. Having spent many years in the Bronx and raising a Puerto Rican and Cuban child means that Nicole has developed a unique multi--cultural understanding of how to approach nutrition with a strong cultural lens.

Nicole's dedication goes beyond her practice, as she also co-hosts the Food Bullying podcast to further promote positive messages about food. She also recently did a 30-day McDonald’s challenge experiment to see if the health outcomes could disprove common misconceptions about what it means to eat “healthy.” Turns out that fast food can actually fit in a healthy diet, and she shared her experience and the results with the Luz Community.

The reality is that you can be healthy and also not buy into the misconception you have to restrict food labeled as “bad” foods from your life forever. Rodriguez educates her audience to encourage unlearning, re-learning, de-stigmatizing, and de-shaming when it comes to our food choices.

She offers an array of services, including grocery store tours, meal planning, one-on-one nutrition coaching, and even personal fitness training, all tailored specifically to individual needs, lifestyles, and budgets.

Stay updated with insightful and relatable food advice by connecting with Nicole on Instagram or Twitter

.

A photograph of Sylvia Rivera in a yellow dress during a march

Sylvia Rivera is a name you may have heard before, especially around Pride Month. Rivera is best known for her participation in the Stonewall Uprising, but the legacy she left behind for the transgender community in terms of her advocacy is a true testament to the fantastic nature of her work.

Keep ReadingShow less