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Like many other services, nutrition counseling has become more readily available online through various telehealth platforms. Whether you are looking for guidance on how to manage specific health conditions through diet or want to focus on achieving long-term lifestyle changes for general wellness, online nutrition coaches are available to help you meet your goals.
The process of finding a nutrition coach who is well-qualified can be overwhelming since there are so many available online, including many who might not have the appropriate expertise. We've done the work for you and highlighted the best online nutrition coaching practices available around the country.
Best Overall: Nashville Nutrition Partners
Why We Chose It: Nashville Nutrition Partners provides virtual nutrition counseling through a team of expert RDNs with a range of specialties.
Team includes all RDNs
Extensive range of specialties and qualifications
Services not available in every state
Nashville Nutrition Partners (NNP) provides individualized virtual nutrition counseling in a selection of states around the country. Individual coverages will vary based on insurance plans and state of residence, but NNP offers a free “insight session” to help guide you through this process and determine your eligibility. NNP has a team of 11 registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) who boast a range of specialties and certifications. During the insight session with a client care coordinator, clients are paired with a dietitian based on individualized needs.
NNP can help clients with a variety of medical conditions including diabetes management, metabolic syndrome, eating disorders and disordered eating, PCOS, fertility and pregnancy, and autoimmune conditions, as well as give guidance on functional and integrative nutrition and intuitive eating. NNP prides itself on its non-diet Health At Every Size (HAES) approach, which “promotes balanced eating, life-enhancing physical activity, and respect for the diversity of body shapes and sizes.” NNP looks at the whole person rather than just body weight, emphasizing the value in self-care and all areas that impact health such as social, behavioral, and psychological factors. It employs Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) to treat patients with chronic diseases by focusing on nutrition.
NNP accepts a variety of insurance partners, but for anyone paying out of pocket, a 55-minute session is $140. There are discounted rates on packages of three and six sessions.
Best for Lifestyle Changes: OnPoint Nutrition
Why We Chose It: OnPoint Nutrition offers virtual counseling nationwide with long-term packages and around-the-clock support to help clients meet their goals.
24/7 access to a nutritionist
User-friendly online resources, features, and tools
Variety of experts
No single sessions or small packages available
Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, OnPoint Nutrition is a team of nutritionists who work with clients virtually across the U.S. Its team consists of eight RDNs, three nutritionists, and one registered nurse. OnPoint Nutrition is qualified to counsel clients in a variety of areas, including digestive health, prediabetes and diabetes, PCOS, and general wellness. Its virtual platform hosts a variety of user-friendly features and tools like easy ways to log daily foods, customized tips, healthy recipes, meal planning guides, and much more. As a client, you will also have 24/7 access to your appointed nutritionist and the ability to connect with other clients for additional support.
OnPoint Nutrition does not offer single sessions because it feels strongly that creating sustainable change takes time, guidance, and support, particularly for weight management goals and lifestyle changes. The practice will work with a client for a minimum of 11 sessions over 20 weeks, with packages starting at $315 (its most popular package is listed as $625). OnPoint Nutrition is in-network with several insurance companies, but coverage varies by state.
Best for Personalized Coaching: Culina Health
Why We Chose It: Culina Health offers personalized nutrition counseling and medical nutrition therapy for lifestyle wellness.
Well-credentialed health coaches
Personalized plans that focus on sustainable change
In-network with several major insurance companies
Higher price points for self-pay
Founded in the New York City metropolitan area by two RDNs, Tamara Samuels, MS, RD and Vannessa Risetto, MS, RD in 2020, Culina Health offers virtual nutrition counseling for long-lasting lifestyle changes. In addition to being RDNs, Samuels is a national board-certified health and wellness coach and Rissetto serves as the dietetic internship director at New York University. Culina, meaning “kitchen” in Latin, emphasizes education that starts in the kitchen. Clients will not only be able to receive one-on-one nutrition coaching, but they'll also get the support of shopping lists, meal plans, and lifestyle tips that foster healthy habits. The team will work with you to create a personalized plan, including a supplement routine, with science-backed education to help you understand your body, optimize your relationship with food, and transform your health.
Culina Health makes it easy to book an appointment online with a member of its team, which includes eight health coaches, all RDNs. Clients will receive access to a mobile health app which they can use for support in between sessions. Culina Health works with clients on a frequent basis (weekly or biweekly) over several months in order to create lasting change. Culina Health is in-network with several large insurance plans and will assist clients through this process of checking coverage. For those paying out-of-pocket, an initial session is priced at $225 and packages are also available.
Best for Integrative Medicine: FRESH Med
Why We Chose It: Founded by a Harvard-trained physician and certified health coach, FRESH Med takes an integrative approach to conventional medicine.
