This question is often followed by “Are you a dietician?” There are three levels of nutrition practitioners working in this field: dieticians, nutritional therapists, and fitness professionals or spas that offer nutrition add-ons.
A dietician, or Registered Dietician, is a licensed, regulated health professional. The degree takes about 8 years of schooling, plus internships. Most dieticians work directly with hospitals, or health units, and give medical dietary advice for health conditions. It is rare to find a dietician that will offer one on one nutritional advice at an affordable rate. If you need medical, nutritional assistance, please be referred to a dietician through your family doctor.
Nutritional Therapist, or Nutritionists, are the mid-level piece of the nutrition hierarchy. Sometimes they are called “Holistic Nutritionist”, or other similar terms. These titles are not regulated, and so you should do your research on their training before choosing a practitioner. Many of the diplomas offered in Nutritional Therapy are not accredited by outside organizations. At HealX Nutrition, our therapist has two diplomas from accredited institutions, and has two university degrees, including a professional Education degree from the University of Toronto, as well.
Nutritional therapists are the best choice for helping with your day-to-day lifestyle changes that will improve your health.
Finally, there is nutrition advice from a gym, or a spa. These add-ons may be the cheapest, however, the programs are rarely developed for your individual needs, and may not be offered by people with any training in nutrition. Very often they are designed to sell a supplement product that the gym or spa carries, and therefore the primary goal is sales, not necessarily your best health.