Dietitian? Nutritionist?  Same thing, right?

NO. Big difference.

To break it down in a sentence - Every Dietitian is a Nutritionist, but not every Nutritionist is a Dietitian.

You can call yourself a Nutritionist. Yes, you!!

There are no clear indications, specifications, minimum education requirements, or any professional regulations over the term “Nutritionist”. Therefore, if you believe you have nutrition knowledge, any level of it, then you can all yourself a Nutritionist and there is no one out there that can stop you. The term Nutritionist is not legally protected.  There are also other designations out there such as: Certified Nutrition Specialists, Certified Nutrition Consultant, Certified Nutritionist, Certified Clinical Nutritionists, just to name a few.  These credentials all claim to have a higher education that “Nutritionists” in one way or another, they vary in education requirements, testing, and each have their own governing boards that offer credentialing, but they do not offer the legal right to practice nutrition.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics defines a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDNs) as the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. RDNs use their nutrition expertise to help individuals make unique, positive lifestyle changes. They work throughout the community in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, food management, food industry, universities, research and private practice. RDNs are advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world. RDNs have to complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree program approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition in Dietetics, pre-professional experience, a national examination, and complete continuing education.

That’s a lot of information!! Let’s get down to it - Who do you trust?

Do your research. Make sure you trust someone that is well-educated, stays up-to-date in nutrition topics, and is licensed in your state to give advice on health-related topics. Don’t be afraid to ask for their credentials. These should be readily provided for you. Ask about their specialties, a lot of Registered Dietitians further specialize in certain areas – make sure these match your needs.  Anyone can look up nutrition and diet information online; make sure you believe in someone that can tailor to your needs and goals.

Trust a Registered Dietitian.

Written By Gloria Guerra, RDN, & EnergyX Fitness Registered Dietitian.

To inquire about Nutrition Counseling session with Gloria, shoot us an e-mail at