Combination of integrative and conventional medicine
Holistic approach to wellness with patient-centered approach
Uniquely qualified expertise
Virtual and in-person counseling available
Not in-network with insurance companies
High price point for initial session
Founded by husband and wife team chef Dr. Robert Graham, MD, MPH and certified health coach Julie Graham, FRESH Med is an integrative health practice based in New York City that takes a patient-centered, preventative holistic approach to health and wellness. As a Harvard-trained, dual-certified physician with over 15 years of experience in internal and integrative medicine, Dr. Graham has expertise in using clinical nutrition and integrative medicine to manage chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, thyroid conditions, and obesity, so clients can either reduce medications, minimize side effects, or supplement conventional medicine.
Dr. Graham and his wife focus on the “FRESH 5”: food, relaxation, exercise, sleep, and happiness as pillars of health. Julie Graham is also a registered yoga teacher, positive psychology practitioner, and is certified in meditation and aromatherapy to help clients set FRESH goals. The focus of the practice is primarily digestive health (aka gut health), but many clients are also seen for diabetes management and weight loss. FRESH Med is not in-network with insurance but can provide invoices for reimbursement for those with out-of-network benefits. Clients will receive a complimentary 15-minute discovery call and, once a session is booked, a comprehensive consultation with diagnostic testing and food review is $450. FRESH Med will work with a lab close to your home or office to conduct the testing.
There is a variety of virtual health coaches and nutritionists available online, but it is important to make sure you find the practice that is the right fit for you. OnPoint Nutrition is ideal for those seeking long-term support for weight management or other health conditions that require sustained lifestyle changes. Culina Health is our pick for personalized coaching and, in particular, guidance with supplements. We like FRESH Med for its holistic integrative approach and love that its co-founder is a board-certified physician in both internal and integrative medicine as well as a professionally trained chef. Nashville Nutrition Partners is our pick for best overall because of its wide breadth of expertise in medical nutrition therapy as well as its commitment to the Health At Every Size approach to counseling.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Difference Between a Health Coach and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)?
Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are nationally recognized food and nutrition experts who are qualified to provide medical nutrition therapy for certain diseases and conditions in addition to general counseling for overall health and wellness. An RDN is the only accredited professional allowed to provide nutrition services through medical nutrition therapy that is eligible for patient insurance reimbursement. A bachelor’s degree is required to become an RDN, but in 2024 this will change to a master's degree. In addition, RDNs must apply to and complete a rigorous accredited dietetic internship program (a minimum of 1,200 hours of supervised practice) prior to being eligible to sit for the national board registration exam. RDNs also must complete 75 hours of continuing education units (CEUs) every five years to maintain certification. The Commission on Dietetic Registration is an excellent resource for more information.
The label “health coach” is not as tightly regulated as RDN credentials, but there is a nationally recognized certification program known as the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC), which has established professional standards and partnered with the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) to provide a board-certified exam for certification. Board-certified health and wellness coaches use integrative approaches to wellness with combinations of evidence-based methods for behavior change and positive techniques that consider all facets of one’s life and lifestyle. Health and wellness coaches often are dieticians, but others are nurses, fitness professionals, and doctors. The training is not as extensive or as clinically-based as the training for RDNs.
There is also a certification (not covered in the practices highlighted here), known as a certified nutrition specialist (CNS), which focuses on personalized nutrition therapy and also requires extensive training and supervised practice experience.
No matter who you choose to work with, the key is to understand the professional’s credentials and experience to determine if they are qualified to meet your needs.
What Is Medical Nutrition Therapy?
Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is an evidence-based medical approach to treating chronic disease (i.e. heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, obesity) through nutrition, implemented by an RDN. Many RDNs provide MNT in a clinical setting such as a hospital or an acute or long-term care facility, but MNT can also be provided in a private practice or multidisciplinary healthcare center as well as through telehealth. MNT is widely covered through insurance plans.
Do I Need to Be Concerned About Privacy Using a Virtual Platform?
We recommend discussing this with each practitioner if you have specific concerns, but there are a variety of telehealth platforms used in virtual counseling that are HIPAA compliant to protect patient privacy.
How We Chose the Best Online Nutrition Coaches
Extensive research was done to review dozens of nutrition coaches that offer telehealth services nationwide. Final selections were chosen based on the qualifications and experience of the team members, breadth of expertise, approach to nutrition counseling, client resources, and insurance coverage. Customer reviews and recommendations from registered dietitians and nutrition professionals were also considered. For example, OnPoint Nutrition stands out for its 24/7 support and variety of online tools and resources. Culina Health offers excellent expertise in personalized nutrition with its team of RDNs and certified health and wellness coaches. FRESH Med is recognized for its patient-centered holistic approach to health and is the only practice highlighted that has a physician and health coach on staff. Lastly, Nashville Nutrition Partners was chosen for its expertise in MNT and its emphasis on weight inclusivity.