Nutritionist Smiling

Ever wonder what the Difference is Between a Holistic Nutritionist and a Dietitian?

There is some confusion about the difference between a holistic nutritionist and a dietitian. Holistic nutrition is a holistic health approach that is often part of a comprehensive healthcare plan. On the other hand, dietitians provide information about how to adhere to the dietary recommendations Canada’s Food Guide food pyramid. For people with health concerns seeking professional guidance about diet, it is important to understand the goals of both holistic nutritionists and dietitians in order to choose the healthcare professional who can provide the best advice.

Holistic Nutrition

Holistic nutrition adheres to the principles of healthy food choices as part of a balanced life with minimal stress. Mealtimes are for the enjoyment of wholesome, nutritious foods surrounded by family and friends. In addition, holistic nutrition focuses on the health of the soil that produces the food, as well as the health of the planet. The belief is that food grown in soil polluted with toxins will be depleted of nutrients necessary for a healthy diet.

Holistic Nutrition Diagnostic Tools

Holistic nutritionists make recommendations for balancing your diet by incorporating more whole foods. They use diagnostic tools like live cell microscopy, which magnifies a drop of blood to 1,000 times under a microscope and provides instant images via a video camera and monitor. The test results can reveal a client’s nutrition status by disclosing information like low levels of iron, fatty acids, protein, folic acid and Vitamin B 12. Live cell microscopy can also show liver stress, harmful bacteria and incomplete digestion of fats and proteins. By conducting tests on live cells in the blood, the holistic nutritionist can make an individualized recommendation to correct sub-optimal patterns before they manifest as disease.


Like nutritionists, Registered Dietitians are food and nutrition experts who assess a client’s health needs and counsel them on healthy eating habits and nutrition issues. Dietitians generally follow the traditional food pyramid recommended by the government. Registered dietitians typically use the Canada’s Food Guide and calorie requirement to make recommendations for diet. They do not necessarily emphasize the link between diet and disease as nutritionists do.

Which One Should You Choose?

If you believe you may have food sensitivity issues and feel that diet is really the key to true health, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist may be able to help. Holistic nutritionists help people with food combining and supplements like probiotics to solve dietary problems. Their knowledge of the proper acid/alkaline balance and their use of homeopathy contribute to a holistic approach for optimum wellness. On the other hand in some instances your doctor may recommend you to a registered dietitian for advice on a specific medical condition that requires you to make specific dietary changes. In this case a dietitian may be covered under your personal health care plan as these professionals sometimes qualify if they are working in conjunction with your medical doctor.

*Article courtesy Edison Institute of Nutrition