nutrition certification online

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Last updated on November 2nd, 2021.

It seems like every week another popular food item is either touted as being a lifesaver or a dangerous killer. One week, eggs are good for you and the next, well, you hear that too many eggs will give you a heart attack. Same with milk, same with chocolate and on and on. You’ll need a solid nutrition calculator just to keep up with daily calories. Being a nutritionist, you’ll help your clients to navigate through all of this conflicting information on what to eat and how much to eat. You may work in a hospital, a gym or spa, or even on your own to guide clients on their food and nutrition journey. 

And, not only are there many places where you can work as a nutritionist; you can also run a successful nutrition consulting business online. As more and more businesses are becoming virtual, you’ll be able to hold classes or consult with individual clients from the comfort of your home.

So, if you aspire to be work in the diet and nutrition field, your first step is to gain the education required in the science of food and technology and the impact of food on our health. To become a professional nutritionist, you’ll have to get a Nutrition Certification from a nationally recognized organization or association. The more certificates you earn in the various nutrition specializations, the more qualified you will be as a professional nutritionist. You’ll have better job opportunities and more clients will have faith and confidence in you and your knowledge in this particular field. 

There is a variety of certifications that you can pursue, each with a different set of qualifications. But you need to figure out which certification is best for you; don’t forget certification is different country by country. If you get certified in one country, that certification may not be valid elsewhere. And, in the U.S., there may be different educational requirements and certifications needed to practice in the nutrition field. Make sure you check before you choose a certification course.

How do I get a nutrition certification online?

First of all, what exactly does it mean to get certified in a field? Earning a national certification means gaining a credential provided by a professional organization after you finish a course of study. And certification is important, because some fields require it and your certification will show clients that you have the knowledge and education needed to help them.

To become a certified nutritionist, you’ll need to earn the certification and credentials from nationally or internationally regulated professional institutions by taking nutrition course. There are a lot course options to choose from. And, there are online courses too, which makes it easier to get certification right from your home. You’ll no longer need to rush to class at a brick and mortar building; you can study for your new career in your pjs!

But you’ll have to be determined and passionate about health and nutrition, and you need to be driven. If you don’t know the information necessary to your field, you’ll give a bad impression to your clients. You’re being given the power to influence someone else’s life by educating them about their food habits and lifestyle. Your goal is to help your clients have healthier lives and teach them more than just why nutrition labels are important. Your clients will count on you. So, our advice is to not take your career as a nutritionist lightly. 

The 7 Best Nutrition Health Certificate Courses Online

We’ve compared a ton of nutrition programs out there and we found that Stanford Center for Health Education is the best nutrition certification program for you. The program offers a wealth of information guidance to help you on your way to becoming a certified nutritionist as well as a fantastic community and support staff assisting you the entire way.  

We’ve also looked at may other nutritionist certification programs and have listed 6 other fantastic programs. There are many nutrition programs online that offer courses and certification; and after you’re certified, you’ll be able to enter the job market and fingers crossed, find that dream nutritionist job! 

So, keep reading to discover more details as we uncover the 7 nutrition programs we’ve curated for you.  As a teaser, the full list is here:

The 7 Best Nutrition Health Certification Courses Online

  1. Stanford Center for Health Education
  2. Precision Nutrition – Nutrition Certification
  3. Nutrition & Diet Planning – Udemy
  4. Diet and Nutrition Coach Certification – Beginner to Advanced – Udemy
  5. International Certificate in Nutrition – Udemy
  6. Wellness Simplified.  Happy and Healthy Eating – Udemy
  7. New Skills Academy – Intro to Sports Nutrition Certification

Thankfully, you’ll have an easy time taking an entire nutrition program online. For full-time workers, being able to further the education in your field or study in a new field, taking an online course will allow you to take classes and study on your own time. It’s never been easy to explore new fields while still being able to pay the bills. 

But first, before we get into the individual programs, we need to take a look at certification. What it means, why it’s important and what the steps are to getting certified.  

And we’ll look at all the ways you can use your nutrition certification. There are many exciting careers paths you can take with a nutrition certification. 

And, we hate to take about money, but face it, it’s important. Before you embark on a new educational path, let’s talk about who makes more money, a dietitian or a nutritionist? 

