Yes, it is!
You see, if you’re knowledgeable about nutrition, you can absolutely offer eating and healthy living resources to otherwise healthy people.
What is not legal – except for Medical Doctors (MDs) and Registered Dietitians (RDs) – is to provide medical nutritional therapy. That is, to prescribe nutritional changes specifically to treat disease.
What does this mean in practice?
So, for instance:
You can recommend a diet full of colorful vegetables to clients. And, if they’re reluctant, you can help them find ways of incorporating them into meals.
You can teach clients and patients about phytonutrients and healthy fats.
You can encourage clients to eat more lean protein and suggest some tasty, easy-to-prepare sources.
You can offer recipes.
And so on.
In other words, you can discuss the pillars of good nutrition with clients and patients, and give them tools and strategies to improve their daily eating.
You can even point them toward nutritional supplements (for example: fish oil) to further enhance their healthy lifestyle.
What you can’t do is “prescribe” nutritional supplements like fish oil to “treat” cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or other health conditions.
(Without medical training, you’re legally prohibited – and, frankly, unqualified – to give that kind of advice).
And that’s pretty much it.
Note: Most people are surprised to learn that there are no nationwide laws regarding who can and can’t give nutrition advice.
But don’t let that confuse you or paralyze you with inaction.
The simple – but important – distinctions we make here can guide your practice regardless of the nutrition education path you choose.
Again, don’t “prescribe” or “treat” or “diagnose”. And definitely don’t try to “cure”.
Well, unless you’re a MD or an RD, of course. And only then if you actually know what you’re doing!