What Makes Someone an Expert in Diet and Nutrition?


What should I eat? It’s a common question — and there are a lot of people out there willing to dole out nutrition advice. But who should you really trust? Hint: It may not be that influencer you’re following on Instagram or TikTok.

Here, find out the type of pro who can advise you on improving your eating habits, facilitating weight loss, managing a chronic condition through diet, and more.

What Makes Someone a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist?

Registered dietitian-nutritionist (RDN) is a specific professional credential. To earn the RDN title, someone has at least a bachelor’s degree and has completed course work accredited or approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, has completed an accredited supervised practice program (which lasts 6 to 12 months), and passed a national exam, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To maintain the RDN credential, they also complete continuing educational requirements.

What’s the Difference Between a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and a Registered Dietitian?

You may see nutrition pros with an RDN or RD (registered dietitian) after their name. So, what’s the difference? “There isn’t one! The two credential options are identical in their meaning,” says Jennifer Bruning, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Chicago.



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