Proper nutrition is a vital component of long term success when it comes to our health and fitness goals. Without having a well rounded diet, all of the hard work we put in our workouts may go to waste. There is so much information about nutrition that it becomes challenging to know what works and what doesn’t.

It is important to make sure to seek out qualified individuals who are skilled in Nutritional Counseling, such as a Registered Dietitian. Now I know what you’re thinking. “What is a Registered Dietitian and how are they any different than a nutritionist?” Let’s compare the two below.

How are they different?

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Educational Background 4-year Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics or a 3-year Science Degree followed by a Master Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, including a period of practical training/internships in various settings. After this process, prospecting Dietitians must pass a national examination to hold the title of Registered Dietitian. Registered Dietitians must also maintain professional continuing education hours. A nutritionist is a non-accredited title that may apply to somebody who has done a short course in nutrition or who has given themselves this title. The term Nutritionist is not protected by law in almost all countries so people with different levels of  knowledge can call themselves a “Nutritionist”.
Regulation Must maintain state licensure if required. Registered Dietitians are also governed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Most nutritionists do not need state licensure or need to be a part of a governing body. Certified Nutrition Specialists are the exception
Philosophy Registered Dietitians are evidence based practitioners. RD’s specialize in taking the available scientific evidence and translating it into an easy to understand manner. RD’s are also allowed to provide medical nutrition therapy. Due to lack of regulation, nutritionists do not need to follow evidence based guidelines. Nutritionists are not allowed to provide medical nutrition therapy.

The educational background to becoming a Registered Dietitian is more rigorous and is more regulated to ensure your safety. It is important to gather nutrition information from a credentialed source and to make sure to research a person’s credentials before taking their advice.

Studio Element has two Registered Dietitians that are dedicated to assisting clients in achieving your health and fitness goals. The staff at Studio Element can help you with any of your nutrition questions!

Written by: Jesus Hernandez RDN, LD

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