1. Stanford Center for Health Education

Stanford Center for Health Education provides short online courses on nutrition science. If you are an aspiring nutritionist looking for certification, you may want to take a course at Stanford Center for Health Education to gain the know-how needed to be able to provide sound and healthy nutritional guidelines. 

The course takes eight weeks to complete with eight to 10 hours of training per week. One advantage of enrolling here is that you can be anywhere in this world and still get the certification as they teach entirely online. Their modules are flexible, and each module takes a week to complete. 

What does Stanford Center for Health Education offer?

You’ll learn the relationship between nutrition and food and the foundational nutritional science that is connected with creating nutritional plans for different clients.

The program will also give you a broad education in nutrition, including thorough knowledge of carbohydrates and fats, diet fads, supplements, the impacts of sugar intake, and the significance of protein.

Further, you’ll learn how to design a step-by-step nutrition and diet plan for the weight and general health management of your clients.

The diet plans that the program covers are:

  • Ketogenic  or Keto
  • Paleo
  • Whole30
  • Vegan
  • Intermittent
  • DASH
  • MIND
  • Gluten-Free
  • Mediterranean
  • Low-FODMAP, and many more

At the end of the program, you’ll receive your certification, which will allow you to work as a nutritionist in the wellness as well as the medical industries.     

nutrition certification online - Stanford Center for Health Education

2. Precision Nutrition - Nutrition Certification

Precision Nutrition is an all-in-one proven system designed to successfully teach you how to coach nutrition.  The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification shows you exactly what to do at every stage of the nutrition coaching process, beginning from the very first time you meet with a client all the way through them meeting all their goals.

The system of learning is broken down into three primary units.

Unit 1 – The Precision Nutrition Approach

  • Set yourself up for the best learning experience
  • Understand our science-based coaching approach—and how you can apply it with your clients
  • Explore your own coaching style and build healthy coaching relationships

Unit 2 – The Science of Nutrition

  • Understand the body’s systems, organs, and cells
  • Master the foundations of nutrition—from how energy is produced in the body, to the effects of stress, recovery, and sleep
  • Learn everything from metabolism, fat storage, and muscle gain; to calories, macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, and more

Unit 3 – Working Through the PN Coaching Process

  • Assess clients, create a plan they’ll follow, measure their progress, and adjust when needed
  • Help people achieve lasting changes in their health and lives using our proven coaching method
  • Build a thriving coaching business, in-person or online

With the Precision Nutrition system, you’ll be able to join immediately and move at your own pace.  It’s an online self-paced course that includes: real world case studies, over 30+ hours of video,  textbooks, online exams, the PN Nutrition Calculator and lifetime access to ProCoach software.

The reason this is our top choice is because you’re investing into a community of like-minded nutrition professionals with a brand that is constantly evolving and ensuring the latest in health-science nutrition is available to it’s body of nutritionists.  This is a program you will continue to evolve with as you build your career.

nutrition certification online - Precision Nutrition – Nutrition Certification

3. Fully Accredited Certification in Nutrition & Diet Planning

If you’re interested in becoming a nutritionist, the Nutrition and Diet Planning Certification will teach you to use primary nutrition and diet planning methods in order to improve the diet and health of your clients.

This course is designed for students having no prior knowledge of diet and nutrition, so don’t worry if you don’t really know much about nutrition.

The diet plans you’ll learn are:

  • Vegan
  • Mediterranean
  • Gluten-Free
  • Low-FODMAP
  • Intermittent Fasting
  • Whole30
  • DASH
  • Paleo
  • Keto
  • MIND, and more 

Here’s the makeup of the program:

  • Introduction (4 Lectures)
  • Basic Nutrition and Diet Planning (6 Lectures)
  • Advanced Nutrition and Diet Planning (8 Lectures)
  • Diet and Nutrition in Special Conditions (5 Lectures)
  • Getting Certified (1 Lecture)
nutrition certification online - Nutrition & Diet Planning – Udemy

4. Diet and Nutrition Coach Certification: Beginner to Advanced

In this course Nutrition Certification Course, you’ll get a certified professional development certificate. You’ll learn how to design muscle growth and weight loss diets, helping your clients build muscle and lose fat. And, you’ll learn how to assess and evaluate your clients and determine their fitness levels. 

Once you complete the course, you can also develop and build your own coaching business either online or in person.

