What Is a Registered Dietitian (Food and Nutrition Expert)?

Registered Dietitians - Food & Nutrition Experts

A registered dietitian (RD) is a food and nutrition expert who is authorized to perform medical nutrition therapy. In addition, they are medical professionals that work with patients to develop a personalized approach to healing and well-being through a healthy and sustainable relationship with food.

In the video below, Amanda Haney highlights everything you need to know about registered dietitians.

If you don’t like the video or want more information, continue reading.

How to become a registered dietitian

First, dietitians get their bachelor’s degree and must complete approved coursework in areas of chemistry, biology, counseling, food science, and food service management.

During this process, they complete a 1200 hour supervised internship then are required to pass the Registration Exam for Dietitians to earn the RD credential.

Many dietitians also have their master’s degree and some even go on to obtain their PhD. Overall, it takes about 6 to 8 years of additional education after high school to become a registered dietitian.

Fresh vegetables are one of many healthy foods registered dietitians recommend their clients


On the other hand, registered dietitians are not the food police! We believe in restoring a positive relationship with food and work with you to create a lifestyle that syncs your health goals with the foods and activities you already enjoy.

In fact, the key to a sustainable diet is to develop healthy choices that are practical for your unique need. This means being inclusive, not restrictive!  

Work environments

Dietitians work in many different settings including hospitals, doctor’s offices, private practice, public health programs, restaurants and hotels, corporate wellness centers, research facilities, school districts, college campuses, and professional sports teams – to name a few.

To learn more about registered dietitians or to find one in your area visit eatright.org.

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Amanda Haney (Legro), MS, RD, CNSC
Hi, my name is Amanda Haney (Legro). I am a registered dietitian and board-certified nutrition support clinician. I was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA. I later moved to Southern California to attend Cal State Long Beach where I obtained my undergraduate degree in nutrition and dietetics as well as my master's degree in nutrition science. I completed my dietetic internship at Cal State Long Beach as well. And I love my alma mater so much that I have since returned to teach undergraduate courses in nutrition. I practice medical nutrition therapy in the pediatric intensive care unit at Miller Children's and Women's Hospital Long Beach. As a clinical dietitian, I'm committed to providing my patients with high-quality nutrition care, to improve their well-being on their road to recovery. I became a dietitian because I love food and I love medicine. There is so much misinformation about nutrition in the media. My passion is to make nutrition simple and to make your health goals achievable. In my free time, I love soaking up the beauty at the beach, riding my bike, staying active, cooking, and, most of all, spending time with my family and friends!