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The Good Calorie™ Mission

To increase public access to safe, reliable, and science-based nutrition information online with content written exclusively by Registered Dietitians.

Registered Dietitian = The Nutrition Expert!

A Registered Dietitian (“RD”) is a food and nutrition expert. The credential RD is a national credential that demonstrates an individual has met the minimum educational and supervised practice requirements. RDs must also complete continuing education yearly to maintain the credential. For more information on Registered Dietitians, visit The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Qualifications of a Registered Dietitian

A registered dietitian is a food and nutrition expert who has met academic and professional requirements including:

  • Earned a bachelor’s degree with course work approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Coursework typically includes food and nutrition sciences, foodservice systems management, business, economics, computer science, sociology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology and chemistry.
  • Completed an accredited, supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency or foodservice corporation.
  • Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
  • Completes continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.

Approximately 50% of RDs hold advanced degrees. Some RDs also hold additional certifications in specialized areas of practice, such as pediatric or renal nutrition, nutrition support and diabetes education.

Registered dietitians who are members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics are not only food and nutrition experts—they are leaders in the field of dietetics. Every one of the Academy’s wide array of member benefits is designed to advance their knowledge and skills and enhance their networking opportunities.

How is a Registered Dietitian different from a Nutritionist

The “RD” credential is a legally protected title that can only be used by practitioners who are authorized by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Some RDs may call themselves “nutritionists,” but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The definition and requirements for the term “nutritionist” vary. Some states have licensure laws that define the scope of practice for someone using the designation “nutritionist,” but in other states, virtually anyone can call him- or herself a “nutritionist” regardless of education or training.

Individuals with the RD credential have fulfilled specific requirements, including having earned at least a bachelor’s degree (about half of RDs hold advanced degrees), completed a supervised practice program and passed a registration examination—in addition to maintaining continuing education requirements for recertification.

What about the LD, LDN, CDN, etc…?

While RD is a national credential accredited by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, states may also regulate various levels of licensure or certifications for RDs. Visit the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) for a list of state laws that regulate Dietitians. However, just because someone in the private sector says they are a “Nutritionist” does not necessarily mean they are a Registered Dietitian. Always check for the RD credential!

How RDs specialize in areas of nutrition

While all RDs are considered experts in nutrition, some RDs choose to further specialize in various aspects of the nutrition field. A few specialty certifications include:

•Board Certified Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition (CSG)
•Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD)
•Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition (CSP)
•Board Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition (CSR)
•Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition (CSO)
•Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)
Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC)
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)
Certified Leap Therapist
Food Allergy Specialist (ELL Institute)
These certifications are accredited by various boards including CDR, NCBDE, and others.


The Good Calorie Board of Advisors

The Good Calorie is advised by prominent RDs:

Roberta Anding, MS, RD, LD, CDE, CSSD is a Clinical Dietitian and   Director of Sports Nutrition in the Department of Pediatrics, Adolescent Medicine, and Sports Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital. She is the Past Chair of the SCAN Dietetic Practice Group and is a National Spokesperson for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Roberta also works as the Sports dietitian for the Houston Texans NFL Franchise, the Houston Astros MLB Franchise, the Rice University Owls, and the Houston Ballet.



Karen Beathard, MS, RD, LD is the Immediate Past President of the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  She works as the ACEND Didactic Prgoram Director for Texas A&M University and also serves as a lecturer in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science.  Karen has served many leadership roles on both the local and state level.




Louise Goldberg, RD, CSP, CNSC, LD is the Owner and Founder of An Apple A Day Nutrition Consulting in Houston, Texas.  Louise is a highly sought after speaker and presenter, given her expertise in Pediatrics and her Certification as a Food Allergy Specialist. She is a member of the Nutrition Entrepreneurial Dietetic Practice Group of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.




Founding Editor

The Good Calorie was founded by Courtney McNamara Jennaro, MS, RD, CDE, LD, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in Houston, Texas.

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