WHAT IS A Nutrition Practitioner?
A Nutrition Practitioner is an individual that provides nutritional services to the general public, in non-clinical settings. A Nutrition Practitioner would use the latest science-based approaches to recommend to individuals healthy food choices that will meet their nutritional needs, whether they be to live a balanced lifestyle, train for a sport, lose body fat, gain muscle, or to navigate a dietary restriction or sensitivity.
A Nutrition Practitioner’s role is:
- to provide education about general and specific nutritional information
- to design meal plans specific to an individual’s goals and lifestyle
- to coach clients through successful behaviour change, as it relates to food intake
How is a Nutrition Practitioner different from a Registered Dietician (RD)?
A Nutrition Practitioner differs from a Registered Dietician, in that Nutrition Practitioners are not regulated, and hence can’t work within the public sector (ie. public hospitals and clinics). Also, Nutrition Practitioners are not educated on working with people that are recovering from surgery or those that are suffering from critical medical conditions. These individuals would typically be housed in a hospital and would be guided towards recovery, by a Registered Dietician, among other medical professionals. Registered Dieticians must complete a 4-year Nutrition-specific degree, a 1-year practicum and pass a designation examination before they can practice in their field.
How is a general Nutrition Practitioner different from a Holistic Nutrition Practitioner?
In holistic nutrition, science is combined with traditional practices. Unlike Holistic Nutrition Practitioners, general Nutrition Practitioners will only base the advice that they give clients, on scientific research, and are not taught about traditional practices.
Also, the remedies that Holistic Nutrition Practitioners can provide to their clients are limited to only natural solutions. General Nutrition Practitioners would be able to advise on natural, as well as on, chemical solutions (ie. processed foods, chemical supplements).
Additionally, with holistic nutrition, aside from focusing on the body, there’s also attention given to the mind and soul/energy (i.e. the whole being). With general Nutrition, only the physical body is targeted, rather than the overall well-being of an individual. General Nutrition Practitioners are advised to refer a client with psychological and/or spiritual needs to other complementary professionals.