What is MNT?
Great question... glad you asked!
The world of nutrition is a little complicated. You want to make sure you are talking to the right person to help you with your health and participating in the proper care.
Below are terms and definitions from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to help clear up any confusion:
Nutrition Education: "Reinforcement of basic or essential nutrition-related knowledge." This does not have to be provided by an RDN as it is not specific to a person's past and current medical status.
Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT): Diagnostic, therapy, and counseling services for disease management can only be provided by a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN/RD) in Texas.
Generally, the "provider sends [the] RD written referral for MNT for non-dialysis kidney disease or diabetes. The referral includes current labs, medications, and other diagnoses. " This referral acts as a line of communication between the providers to establish continuity of care and provide the RD with ample information to assist you in health changing behaviors.
Nutrition Counseling: "A supportive process to set priorities, establish goals, and create individualized action plans which acknowledge and foster responsibility for self-care."
Another way to see this is time spent with a qualified health care professional for you to tease out your "Why?" concerning nutritional health. Brainstorm and set your "How" and "When's."
Because MNT encompasses counseling services for disease management, MNT helps YOU foster responsibility for self-care, which entails having YOU be part of your care.
How Do I Know I'm Seeing The Right Professional?
Let us Look Over Common Titles
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD/RDN): food & nutrition experts who met the following criteria.
Completed a bachelor’s degree at a US accredited university or college and course work accredited or approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Completed an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program at a health care facility, community agency, or a foodservice corporation or combined with undergraduate or graduate studies. Typically, a practice program will run six to 12 months in length.
Completed a Master's degree (requirement after 2024)
Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR’s website at www.cdrnet.org.
Completed continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.
Licensed Dietitian (LD/LDN): Some states (like Texas) require a Registered Dietitian to "sign up" with the state and pay dues. The "LD" signifies that we pay our dues and can practice in Texas!
Veronica Gonzalez has a Master's in Public Health and
is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Licensed Dietitian in South Texas!
Or we can just stick with...
Veronica Gonzalez, MPH, RDN, LD
Certified Nutritionist: Requires no formal background/schooling/certification/degree/supervision/exam
Health Coach: Requires no formal background/schooling/certification/degree/supervision/exam
Certified Nutritionist Specialist (CNS): Someone who has a graduate degree in nutrition or a related field that has participated in supervised hours. Geared towards functional medicine and received certification after completing an examination under The Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists.