Health Tips

Health tip

Dietician vs. nutritionist: what’s the difference?

Both dieticians and nutritionists can offer nutritional help, but qualifications differ between the two professions. Learn more about the differences between the two roles, then ask your doctor which type of nutritional counseling is right for you. Depending on your insurance provider, a referral from your doctor may be required for coverage.

How Dieticians & Nutritionists Differ

Role Qualifications Scope of work
Registered dietitian nutritionist (R.D.N.)
  • Bachelor’s degree in dietetics, public health nutrition, or a related field
  • Completion of Dietetic Internship (D.I.), which equals 1,200 hours of experience
  • National licensure exam
  • 75 continuing education credits every 5 years to maintain RDN credential
  • General nutrition education
  • Creating personalized nutrition plan
  • Diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders
  • Title is not protected by law in all states. In states where title is not protected, nutritionists can perform nutrition counseling without a license. (Learn more at the Center for Nutrition Advocacy.)
  • Nutritionists may study nutritional science and may also have professional certifications like Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS).
  • General nutrition education
  • Creating personalized nutrition plan

7. Go meatless.

If you’re an omnivore (read: not vegan or vegetarian), consider preparing meatless meals at least once per week. Meat products are typically the most expensive items on most omnivores’ grocery lists — and excessive consumption of red meat is correlated with increased risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more. Going meatless even once a week could reduce your grocery bill and improve your health long-term!

Our favorite nutrition apps

Paprika Recipe Manager This handy app ensures your meal plan and your grocery list are always on hand. Use Paprika to clip recipes from the web, add recipes to your meal plan, and — the best part — pull ingredients from your meal plan to your grocery list with just a few clicks. Ingredients in your grocery list are automatically sorted by department, and items that appear in multiple recipes are added up for you so you know the total amount needed. If you need to adjust the number of servings for freezer meal prep, the app will multiply ingredients for you. And it’s available for pretty much any device. (Check out our tips for meal planning with Paprika.)

Flipp It’s a weekly circular. It’s a coupon manager. It’s awesome! Flipp compiles circulars from your local stores (800 retailers at time of writing) in an attractive, easy-to-navigate package. It also allows you to search and “clip” digital coupons, which you simply present through the app at checkout. If you choose to use its shopping list feature, Flipp will search deals at local stores to automate the couponing process. And it’s completely free.

Ibotta Ibotta brings cash back to grocery purchases — and online shopping, clothing stores, and more! It works like this: first, add rebates for the products you’re planning to buy. Next, go shopping as you normally would. After your shopping trip, take a photo of your receipt as proof of purchase. Then wait for your cash back to roll in! Ibotta rebates are actual money, not points, so in addition to redeeming for gift cards, you can transfer them to PayPal or Venmo to cash out.

Fooducate Ever wondered how healthy your morning granola bar really is? The answer may surprise you. Fooducate is a website/app that helps you find healthier alternatives to your favorite packaged foods. It makes eating well simpler by assigning foods a letter grade, explaining the why behind the score — and suggesting better alternatives for you to try. If you download the app, you’ll also get a food/exercise tracker.

MyFitnessPal Last but not least, MyFitnessPal is a longstanding favorite among food journal apps. Its user-supported search functionality is the real headline, with nutritional info for dishes at popular restaurants, packaged foods, whole foods, and everything between. (The database includes 5,000,000 food items so far!) Just enter the type of food and the serving size to log calories and more. You can use it to log exercise too — and any exercise you log will be subtracted from your calories consumed for a complete picture of your day.  Download for: iOS | Android

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