What’s the difference between a dietitian and a holistic nutritionist?
The titles Registered Dietitian, R.D., Dietitian, Registered Nutritionist and Nutritionist are protected by law through provincial legislation. Only practitioners who have met education qualifications and are members of the College of Dietitians of Alberta can use those titles. A Dietitian is a health professional who has a bachelor’s degree specializing in foods and nutrition, as well as a period of practical training in a hospital or community setting. Many dietitians further their knowledge by pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree.
The term Nutritionist is only recently protected by law in Alberta. Previously, practitioners with any level of training and knowledge could call themselves “nutritionists” in Alberta. While the title Nutritionist is protected for dietitians in some provinces, it is not protected all across Canada.
Terms such as Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Nutritional Practioner, and many others do NOT indicate the person is a provincially regulated health professional. As the Dietitians of Canada (2016) website states, “they are used by those who have completed training programs that vary in length and rigor and are privately owned. Such training programs are not delivered or accredited by a recognized institution.”
You should contact your provincial regulatory body to ensure that the services you receive are from a qualified dietitian.
For more information, read the full Dietitians of Canada article on Dietitians and Nutritionists.
Why should I see a dietitian? Can’t I just go on a diet?
Research shows that diets help you lose weight initially but do not help with long-term weight management.
Our dietitians will teach you skills for life. They also provide the support that fad diets do not.
Further, many people see dietitians for a variety of reasons besides weight loss. Sports nutrition, disease management, and corporate wellness are just a few of the services we offer.
Why does it cost so much?
Our pricing is in line with industry standards.
The cost covers more than just your visit. Your dietitian must put in time and resources to research and develop a plan for you. Often three to four hours “behind the scenes” time goes along with your one hour session.
Does my benefits plan cover the cost?
Various extended health benefit plans cover dietitian services, in full or in part.
The following insurance companies/programs provide up-front coverage:
- Warren Shepell Employee Assistance Program
The following insurance companies/programs may provide third-party reimbursement:
- Blue Cross
- Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance
- Great West Life
- Liberty Health
- Manulife Financial
- Sun life
Discuss your eligibility with your health benefits provider.
* We are now recognized as a Veterans Affairs Canada approved provider