The best way to achieve a long, healthy life is by changing your diet and making better food choices. But how can you do that? You need expert guidance! There are two experts who can do that for you-One is a dietitian and the other is a Nutritionist.  

So, which one’s best for you? Let’s find out.  

DEFINITIONS  

WHO IS A DIETITIAN? A dietitian is a board-certified expert in nutrition and dietetics (the science of food and nutrition and its effects on your health).  

 

  • They are qualified to diagnose and treat eating disorders and design diets to treat medical conditions. 
  • Dietitians mostly work in hospitals, clinics, and research labs.  
  • The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) is responsible for the certifications and credentials of Registered Dietitian (RD)/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).  

 

WHO IS A NUTRITIONIST? A nutritionist is an expert in nutrition available in food products and offers general nutritional advice. 

  • They advise patients and clients on nutritional habits to maintain good health and lifestyle.  
  • Nutritionists mostly work in non-medical settings (schools, cafeterias, gyms, office buildings, etc.). 
  • A certified clinical nutritionist (CCN) is certified by The Clinical Nutrition Certification Board. 

QUALIFICATIONS  

DIETITIANS – To practice as a Dietitian you would need  

  • A bachelor’s degree in Dietetics (affiliated with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietitians).  
  • Supervised training at registered healthcare facilities or hospitals.  
  • Licensure examinations (by the Commission of Dietary Registration) to become Registered Dietitians/ Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.  
  • Also, you might need to fulfill continuing professional education standards every year to maintain the board certification.  

NUTRITIONISTS –  

  • It’s not a regulated profession in the U.S., so you don’t need a professional degree to practice as a nutritionist.  
  • However, advanced-level degrees with official training as a nutritionist can be obtained. 
  • The Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists (CBNS) provides the protected title of certified nutrition specialist (CNS) for sports nutritionists. [After a master’s degree in nutrition and at least 1,000 hours (about 1 and a half months) of practical experience]. 

 

THE MAJOR DIFFERENCES  

  • AS OF NOW, DIETETICS IS A REGULATED PROFESSION. A DIETITIAN IS A PROFESSIONAL WHO IS WELL-EDUCATED, TRAINED, AND CERTIFIED IN HIS FIELD. A NUTRITIONIST CAN BE SELF-TAUGHT AND NOT HAVE ANY TRAINING WHATSOEVER.  
  • DIETITIANS CAN TREAT HEALTHY AS WELL AS UNHEALTHY PEOPLE, AS THEY ARE TRAINED IN HOSPITALS AND MEDICAL CARE FACILITIES. WHILE A NUTRITIONIST CAN’T TREAT SICK OR DISEASED PEOPLE AND WORK ONLY WITH HEALTHY PEOPLE COUNSELING THEM ON THEIR NUTRITIONAL CHOICES FOR A BALANCED LIFESTYLE.  
  • THEY WORK IN DIFFERENT WORKPLACE SETTINGS. DIETITIANS WORK IN MEDICAL SETTINGS (LIKE HOSPITALS, CLINICS, AND HEALTH CENTERS) WHILE NUTRITIONISTS WORK MOSTLY IN COMMERCIAL SETTINGS (LIKE GYMS, SCHOOLS, OFFICES, ETC.). 

There you have it- all the information you need to make better nutritional choices!