Who should you see: a dietician or nutritionist? When people decide that it is time seek help from a health care professional when making a diet meal plan, this is the first question they ask. Will a nutritionist online be able to offer me more help, or is it a dietician that helps create diet meal plans? Is one better than the other, or are they the same? The answer is that they are not the same. While there is some overlap, a dietician and a nutritionist have different roles. That doesn’t mean one is better than the other, however.
Both dieticians and nutritionists will help you determine a healthy meal plan that will meet your nutritional needs and goals. They also work with those who require specialized diets due to cultural or medical needs. At the end of the day, the goal of a dietician or nutritionist is to get you eating healthier. So, what is the difference between a dietician and nutritionist? In Ontario, one is a protected term and the other is not. To call yourself a dietician in Ontario, you must meet certain educational criteria and be registered with the College of Dieticians of Ontario. As a member of the College, you are expected to follow set standards and practices and not deviate from them. Only members of the College can legally call themselves a registered dietician or RD. In contrast, the term nutritionist is not a protected term in Ontario. That being said, nutritionists tend to follow a more holistic and naturopathic approach.
The most important things to consider when choosing a dietician or nutritionist is trust, communication, and comfort. If you feel comfortable with the person and trust that they will guide you in your quest for a healthier lifestyle, than follow your instincts. Regardless of protected terms, a good dietician or nutritionist will act as an information hub on healthy eating, guide you past the pitfalls you need to avoid, and inspire you to keep going.
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