Registered Dietitian vs Nutritionist

March is National Nutrition Month! There are so many different health and nutrition related practitioners. At Evolution Nutrition, we are all Registered Dietitians (RD). But what’s the difference between an RD and a nutritionist? It can be hard to know who to look to for information. Let’s lay out a few of the differences here.
What does it mean to be a Registered Dietitian?
  • Earn a bachelor’s degree in nutrition. This includes a heavy scientific background.
  • Complete a 1,200-hour supervised hands-on internship that last about a year.
  • Pass a national exam from the Commission on Dietetics Registration.
  • Complete ongoing continuing education.
  • Follow a professional code of ethics.
  • Dietitians are recognized as nutrition experts by the law and other health professionals. They provided evidence-based recommendations and are able to work in hospital settings. 
What does it mean to be a Nutritionist?
There are no education or experience requirements to be able to use the term nutritionist. Some course and certifications offer titles such as “integrative nutritionist” or “health coach”.  Nutritionists are not recognized as a nutrition expert. This means that they legally cannot provide specific dietary recommendations to clients. They may only give general advice about nutrition and wellness. 
Bottom Line
The most important aspects of working with a health practitioner is a positive relationship, evidence-based recommendations, and ethical care. You want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the person and trust them. These factors help you establish a positive relationship with your RD/nutritionist. They also make it possible to achieve the health-related goals that are meaningful to you. 
Easy Irish Soda Bread
Servings: 12
2 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour 
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into 1 inch cubes 
1 1/2 cup buttermilk, divided
1/2 cup currants or raisins 
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
3. Cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Add in 1 1/4 cup of buttermilk and all currants. Stir until just moistened. If mixture is still dry, add extra 1/4th cup of buttermilk. 
5. Turn down on lightly flour surface (counter or cutting board). Knead gently 10 times. Then shape into a ball.
6. Place onto a greased baking sheet. Cut 1/2 inch deep X in top of the dough with a sharp knife.
7. Cook for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.
Serving Size: 1/12th of recipe 

Nutrition Information per Serving: 165 calories, 6 grams total fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 27 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 4 grams protein, 300 milligrams sodium, 275 milligrams potassium, 7 grams sugar
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