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A Nutritionist or Dietitian; What is the difference, and what’s right for me? Absolute Nutrition Counseling

A Nutritionist or Dietitian; What is the difference, and what’s right for me?  Absolute Nutrition Counseling

Determining whether a nutritionist or a dietitian is right for you depends on your specific needs and goals. While both professionals work in the field of nutrition, there are differences in their education, training, and scope of practice:

A Nutritionist:


Nutritionists may or may not have formal training in the field. Some nutritionists have varying levels of education and qualifications, ranging from a certificate or diploma to a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or a related field. The title “nutritionist” is not regulated in many jurisdictions, meaning that anyone can call themselves a nutritionist regardless of their level of education or expertise and it does not imply any professional accreditation.

Scope of Practice:

Nutritionists typically provide general guidance and advice on healthy eating, meal planning, and lifestyle changes. They may work in various settings, including wellness centers, gyms, or private practice.


Nutritionists may offer services such as personalized meal plans, nutritional counseling, and education on basic nutrition principles.

If you are seeking general advice on healthy eating habits or looking for support with basic nutrition knowledge, a nutritionist may be suitable for your needs.

A Dietitian:


Dietitians typically hold a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, nutrition, or a related field. They also complete an accredited supervised internship and pass a national exam to become registered dietitians (RD) or dietetic technicians, registered (DTR). The title “dietitian” is regulated, and practitioners must meet specific educational and professional standards to use this title. Registered Dietitians are food and nutrition experts as well as hold additional certification in specialized areas of practice.

Scope of Practice:

Dietitians are qualified to provide evidence-based nutrition therapy and medical nutrition therapy for various health conditions. They work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, nursing homes, community health centers, food service organizations, pharmaceutical companies, government organizations and private practice settings.


Dietitians assess individuals’ nutritional needs, develop customized meal plans, and provide counseling and education on managing health conditions through diet. They may specialize in areas such as diabetes management, weight management, sports nutrition, and/or eating disorders.

If you have specific health concerns, medical conditions, or dietary restrictions, or if you require nutrition therapy as part of your medical treatment plan, consulting with a registered dietitian may be more appropriate.

In summary, if you’re looking for a medical professional and an expert in nutrition, consult with a Registered Dietitian. This is recommended especially if you have specific health goals or medical conditions that require personalized nutrition therapy. A nutritionist is more appropriate for general nutrition advice or support with healthy eating habits. Regardless of who you decide to see, it’s essential to verify the qualifications and credentials of any nutrition professional you choose to work with and ensure they are a good fit for your needs.

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