I am often asked what the difference is between a Holistic Nutritionist and a Dietitian. There tends to be quite a bit of confusion about each profession, especially since the two titles are sometimes interchanged and there is a lot of commentary stating “well, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist”. In this article I will explain how a Certified Holistic Nutritionist differs from a Registered Dietitian so you can see how the services provided by Certified Holistic Nutritionists work hand-in-hand with the work that you are doing with your Naturopathic Doctor or other holistic healthcare practitioner.
What Is Holistic Nutrition?
Holistic Nutrition is a natural approach to health and wellness that incorporates evidence-based methods of diet, lifestyle and detoxification. The ultimate goal of a Holistic Nutritionist is to “catch and keep health” for our clients as opposed to just “chasing disease” and trying to keep symptoms under control. Holistic Nutritionists work very closely with their clients and see each and every one as an individual with unique needs, treating the person as a whole rather than just focusing on one piece of the puzzle or taking a “one size fits all” approach to a specific health concern. They conduct a thorough analysis of the complete history of their clients, including not only diet history but emotional history, exposure to environmental toxins, work, lifestyle habits and more. Holistic Nutritionists are highly trained and can help with a number of health issues including:
- Digestive imbalances
- Diabetes and Blood Sugar Management
- Inflammatory Conditions
- Weakened Immune System
- Chronic Pain/Arthritis
- Disease prevention (i.e. cancer/osteoporosis/cardiovascular disease)
- Hormone issues
- Low energy
Holistic Nutritionist Certification
Holistic Nutritionists are not yet government regulated, so it is very important that you work with someone who has a certification behind their name. Certified Nutritional Practitioners (CNPs) are holistic nutritionists with a diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition which is recognized and approved by the Certified Nutritional Practitioners Council of Canada (CNPCC).
Certified Holistic Nutritionists (CNPs) are highly trained practitioners. In order to receive their certification, they spend hundreds of hours in the classroom after which they are required to complete a lengthy internship with an already established holistic practitioner. Some of the many subjects that CNPs study include:
- Fundamentals of Nutrition
- Anatomy & Physiology
- Advanced Nutrition Research
- Herbal Medicine
- Prevention of Disease
- Pathology of Disease
- Nutrition and the Environment
- Psychology of Disease
- Nutritional Symptomatology
- Holistic Food Preparation