MAC Blog

MAC Blog

All Dietitians are Nutritionists, but NOT all Nutritionists are Dietitians

Jennifer Jasmin - Saturday, November 24, 2018


A closer look at the difference between a Registered Dietitian and a Nutritionist.


We get it, it’s confusing. Hopefully, this post will clear away some of the mystery surrounding what exactly a registered dietitian is, why our department is such a valuable asset to your membership at Mount Auburn Club and also to the local community, and how we might help you reach your goals.

The number one thing we as dietitians hear from members is: “I know exactly what to eat to reach my goals, but I just don’t do it.” Does that sound familiar? Did you know that registered dietitians are educated and certified to assist with motivation and behavior change as well as dole out nutrition advice? If you’re struggling, or need a fresh perspective, we’re here to help you reconnect with your motivation, not just to extol the virtues of kale!

The second most common thing we hear from members is: “I eat really healthy foods, so I don’t need a nutritionist, but I’m still not reaching my goals. I don’t think you can help me.” YES, WE CAN! We’re so much more than nutritionists (see below) and we have seen time and time again that our clients DO understand what foods are healthy, but they are often eating them all wrong! It is possible to eat “healthy food” but not time your meals right throughout the day for optimal energy, or eat the wrong portions of healthy foods, or worst yet, be missing out on nutrients because you’re not pairing your healthy foods the right way to optimize their nutritional impact. Even if you think you know it all, we still might be able to help you fine tune your regular diet to help you reach your goals and feel more energetic!

Lastly, it’s so common for people to ask us, “What is a registered dietitian, why don’t you just call yourselves nutritionists? Isn’t that what you are?” NOPE! In fact, there is absolutely no regulation on the word nutritionist. Anyone, including you, can go around charging people money and calling themselves a nutritionist. A registered dietitian is a nutrition professional with very specific education and expertise. By law, a dietitian can call themselves a nutritionist for promotional and professional reference, but a nutritionist CAN NOT call themselves a dietitian. Here’s why:

Some nutritionists may be quite good at what they do, and very well educated, but as a client, there really is no good way for you to know. We encourage you to ask about the credentials for any health professional you see, and if you need nutrition advice, look for the letters RD, or RDN after your nutrition professional’s name. That’s how you’ll know they are a registered dietitian and can be trusted to give you expert advice without judgment and with lots of motivation!

Jen Jasmin is a Registered Dietitian at Mount Auburn Club. She aims to help her clients establish a healthy, balanced relationship with food and find appropriate solutions for each individual's goals. Learn more about nutrition services at MAC by contacting Jen HERE.