Nutrition messages change on the daily. What advice do I follow? How do I know what to believe? What’s the difference between a registered dietitian and nutritionist?
National Nutrition Month is coming to an end, and I wanted to share one last message: A registered dietitian nutritionist can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.
The titles of registered dietitian and nutritionist do not mean the same thing:
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (often referred to as a Dietitian): A health professional who has been specifically trained in nutrition and meets national standards of practice. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists complete 1200 supervised practice hours and have to pass a national credentialing exam. On top of that, they are required to maintain continuing hours of education. Dietitians are held accountable for their conduct so the information you get from a Dietitian is reliable, professional advice.
Nutritionist: The term nutritionist can be given to anyone. Most nutritionists have no formal nutrition education and a few have qualifications in areas like food science or human nutrition. While most are well-meaning, be cautious if choosing to take advice from a nutritionist as they may not be fully informed.
I realize it’s difficult to sort through all the conflicting nutrition messages on the TV, internet, and in magazines. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. If a new diet is cutting out 80% of healthful foods, it may not be a healthy diet. If you’re reading a nutrition article, check to see if the author is a Dietitian. The main thing to remember: Keep it simple. Don’t over-complicate food. Stick to real, fresh, healthful foods. Veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and dairy.
If you have questions about nutrition check out reliable websites like eatright.org and foodandnutrition.org or ask your Registered Dietitian Nutritionist! Check with your insurance provider, because your visit with the Dietitian might be covered.