What is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)? How does a RDN differ from a Nutritionist?
A registered dietitian nutritionist is a health care professional, who is an expert in food and nutrition who advises people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or achieve a specific health-related goal. A RDN must complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program, this is a 1,200 hour Dietetic Internship done at a health-care facility, community agency or a foodservice corporation; Pass a national examination, which is administered by the Commission of Dietetic Registration; and complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.
Anybody can call themselves a nutritionists. There is no education required. Nutritionist don’t have any supervised practice. There is no governing organization, which means that there is no credentialing exam. Since the term nutritionists isn’t legally regulated, there is no continuing education required either.
Who Should I Receive my Diet/Food Advice From?
When seeking out dietary advice, you should only trust information coming from a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). If your information comes from a RDN you can be certain that it is evidence based, safe, and accurate information.
What is your Favorite Diet?
I don’t believe in the word diet. I think that diets can be restricting and unsustainable over time. With that said, I believe the Mediterranean Diet is the best diet pattern. This is because the Mediterranean Diet is evidence based and has been proven to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality by reducing hypertension and improving lipid profiles. The Mediterranean Diet is composed of fish, unsaturated fats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, poultry, and wine; with low amounts of red meat and dairy.