If you are willing to motivate and help others to lead a healthy life, this is the course for you. You’ll have a lot of responsibility and your clients will count on you, so you really need to have a passion for diet and nutrition.

Once you complete the Accredited Diet and Nutrition Coach course, you’ll automatically earn the certification, sending you on your way to become a diet coach. You’ll also have the credentials and know-how to develop a Fitness Coaching Business. 

The course will also give you the knowledge to become a coach to other diet and nutrition students.

This course includes the following:

  • Meal Planning (Create diet plans for muscle growth and weight loss)
  • Nutrition Theory (Macronutrients, Micronutrients, Calories, etc.)
  • Working with Clients (Assessing and Evaluating your clients’ eating habits and providing help to observe faster results)

What does this course offer?

Nutrition Theory

  • Learn about calories, carbs, fats, and protein
  • Learn how to decide the optimal calorie intake
  • Learn about energy metabolism
  • Learn about carb, fat and protein digestion

Help Clients Lose Weight

  • Learn how to design diet plans for weight loss
  • Learn about diet breaks properly and correctly
  • Learn how to overcome weight loss plateaus
  • Learn about starvation mode
  • Learn about unpredicted weight changes

Help Clients Build Muscle

  • Learn how to design diet plans for muscle growth
  • Learn when and what to eat to get optimal results (pre- and post-workout diet plan)
  • Learn about the number of meals to eat
  • Learn about the best food and diet plans for muscle growth

Justified Diet Trends 

  • Low carb
  • Gluten Free
  • Paleo Dieting
  • Ketogenic Diet
  • Vegan Diet
  • Intermittent Fasting

Vitamins & Minerals

  • Learn about Vitamins A-K
  • Learn about Mineral (Calcium-Zinc)
  • Learn about water intake ideal for all types of body
  • Learn about pros and cons of multivitamins


You’ll learn about the different types of supplements like Creatine, Fish Oil, Whey Protein, Glutamine, BCAAs, etc.

The diet and nutrition certification is not only for beginners but also the professionals who want to reach out to more people and improve their clients’ fitness level. 

You may not have any students or clients yet; all you need is to have a passion for nutrition and fitness to take that next step and enroll in the program. 

nutrition certification online - Diet and Nutrition Coach Certification – Beginner to Advanced – Udemy

5. Internationally Accredited Diploma Certificate in Nutrition

This International Accredited Nutrition Course offers you an internally accredited diploma certificate in nutrition. You’ll learn about:

  • Macronutrients, what they are and what roles do they play in our physical health
  • Micronutrients, Probiotics, Fiber and Water, what they are and what roles do they play in our physical health
  • Energy balance in detail and find out the simple ways to calculate BMR and TDEE
  • The Top Fat / Protein / Carbohydrate sources and find out their estimated daily intake

If you’re interested in the course, you’ll need to be passionate about diet and nutrition and you must be extremely willing to motivate and help others to live a healthy life. 

This course has included a new starter pack for 30+ minutes and now includes another Accreditation Authority: The International Association of Therapists.

The course will give you continuing professional development credits and it is structured to match the criteria of multiple personal development plans. 

Description of the Course 

With the growing numbers of overweight or morbidly obese people worldwide, there is widespread chronic disease such as heart-related condition and type-2 diabetes. These chronic illnesses can be prevented if you follow an active lifestyle along with a healthy diet. 

This  course will be helpful for healthcare professionals who are interested in learning the fundamentals of the science of nutrition and go in-depth to gain a solid background in the science of micronutrients and macronutrients. Students will also learn how these nutrients are crucial for us to remain healthy in life. 

This course is designed for those who want to learn about living a healthy life by employing the teachings of nutritional science. Once you finish the course, you will have the knowledge you’ll need to successfully guide your clients’ health and well-being with basic nutrition guidelines or tips.

Here is a list of some of the modules provided in the program:

  • Module 1: Introduction to Nutrition
  • Module 2: Macronutrients
  • Module 3: Micronutrients 
  • Module 4: 14 Nutritional Guidelines and 15 Healthy Snack Ideas
nutrition certification online - International Certificate in Nutrition – Udemy

6. Wellness. Simplified. Happy & Healthy Living: Nutrition

This Wellness and Nutrition Course is for those who want to help their clients make easy and simple lifestyle changes. It will help you guide people out of the rut they’ve been stuck in and allow them to get on a new, healthier path. 

