About EAL

About EAL

EAL Orientation Tutorial
View 3 online modules (each one is 10-12 minutes in length).

What are your colleagues saying about the EAL?  Watch this short video.

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The information included on this site has been systematically developed to assist practitioners to make practice decisions. It should be used to complement, not replace sound clinical judgement.

Because EAL® content is updated regularly, printed web pages or PDF documents may become obsolete. EAL® users should ensure that they are referring to the most recent version available.

Every effort is made to ensure information contained on this web site is accurate and up to date; however, errors may occasionally occur. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly ADA) assumes no responsibility or liability arising from any error in or omission of information, or from the use of any information or advice contained within this web site.

The EAL® web site may contain links to other external web sites.  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly ADA) is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such external web sites. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics does not endorse the content, products or services on other web sites.

Evidence-based Dietetics Practice & Evidence-Based Guidelines and Toolkits

 What is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics definition of Evidence-Based Dietetics Practice?

Evidence-Based Dietetics Practice is the use of systematically reviewed scientific evidence in making food and nutrition practice decisions by integrating best available evidence with professional expertise and client values to improve outcomes.

For information...
...About how to become an analyst, select the Get Involved tab above
...About the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, select the About the Academy tab above
...About EAL®, see below: 

 What is the EAL® (Evidence Analysis Library)?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Evidence Analysis Library is a synthesis of the best, most relevant nutritional research on important dietetic practice questions housed within an accessible, online, user-friendly library. An objective and transparent methodology is used to assess food and nutrition-related science.

The Academy's Evidence Analysis Library (EAL®) website houses systematic reviews and practice guidelines related to the topics of food and nutrition.

The Evidence Analysis Library® systematic reviews are developed by Academy members for Academy members based on a predefined approach and criteria. Meticulous methods and electronic tools are used to document each step to ensure objectivity, transparency and reproducibility of the process. Expert workgroup members evaluate, synthesize, and grade the strength of the evidence to support conclusions that answer a precise series of questions.

 Reprint Permission

Materials copyrighted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Evidence Analysis Library may be downloaded or printed for an individual's personal use only. Permission to otherwise reprint or electronically reproduce any page in part or in its entirety is expressly prohibited, unless prior written consent is obtained from the American Dietetic Association. For reprint permissions, contact the Academy.

EAL® and Evidence Analysis Library® are registered trademarks of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly American Dietetic Association). 

 What Does the EAL® Provide?

There are 2 main parts to this online resource: Library and Guidelines

 What will I find in the Library section?

The Evidence Analysis Library provides a number of resources for busy practitioners:

  • Bibliographies of the highest quality research on a given topic
  • Conclusion Statements that provide concise statements of the collective research on a given question
  • Grades for each Conclusion Statement that provide a way for practitioners to determine how certain we can be of the Conclusion Statement, based on the quality and extensiveness of the supporting evidence
  • Evidence Summaries: brief, narrative overviews that synthesize the major research findings on a given topic, including overview tables.
  • Worksheets on every research study we analyze that provide detailed information on the major findings, methodology, and quality of each study.  

EAL® users can find whatever level of detail they need on a particular topic. In some cases, familiarizing themselves with a Conclusion Statement and Grade may suffice. In other instances, users may want to drill down to the detail on specific studies.

 What will I find in the Guidelines section?

Evidence-based Guidelines are systematically developed statements based on scientific evidence to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances.

Key elements of the evidence-based guidelines are:

  • Recommendations: provide a plan of action for practitioners regarding a specific disease
  • Recommendation Strength and Narrative: each recommendation is graded by strength with a narrative describing how the strength was derived
  • Algorithms: a simple step-by-step procedure for using the recommendations, showing the flow of treatment for a disease or condition 
  • Link to Evidence: each recommendation has a link back to the evidence, you can track backwards to see the conclusion statement, evidence summaries, and individual article worksheets

 What are Evidence-Based Nutrition Practice Guidelines, Toolkits and MNT Protocols?

Evidence-based Nutrition Practice Guidelines are a series of guiding statements and treatment algorithms which are developed using a systematic process for identifying, analyzing and synthesizing scientific evidence. They are designed to assist the registered dietitian and patient/client in making decisions about appropriate nutrition care for specific disease states or conditions in typical settings.

Evidence-Based Toolkits are a set of companion documents which are disease or condition specific and detail how the registered dietitian applies the Evidence-Based Nutrition Practice Guideline in practice. They include forms such as documentation forms, outcomes monitoring sheets, patient/ client education resources, case studies and MNT protocols for implementing the Evidence-Based Nutrition Practice Guideline. Evidence-Based Nutrition Practice Guidelines and Toolkits incorporate the Academy’s Nutrition Care Process and Model as the standard process for patient/client care.

Medical Nutrition Therapy Protocols are a plan or set of steps, which are based on systematically analyzed evidence and clearly define the level, content, and frequency of nutrition care that is appropriate for a disease or condition in settings in which they are implemented *. MNT Protocols are component of the Academy’s Evidence-Based Toolkits and assist the registered dietitian in the application of Evidence-based Nutrition Practice Guidelines. They incorporate the Academy’s Nutrition Care Process and Model as the standard process and use the standardized language to document the patient/client care.
*These may include but are not limited to: acute care facilities, sub acute facilities, post-acute facilities/rehab centers/skilled nursing facilities, continuing care retirement facilities/nursing facilities, home health care, clinics or physician offices, office of the registered dietitian.


 What is the difference between the Evidence-based Nutrition Practice Guidelines on the Evidence Analysis Library and the 2001 MNT Guides for Practice on CD-ROM?

The Academy (formerly ADA) developed it's first Medical Nutrition Therapy Evidence-based Guides for Practice in 2001:

MNT Evidence-Based Guides for Practice Chronic Kidney Disease (non-dialysis) MNT Protocol
MNT Evidence-Based Guides for Practice Nutrition Practice Guidelines for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
MNT Evidence-Based Guides for Practice Nutrition Practice Guidelines for Type 1 and 2 Diabetes Mellitus
MNT Evidence-Based Guides for Practice Hyperlipidemia MNT Protocol (no longer in print)

All of these guides for practice have been revised and the completed guidelines are published in the Guidelines section of the Evidence Analysis Library. The Hyperlipidemia Guide has been revised and is now titled the Disorders of Lipid Metabolism Evidence-based Nutrition Practice Guideline.   Access to these guidelines is free to Academy members. The companion Toolkits are available for purchase.  

 What has changed since 2001?
  • Evidence-based Nutrition Practice Guidelines are published in the Evidence Analysis Library guidelines section and are free to members.
  • The Academy has established the Evidence-based Practice Committee to oversee the Evidence Analysis Process and related procedures and resources.
  • Evidence-based Toolkits, which include the MNT Protocol, are developed as companion resources to help RDs apply the guidelines.
  • The Academy uses the Nutrition Care Process as the framework for developing evidence-based recommendations.