A nutritionist, registered dietitian, or RD is not technically a dietician. Though dietician and nutritionist are used interchangeably, all three of these careers require degrees in food science and education. Read more..
A vegan nutritionist is someone who focuses on the health, diet, and nutrition needs of people who abstain from eating animal products (i.e., vegans). According to the American Dietetic Association, a registered dietitian nutritionist with special training in vegetarian and vegan nutrition may be called a vegetarian or vegan nutritionist (ADA, 2016). The ADA also states that there are currently more than 1,000 credentialed vegetarian and vegan RDNs [Registered Dietitian Nutritionists] in the United States (ADA, 2016). Some states license or register nutritional therapists as nutritional consultants.
Why become a Vegan Nutritionist
Some people go into nutrition as part of their careers and end up becoming generalists, but others specialize in one area or another. If you want to become a vegan nutritionist, your focus will be on helping others eat plant-based diets. That might include developing specialized meal plans for vegans or working with dieters who want to avoid animal products altogether. Also know that although some dietitians can help you with your dietary needs, many don’t specialize in food-based ailments (such as diabetes). So it’s also possible that you might need to find another resource if you run into issues with type 2 diabetes or heart disease, although there are plenty of ways to live well while managing certain conditions.
A Guide to Becoming a Vegan Nutritionist
Working as a vegan nutritionist (VN) means more than just eating healthfully and living sustainably. It’s about teaching others how to do those things, too. The most important skill for any VN to develop, then, is being able to communicate effectively and being able to present information in ways that are appealing, accurate and easy-to-understand. For example, you can turn your passion for raw foods into a very relevant platform on which to run your practice.
Skills and Qualifications for Becoming a Vegan Nutritionist
For anyone considering becoming a vegan nutritionist, you’ll need to first consider whether you have all of these skills and qualifications. If not, it may be wise to spend some time studying them before proceeding with your career in nutrition. If you don’t have some of these skills or qualifications, but are still interested in becoming a vegan nutritionist, you should take the time to learn them and make sure they’re important to you before going down that road.
Career Paths for Vegan Nutritionists
In recent years, more and more people have begun to consider adopting a vegetarian or even full-fledged vegan diet. The rising popularity of plant-based diets has prompted many schools to offer courses for aspiring health professionals wishing to specialize in plant-based nutrition and make use of their interest in food as a career. As with any emerging field, however, there’s still considerable confusion about what it means to be either a vegetarian or vegan.
Related Careers in Dietetics
A nutritionist, registered dietitian, or RD is not technically a dietician. Though dietician and nutritionist are used interchangeably, all three of these careers require degrees in food science and education. A Ph.D., RDN (registered dietitian nutritionist), DTR (dietetic technician registered), or RD (registered dietitian) may become a certified clinical nutritionist (CCN) with an additional 30-credit continuing education coursework program from an accredited university or college.