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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Ancona, MS, RDN, CDN

Dietitian vs. Nutritionist - What's the Difference?

As the new year begins, we want to make sure that you have only scientific based evidence when it comes to nutrition education. Therefore, this blog will discuss the difference in both “nutritionist” and “registered dietitian,” and how our practice as registered dietitians can help with a wide range of your nutritional needs.

There is one main and important difference between the nutritionist and registered dietitian titles; one has a full backed education and degree, while the other is just a blanket statement that can be used by any individual. Please see the distinctions listed below.

These qualifications are further important to look for when researching nutrition topics online, as well as when seeking any type of nutritional advice. When searching for a dietitian in your area, please make sure that there are credentials to the right of their name or at the bottom of the article they are listed as “RD or RDN (Registered Dietitian or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist),” “CDN (Certified Dietitian Nutritionist),” and/or “LDN (Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist)".

Our private practice is a group of Registered Dietitians that are required to continue our learning by earning at least seventy-five hours of continuing education hours to be submitted every five years by our dietetic governing body, The Commission on Dietetic Registration. Nutrition is a science, so it is important that we are constantly learning as dietitians with the most upcoming research; that way we can provide our clients with the best research and advice available!

You may now be asking, “What is a nutritionist? Why do I see this title used so often?” Actually, there is no definition for a nutritionist. Anyone in this world is able to self-proclaim to be one. Please be mindful when looking up nutrition information or the latest research that the credentials do not only say nutritionist. Anyone on the internet that is promoting special diets, lifestyles, products, or magic beans to cure a nutritional issue or assist with weight loss can be a nutritionist. Although they may have taken a nutrition training course or have a certificate, it in no way shape or form comes close to nutrition degrees that are received by Registered Dietitians.

Registered dietitians can help with a multitude of different nutritional issues and concerns. We do see many individuals looking to not only address weight loss, but various digestive issues, allergies, eating disorders, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, etc. If you have any questions as to how or if we would be able to assist you throughout your health journey, do not hesitate to reach out!!

Until Next Time,

Katherine Ancona, MS, RDN, CDN

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