You’ll learn the following in the program: 

  • How to make simple lifestyle modifications for the entire family that will make your clients look and feel the best.
  • How to make lifestyle changes that will hugely enrich and enhance your clients’ quality of life and reduce or prevent the risk of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol. 
  • You’ll learn how to teach your clients about shielding themselves when they go to the grocery store and arm them with the knowledge to identify healthy food items for the entire family.
  • You’ll gain the knowledge how to teach your clients about recipes that will aid them in the journey to a healthier lifestyle.
  • You’ll know the reasons why diets are not sustainable, and you’ll learn the simple and easy ways to help your clients change their lifestyle and feel healthy and happy.
  • You’ll learn to teach your clients to optimize their nutrition and diet to look and feel their best. 

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Happy and Healthy Living: The Simple Way (3 Lectures)
  • Nourishing Your Body (8 Lectures)
  • Creating Healthy Meals (5 Lectures)
  • Food and Society (5 Lectures)
  • The Kitchen Party (7 Lectures)
  • Being a Defensive Consumer (5 Lectures)
  • Odds and Ends: Answering Your Questions (5 Lectures)
  • Recipes: Breakfast (4 Lectures)
  • Recipes: Lunch & Dinner (7 Lectures)
  • Recipes: Dessert (1 Lecture)
  • Conclusion (1 Lecture)

What can you do with a nutrition certification?

Once you earn your certification, your clients will be confident in knowing that you’ve got the education, skill and know-how needed to help them. You’ll have a wide variety of job opportunities to choose from. Below are some of the exciting options that will be open to you once you have that certification in your hands: 

  • Weight Management – If your specialization under the certification program is associated with weight management, you could be hired by weight management programs, wellness spas, gyms, and hospitals. They all hire consultants for their clients to help them focus primarily on weight loss. The weight management consultant can also provide facilities to assist those who suffer from eating disorders and work with them to help them have a healthier physical and emotional approach to life and nutrition. 
  • Sports Nutritionist – If your certification is for sports-related issues then you’ll be able to work in several types of settings. You can be a consultant to a professional or semi-professional team or visit clients at a fitness center or a gym. Sports nutritionists are in high demand nowadays, even at rehabilitation centers. They provide occupational therapy and physical therapy along with proper nutritional methods and techniques. Sports nutritionists also work as independent consultants to provide their services to amateur athletes and individual professionals, weekend warriors, and high school athletes. They help optimize their clients’ routines and performance.
  • Spa Consultant – Normally, people imagine relaxation and massages as soon as they hear the word “Spa,” but there is a lot more to the spa business that you realize. There has been an increase in the demand for nutritionist consultants in fitness centers and spas in the past few years. They are now offering their clients nutritional coaching and counseling to improve their health and well-being. If you have a nutritionist certification from an authorized organization, you could work at a spa to provide diet and meal plan advice, develop workshops for the clients, and assist clients with food and nutrition.
  • Corporate Nutritional Consultant – Corporations now recognize the fact that employees are more efficient, collaborative, and most importantly, productive if they are healthy and fit. So, they’re now hiring nutritionist consultants to implement and emphasize wellness plans and employee health. Corporate nutritionist consultants conduct health workshops including good health strategies, spearhead healthy food and nutrition initiatives, and develop meal plans for the companies’ cafeterias. 
  • Healthy Eating Instructor – Certified nutrition consultants can work independently and still make a living by collaborating with as kitchenware stores that provide nutritional classes, educational institutions, corporate houses, and farmer markets. They can also arrange house parties to teach groups how to live healthier and happier. 

