What’s the Difference Between Registered Dietitian Vs. Nutritionist?

Nutrition | Recipes

Healthy Salad Bowl | Registered Dietitian vs Nutritionist

Registered Dietitians vs. Nutritionists

“Celebrate a World of Flavors” is this year’s National Nutrition Month theme. March celebrates nutrition, great food and the amazing work Registered Dietitians (RD, LDN or RDN) and Licensed Nutritionists do for the community every single day. Most people get confused between the different titles: what is a Registered Dietitian vs a Nutritionist?

Well, they are definitely not the same. A Registered Dietitian or a Licensed Nutritionist is a title that is legally protected in most states in the United States. This means that if you do not have these titles, you don’t have the education, credentialing and licensure, or the appropriate knowledge to counsel patients on medical nutrition therapy.

In the United States, a dietitian is a board-certified food and nutrition expert. They are highly educated in the field of nutrition and dietetics, which is the science of food, nutrition, and their impact on human health.

Through extensive training, dietitians acquire the expertise to provide evidence-based medical nutrition therapy and nutritional counseling tailored to meet an individual’s needs. You can learn more about my credentials here.

Table full of various healthy foods | Registered Dietitian vs Nutritionist

What “nutritionist” actually means…

Someone at a gym, health food store or an online coach can call themselves a “nutritionist” without it being illegal because a “nutritionist” is not a legally protected term. Buyer beware: Please take the time to do your “homework” in order to see if the professional you are looking to work with has the appropriate knowledge and credentialing to assist you with your nutritional needs.

Nutrition and a World of Flavors

Now that you know the difference between Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists, let’s talk about International Foods! The recipe I have for you today is not only healthy and sustaining, but packs a flavorful punch! This seafood skillet from eatingwell.com compliments of chef Clodagh McKenna, evokes images of the Mediterranean sea and is like an instant “taste-escape” to Spain.

It is beautifully balanced with protein from the squid and chorizo which can be replaced with smoked chicken sausage if you are looking to reduce the saturated fat in this dish without compromising on flavor. You can also decide to completely omit the chorizo, since there is enough protein in this dish coming from the squid and chickpeas. The kale gives you that serving of vegetables you want and a piece of crusty whole grain bread will help sop up the wonderful juices and round this dish off perfectly! It doesn’t get better than that. European flair, great taste and a beautifully presentable dish all under 30 minutes. Try it. I think you’ll like it!

A lemon twist and parsley garnishing a stew of chickpeas, squid and chorizo

One & Yum Squid (from eatingwell.com)


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces Spanish-style chorizo (see Tip), sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 18 ounces squid, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch rings, tentacles halved
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped stemmed kale
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add chorizo and cook, stirring once, for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  4. Add squid and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  5. Add chickpeas and kale; cook, stirring often, until the squid is cooked through and the kale has wilted, 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Serve sprinkled with almonds. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

I hope you enjoy this delicious Mediterranean dinner recipe – it is a delightful “World of Flavor”!

I hope the informative portion of this article helped clear up the difference between a registered dietitian vs nutritionist. If you’ve been searching for a credentialed registered dietitian to help you manage your weight, please take a look at my Services page.

Voula Manousos’ writing is featured in the “Winchester Living Magazine” and “The Winchester Star” of Wicked Local.

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