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What is the difference between a Dietitian and a Holistic Nutritionist?

While Dietitians and Registered Holistic Nutritionists™ (also called Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant™ Professionals, Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultants™, Certified Holistic Nutritionist™ ) both promote health through food and nutrition, the basic differences between the two fields fall into three categories: education, recognition and approach.


Dietitians - go through a university level dietetic program capped off with an internship year in a hospital.

Holistic Nutritionist - go through a college level program and their 'practicum' consists of a number of real-life clients as case studies, guided by a practitioner more experienced in Holistic Nutrition.


Dietitians - are regulated by a provincial college, and professional fees are covered by Ontario Provincial Plan (OHIP) and many private plans

Holistic Nutritionists - are not regulated by a provincial college, but they are regulated by the school they are trained by CSNN.


Dietitians - they tend follow a more mainstream approach focusing on reducing the symptoms of disease using government sanctioned food protocols. They tend to excel at providing a food plan that meets nutritional needs from a macro and micronutrient standpoint. Also, being a regulated industry, they enjoy less room for flexibility and experimentation based on the needs and situation of their individual clients.

Holistic Nutritionists - are trained to be holistic thinkers. They are trained in the nutritional needs of the human body but are encouraged to go beneath protocol and diagnoses, to consider multiple factors that influence health, and to focus on strengthening the interconnections between the body systems using food.

When you understand the differences, you'll see there is room for Dietitians and Holistic Nutritionist. What matters most is that you choose the care and the practitioner that resonates with you, can meet your needs and can help you reach your most optimal state of health.

If you would like to talk to me directly, I offer a FREE Discovery call to meet me :)

In Good Health, Wellness, and Love

-Donna Rivard

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