Check out some of the careers you can go into after getting a nutritionist certification:

  • Clinical Nutritionist
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Dietitian
  • Food and Diet Blogger
  • Entrepreneur
  • Flavorist
  • Food Chemist
  • Food Microbiologist
  • Food Packaging Specialist
  • Food Production Manager
  • Food Process Engineer
  • Food Safety Auditor
  • Food Scientist
  • Food Service Manager
  • Food Technologist
  • Health Care Aide
  • Health Educator
  • Home Economist
  • International Aid Worker
  • Laboratory Manager
  • Medical Writer or Blogger
  • Food Product Developer
  • Product Manager
  • Public Health Director
  • Public Health Nutritionist
  • Quality Control Specialist
  • Regulatory Affairs Manager
  • Registered Nurse
  • Research Chef
  • Research Assistant
  • Retail Sales Associate
  • Sales Representative
  • Sensory Scientist
  • University Professor
  • Wellness Coordinator
nutrition certification online - Wellness Simplified. Happy and Healthy Eating – Udemy

7. New Skills Academy - Introduction to Sports Nutrition Certification

If you want to obtain a certification for health and Nutrition with an emphasis on sport nutrition, this is the course for you.  New Skills Academy offers this Intro to Sports Nutrition Certification in four complete modules.  This is great as the first building blocks for sports nutrition, especially those working with athletes.

Those four modules are:

  1. Module 01: Introduction and Carbohydrates
  2. Module 02: Proteins
  3. Module 03: Fats
  4. Module 04: Hydration, Vitamins and Minerals

Let’s talk about a sports nutritionist for a minute.  If you want to know what they do, a sports nutritionist is responsible for teaching athletes and fitness enthusiasts effective ways to improve their health, optimize their performance and manage their weight.  This is a massively growing field as more and more people are moving into the space of conscious and healthy eating.  If you’re a personal training, this angle of nutrition certification is perfect for solidifying your knowledge of what your clients needs are.

Nutritionists in general may advise individuals on various dietary practices.  Sports nutritionists incorporate not only dietary practices but also include exercise along with the use of vitamins, minerals and various forms of supplements.

Check out this great course at New Skill Academy and see if it’s the right fit for your goals of becoming a certified nutritionist.

nutrition certification online - New Skills Academy – Intro to Sports Nutrition Certification

Who makes more money, a dietitian or a nutritionist?

People often get confused between dietitians and nutritionists, so they tend to use the terms synonymously. The main difference between the two is their legal restrictions. Only those nutritionists who register and certify under the Commission on Dietetic Registration can call themselves dietitians or registered dietitians, professionally. Nutritionists, unlike dietitians, are less protected under the law. But they are free from any government regulation.

Now, if you ask who earns more, we need to look into the data provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nutritionists typically earn less than a dietitian because they dietitians tend to have more education and credentials than nutritionists.  According to dietitians make approx. $50-$75K a year (2020).  Check out this article for more details on how much nutritionists make.  

Bottom Line

Now you may think that if you are a certified nutritionist, it will be a smooth ride right into a new job. It is not as easy as it sounds. If you are determined to start a career in dietetics and nutrition, then it is essential that you do a bit of research on the ways in which you can make your dream job an actual profession. You’ll need to choose the correct curriculum or course, so really take a look at the programs we’ve listed above. 

You’ll also need a good understanding on what it means to be professionally certified, how you go about getting certified, and who earns more, a dietitian or a nutritionist. We offered all of that and more, above. 

If you successfully complete health and nutrition course from any of the above programs, you’ll become a certified nutritionist. You may also be known as a clinical nutritionist, FYI. You’ll become highly qualified in your chose career and you’ll gain the power to structure and design diet plans for your patients or clients depending on how nutrition or food impacts their body, biochemically. Your clients may have illnesses brought about by metabolic problems, digestive problems, poor immunity, the impact of by-products on the human body, and the response of the brain to certain chemicals. You’ll be tasked with designing individual diet plans for each of your clients because everyone has different health issues; cookie cutter diet plans just won’t work

Where you want to work will depend on your specialization. Based on your specialization, a certified nutritionist can work in various settings. We’ve gone through many of the places you’ll be able to practice your specialization above. 

If you are a holistic nutritionist, you’ll need to understand the intersection between the science of food, the art of nutrition, and a blend of the two to solve your client’s health issue. Healthy food and nutrients in food will determine the level of fuel powering your clients’ body and any imbalance in an area will lead to a disturbance in another. So, applying a whole-body approach is crucial to gain and maintain a healthy, balanced, and long life. That is the most important goal of any nutritionist or dietitian. If you aren’t certified yet, we have a great article on getting certified in holistic nutrition!

Nutrition and health are serious business; there is a huge need out there for food and nutrition guidance. We wish you all the luck on your new career plan.

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