Do You Need a Dietitian or a Nutritionist?

The information about foods is ever changing and it seems there’s always a new superfood emerging garnering rave reviews by every news outlet imaginable. If you’re anything like most of the world you’ve counted your share of calories, points, carbs, etc and you’ve struggled. That’s because health information is more widely available than ever before but not all of it is a well-rounded truth. You’ve probably even thought, “Do I really need a dietitian?” or “What’s the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist anyway?”

While the two are similar they are hardly interchangeable. Dietitians and nutritionists both evaluate the health of their clients. They will both also advise clients on which food they should consume.


What’s a Dietitian?

A dietitian is like a nutritionist in that they are both experts on food and diet, and considered healthcare professions. The role of the dietitian is generally more regulated than that of a nutritionist. Dietitians require certain licenses and certifications to be allowed to work.

What Does a Dietitian Do?

Dietitians organize food and nutrition plans while promoting healthy habits to treat and prevent illness. Dieticians are food experts when seeing one you can be certain you’re getting reliable information. The ever-changing ways our food is grown, cooked, and marketed have all contributed to the massive confusion around food. This makes the choices we make far more complicated.

A dietitian will help create a unique nutrition plan tailored to your individual nutrient needs based on specific details such as age, weight, height, and gender. Another benefit is how dietitians think about the roadblocks surrounding nutrition, such as personal and emotional aspects of life. Dietitians find ways to help you succeed through any personal hurdles, such as emotional eating, or easing anxieties regarding goal-setting. It should be noted that a dietitian can help diagnose illness and treat them.

Healthy choices dietitian and nutritionist

What is a Nutritionist?

A nutritionist is not as regulated as dietitians, and they typically do not require any professional training, therefore, they should not be solely involved in the treatment and diagnosis of illness. Nutritionists are also experts on food and diet. Some nutritionists are called food scientists and work alongside dietitians.

What Does a Nutritionist Do?

However, a nutritionist is more so focused on the behavior of food. They’ll teach their clients about the health and nutrition properties in food and offer nutrition guidance. Often they evaluate the client's emotional stability in relation to food and offer emotional support through group counseling or private sessions.

Things to Consider When Choosing?

When making your decision between a nutritionist and a dietician always think about what you want to take out of the experience. Are you wanting to learn about how food behaves? Or are you more interested in finding out what works for you and your current goals? It’s important to know what you want before making a decision to form realistic expectations.

Don’t be afraid to consult your insurance company. I highly recommend calling your insurance provider and inquiring about your benefits. They will tell you what specialty is covered or not this way there are no surprise bills in your mailbox. Hopefully, this breakdown helps you find your answer.

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