Being a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) is something that I am super proud of. But what does that even mean?
A Registered Dietitian (R.D.)/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (R.D.N.) is basically the ultimate expert of food and nutrition. To become an R.D. you have to follow these steps
- Complete an Undergraduate program from an accredited University or College. Usually, but not always, this is a Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics.
- Complete at least 1,200 hours of supervised practice through a Dietetic Internship, Didactic Program, Coordinate Program, Graduate, or Doctorate Program.
- Pass the standardized exam for Registered Dietitians.Nutritionist VS Dietitian
A “Nutritionist” is a pretty non-specific term. To be on, well, you basically just call yourself one. By this I mean that it is not a regulated term, so there are no criteria to use it. Typically, it refers to someone who does not have formal education or training.
Like I talked about above, an R.D./R.D.N is a regulated term, and in order to use this title you have to go through extensive education and training.
So, why do I need an R.D./R.D.N.?
There is so much false information floating around about nutrition, especially since it has become a super-hot topic over the last few years. While it’s great that so many people are interested in it (it IS fascinating!), taking advice from someone who does not have the appropriate training could potentially be harmful. Like I said, R.D./R.D.N.’s are the nutrition experts, don’t risk your health by being careless about where you get your information and find one in your area here. Please be safe!