What is the Difference Between a Holistic Nutritionist and a Dietician?

There is some confusion about the difference between a holistic nutritionist and a dietician. Holistic nutrition is a holistic health approach that is often part of a comprehensive healthcare plan. On the other hand, dieticians 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 dieticians 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 suboptimal patterns before they manifest as disease.


Like nutritionists, Registered Dieticians are food and nutrition experts who assess a client’s health needs and counsel them on healthy eating habits and nutrition issues. Dieticians generally follow the traditional food pyramid recommended by the government. Registered dieticians 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 dietician for advice on a specific medical condition that requires you to make specific dietary changes. In this case a dietician may be covered under your personal health care plan as these professionals sometimes qualify if they are working in conjunction with your medical doctor.

6 thoughts on “What is the Difference Between a Holistic Nutritionist and a Dietician?”

  1. I have a number of health issues that are weight related. In the process of researching whether or not I should see a Nutritional consultant or a dietician.

  2. The description provided about a dietitian….not dietician….is simply not true.

    Dietitians are the most qualified, globally recognized, REGULATED nutrition practitioners to conduct assessments & develop nutrition care plans, as evidenced by a minimum 4 years (Canada, UK, Australia) or 5 years (USA, starting in 2021) and at least 1200 hours of practicum training in clinical, community, specialized practice, communications, business, food service, and many other areas of practice.

    Providing narrow viewpoints and spreading misinformation, as you have, further demonstrates incompetence.


    A registered dietitian.

  3. These articles are in no way intended to discredit dietitians or to spread lies. Both articles do state the difference in training and the focus of each profession. Dietitians are regulated clinicians because their scope of practice may cause harm. They can work in hospitals where they are required to oversee the feeding of critically ill people such as those with degenerative disease or premature babies. A wrong decision on their part in this scenario, within their scope of practice, poses the risk for harm.
    Government regulation is not designed to confer validity of the methods or value of any profession. It merely seeks to limit the potential for harm from the methods of a profession. Dietitians are part of the conventional medical community and therefore, operate with a different mandate which is to set and enforce standards for safe, ethical and competent dietetic practice which includes providing advice and counseling about diet, food and nutrition in accordance to Canada’s Food Guide or the US equivalent MyPlate.
    Holistic nutrition is a special combination of modern science and time-tested wisdom based on the philosophy that each person has unique nutritional requirements in consideration of body, mind and spirit. There is no confusion for members of the public who seek the services of a holistic nutritionist as they know they are not seeing a dietitian and have chosen a holistic nutritionist specifically to access the unique services they provide.

  4. Thank you for clarifying the difference between a dietition and a Holistic Nutritionist.

    Where would a Holistic Nutritionist work…private practise or health industry?
    Could you write something about the overall nature of practice?

    I am a wellness teacher offering programs in complementary health practices, Hypnotherapy and Reiki and want to add nutrition to clients

  5. Hi Elaine, thank you for your inquiry. Holistic Nutritionist, work in private practice or in a clinical setting with other practitioners such as chiropractors, massage therapy, osteopaths, homeopaths, medical and dental doctors ND’s. The could work in a corporate setting providing individual or group programs, the fitness industry. Many teach in colleges or private schools offering wellness education. Some run cooking courses, TV/radio programs and write for health magazines. There are many avenues that a nutritionist can take. If you are interested in becoming a holistic nutritionist please view our Diploma Program info here: https://www.edisoninst.com/our-programs/holistic-nutrition/diploma-in-holistic-nutrition/ Nutrition is the foundation of our health and must with every modality! Keep up the good work!

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