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How Do I Become a Vegan Nutritionist?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2016
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Education, training, and research are required to become a vegan nutritionist. Since many regions have strict standards regarding legal practice as a nutritionist or dietitian, it is important to research these standards and fulfill the necessary regional requirements to become a licensed practitioner. A vegan nutritionist may need to do some extracurricular study and training in order to gain expertise in vegan dietary needs.

One of the primary requirements needed to become a vegan nutritionist is proper education. There are several different types of dietitian and nutritionist educational paths, which may require different types of schooling. A registered dietitian, or RD, is one of the most advanced forms of nutritionist, and requires a four-year degree in nutrition, an internship period, and passing licensing examinations. By contrast, a certified nutritionist, or CN, may only go to school for one to two years, and may not need to complete an internship. A person can become a vegan nutritionist using any available degree program, so long as he or she meets regional standards for licensing.

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Even if not required to complete a degree, internships and practical training courses may be useful for a person who wants to become a vegan nutritionist. Internships tend to last between six months and one year, and may include a stipend or require tuition, depending on the program. Aspiring vegan nutritionists may want to look for internships in holistic medical facilities or with already certified vegan dietitians, in order to tailor training to the vegan lifestyle. In a non-vegan internship, students may need to be comfortable with giving dietary advice to those who do not wish to follow a vegan diet.

Since the field of vegan nutrition is relatively new, students may need to guide their own studies carefully, in order to become experts in the dietary needs of vegans. People become vegans for many different reasons, and a vegan nutritionist must be prepared to offer counseling and help to those looking to lose weight, people who are vegan for ethical reasons, or those who take up the diet for health reasons. Additionally, it is important to understand the possible nutritional pitfalls of a vegan diet, and be prepared to offer solutions to complicated dietary deficiencies. A person who wishes to become a vegan nutritionist may want to subscribe to journals and magazines dedicated to the vegan diet, in order to stay on top of new developments in the field of vegan nutrition.

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