Dietitian vs. Nutritionists – What’s the Difference?

by | Mar 6, 2021 | Nutrition | 0 comments

There’s a lot of confusion about the difference between dietitians and nutritionists.

At Verdure Wellness Clinic, it’s important to us that you’re informed. In this blog post we are going to spell out some of the key differences between registered dieticians and nutritionists. There are pros and cons to working with practitioners in both these health fields.

Learn more about our Nutrition Services!


Registered Dietitians (RD)


Dietitians in Ontario have completed a undergraduate in applied human nutrition as well as either a Master’s in nutrition or a 1 year internship.

Once they have completed those steps, in order to become licensed they need to pass a rigorous dietitics exam.


Dietitians are a regulated profession in Ontario. That means they must adhere to guidelines set by the College of Dietitians of Ontario when working with clients.

They are required to follow Canada’s Food Guide, while adjusting for the individuals’ needs and preferences.

While some dietitians may prescribe vitamin supplements if a nutrient deficiency is suspected, most focus solely on food, and are not allowed to prescribe herbal or nutraceutical supplements.


Dietitians tend to follow Canada’s Food Guide and put a heavy emphasis on education including portion sizes and label reading.

They also help clients manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease with therapeutic diets and are able to interpret blood work.

They do not typically support individuals with food sensitivities or allergies, however they are trained in supporting individuals with Celiac Disease, for example.



Education and Regulation:

In Ontario, nutritionists do not have a governing college and do not need to attend a university level program.

However, many do have degrees, extensive education and knowledge of nutrition and the human body.

Many nutritionists opt to register with IONC or CANNP which requires ongoing education and training in order to upgrade their education and knowledge.

Nutritionists vary extensively in their educational background, qualifications and approach to treatment.

For example, some nutritionists may have a university degree and are comfortable interpreting blood work, while others have opted to complete a college program through the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.


Nutritionists practise style, tools, and recommendations can vary widely. Some nutritionists focus in a certain area, while others are more general practitioners. 

At Verdure our Nutritionists:

Take a functional medicine approach: they help clients discover the root causes of their health concerns and support them with making dietary and lifestyle changes to optimize their health. This may include functional testing including hormones, stool tests and IgG food sensitivity testing.

They take whole-person holistic approach meaning they support their clients in all aspects of their health: physical, mental-emotional, exercise, mindset and more. We discuss your motivations for change, and work on removing barriers that are preventing you from making progress.⠀

They recommend personalized supplement protocols: evidence-based, professional line supplements including vitamins and herbs to support their client’s health goals with a root cause healing approach

They edcuate their client on how to use food as medicine: how to balance blood sugar for energy, how to reduce pain and inflammation by increasing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods and reducing sugar.


Learn more about our nutrition team! 

Meet Our Nutritionists

Holly Bradich: BSc, RNCP

Holly’s areas of focus include digestive health and mental wellness: the gut brain connection.

She is passionate about staying up to date on the latest research on digestive health conditions such as IBS and empowers her clients to understand their body and the root cause of their chronic health issues.

Holly builds personalized evdience-based protocols that include realistic, small changes that work for your busy lifestyle.


Taryn Guzik, BA, CNP

Taryn’s area of focus is women’s hormonal health: including PMS, dysmennorhea, PCOS, fertility and perimenopause.

She is passionate about educating and empowering her clients to use food as medicine and building daily habits that support balanced hormones.

Taryn builds personalized evidence-based protocols that empower women to take charge of their hormonal health.


Melanie Thomas nutritionist

Melanie Thomas: CNP, RNCP, ROHP

Melanie has been practicing for over 7 years with a focus in digestive health, chronic disease, and autoimmune conditions.

She uses biomeridian testing to test for food sensitivities, organ health and gut microbes.

She is passionate about staying up to date on the latest immune research and supporting her clients with simple dietary and lifestyle changes.

She often highlights the connection between emotions and the body including exercises to restore imbalances and achieve optimal physical and emotional wellness.


Verdure Wellness Clinic in Waterloo, ON offers naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, nutrition consulting, counselling, massage therapy and chiropractic care. Our team of health practitioners offer a variety of services with your best health and wellness in mind.

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