What is the difference between a Registered Holistic Nutritionist & a Registered Dietitian?
When I tell people I am a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I often get asked, “What’s the difference between a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.) and a Registered Dietitian (RD)?” While both healthcare practitioners working in related fields, there are distinct differences as well.
Here at Alongside You, you’ve been familiar with our Registered Dietitian, Annie Tsang. I’ve recently joined the clinic as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.) and wanted to introduce myself as well as let you know how I can help you achieve your health goals.
Let’s start by explaining the differences between an R.H.N. and an RD.
What is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist?
It is worthwhile to note that there are different nutritionists out there. Each coming from a different school with varying program lengths and certified differently. The term Holistic Nutritionist is an unregulated term.
In Vancouver, there are two schools that certify holistic nutritionists: the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.
I graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN) and am certified as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.) with a Natural Nutrition Diploma. Because I haven’t been to the Institute of Holistic Nutrition (IHN), I will only speak to my experiences as an R.H.N. from CSNN. To complete my program, I completed case studies, did a board exam, and am registered with the CSNNAA (CSNN Alumni Association).
As an R.H.N., I follow a Code of Ethics:
“The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition has as its mission the education of the individual in the principles of holistic healthcare and the principles of natural nutrition, to further the well-being of people and the healing of planet Earth.”
As Holistic Nutritionist, I use evidence-based and science-based tools to help guide clients through their health goals and concerns. Recommendations include dietary, lifestyle, and supplementation changes.
Like most holistic health care practitioners, I look at an individual as a whole. That’s why recommendations don’t only include dietary changes. An R.H.N. looks at your complete health history, current diet, and lifestyle habits. We take into account how stressed you are, are you sleeping, are you exercising, etc. Through our intake process, we work with the root cause to identify imbalances in the body and make recommendations based on all of that.
For dietary recommendations, I take a whole foods approach with the belief that natural nutrition is a tool in preventing diseases and bringing the body back into balance.
What is a Registered Dietitian?
Registered Dietitians have regulated professions that register with a provincial dietetic regulatory body.
In BC, most RDs graduate from the UBC Nutrition Program with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Food, Nutrition, and Health. In the program, an RD takes courses on nutrition, general science, and agricultural science. In the fourth year of the program, they take a few nutrition courses. RDs use the Canadian Food Guide as a tool to help their clients. The Canadian Food Guide is based solely on science and suggests that everyone’s nutritional requirements are the same. Because they are regulated, they are covered by most healthcare benefits programs.
How can I help you?
As an R.H.N., I can help with:
- Chronic pain management
- Chronic fatigue
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Disease prevention
- Digestive issues
- Hormonal imbalances
- Mood imbalances
- Stress and sleep issues
- Weight loss
It is important to note that I do not treat, cure, or heal any diseases.
As an R.H.N. and a Certified Yoga Teacher, I blend both modalities in my recommendations to help my clients achieve their health goals. I use my knowledge I can help with 1:1 health coaching, weekly meal planning, and group support sessions.
Are your services covered by my benefits plan?
Currently, holistic nutrition services are covered under some healthcare benefits plans as “Nutritional Counselling”. Companies such as Greenshield and Manulife will cover my services. However, you will need to check your benefits plans to see if nutritional counselling is covered.
Get in touch
Curious what it’s like to work with me? I offer free 15-minute consultations. Call the office at (604) 283-7827 ext. 0 to book your consultation to see how we can work together!