What exactly is a Holistic Nutritionist?
I get this question a lot since it is a fairly new term within the alternative health field.
Before I explain what a holistic nutritionist is, I would like to explain the difference between a dietician and a nutritionist.
Dieticians and qualified nutritionists are both experts in the use of food and nutrition to promote health and manage disease. They both advise people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or achieve a specific health-related goal.
What about schooling?
Dieticians earn a related Bachelor’s Degree at an accredited university, then typically complete an internship or practice program at a health care facility, food service company, hospital, or other organization. Upon completion of their internship, dieticians need to pass a national examination to become a registered dietitian (RD).
In both Canada and the US, nutritionists are not as regulated as dieticians. They can come from a variety of educational backgrounds. In Canada, the title ‘Nutritionist’ is regulated by some provinces (Quebec, Nova Scotia and Alberta) but in other provinces and in the US it does not require any specific training.
There are however, protected titles such as Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP) in Canada and Certified Nutritional Specialist (CNS) or Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN) in the US which signifies that educational requirements to achieve these titles have been met.
So what is a Holistic Nutritionist?
Qualified holistic nutritionists (CNP, CNS or CCN designation) are experts in the use of food and nutrition to promote health and manage disease. In addition, they are also trained to develop plans that, along with nutrition, consider the mental, emotional, environmental and spiritual/energetic aspects of an individual and how these may contribute to health or disease.
This means that a qualified holistic nutritionist will consider more than just the food you eat when developing your health and wellness plan. In addition to nutrition, they will also address these other aspects of your life to help produce the best health and wellness outcome possible.
So, if you are considering working with a dietician, a nutritionist or a holistic nutritionist be sure to check that they are qualified (have an RD, CNP, CNS or CCN designation) first. Which one you choose will depend on whether you wish to focus on diet alone or take a more integrative approach to health and healing. I must admit that I am a little biased here since I am a qualified holistic nutritionist.
Beyond qualifications, choose someone who you can trust and feel you could develop a rapport with on your heath and wellness journey.
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Eat Well, Feel Well, Live Well,
Kristine Hons. BSc, CNP