What's a Nutritionist?

"Health is wealth" and as my dear father said once at the dinner table to my sister and I, "If you don't have your health, you have nothing." A bit extreme but there is much truth to the statement I discovered in my life thus far.


There is an overwhelming amount of health information:

  • We can access it on-demand, even at 3am, in bed or bath

  • It is thrown at us unsuspectingly through social media; do we scroll, swipe or stop?

  • It has allowed researchers & professionals worldwide to share their knowledge, therefore not re-inventing the wheel or wasting time & money


But too much of anything has left our minds filled with too many decisions on what and who to trust. We sometimes hear something repeatedly or widely accepted by others, and adopt it as fact.



How do we determine what's fact versus fiction? A trend in society versus a trend in scientific studies?


Who do we go to for the truth? A reporter with no health background sharing their interpretation on news platforms? An influencer that shows their personal results? A best friend, co-worker or family member who we know and trust?


It's totally understandable that we all want to have control over our health. We make choices every day that change the outcome. It can be worrisome and paralyzing or something that doesn't warrant a thought at all. Many people are a blend of these.


The blur of available nutrition information is real. The facts and science are now debated heavily and often leaving the average person deflated and looking for the truth. Many people will google "Nutritionist" in an effort to find a trusted professional to help them. This is a fantastic idea 💡 Support towards your own exercise goals is found possibly in a personal trainer, physiotherapist, yoga instructor.... Mental health support through counselors, therapists, doctors..... There are so many options in every field of health, including nutrition.


So where do you start in finding a trusted professional? You have to know what the differences are within the profession in order to select the right fit for you. And sometimes you start with one and continue on to find a better fit. That's okay. Health is personal and important. Finding what works for you is a journey that allows you to change and grow your toolbox of skills and resources.


Here's a starting point for you of nutrition positions that are advertised and available in Ontario. This chart includes the education required (duration and type), if the title is protected and if the profession itself is regulated (and is it independent - therefore more protection for the public - you!).



This is not an exhaustive list but a starting point for the general public. Having spent 20+ years in my nutrition career, I have had a unique perspective and have personally evaluated the value of each for my health and my career. I have my own choices to make (I will be completing my graduate education in dietetics in the coming year). Yet I have certain privileges and disadvantages, as well, that influence my decisions. We are the same in that regards: it's the same information storm but we are in different boats (yacht vs canoe). I offer this as a way to organize the information in a concise way to help you make your choices. It's truly important that you have confidence in your health and that starts with feeling comfortable with who you trust to guide you.


I wish you health and happiness along your journey!


Post Script

To make it easiest for you to find the information in the chart above, here is a summary of the Designation Organizations:

Other Nutrition Organizations:

As this was more a beginning to discuss the nutrition profession, I will update/edit this blog post. I will also write more about each professional I am involved with - PHEc, NM, soon to be RD - to give even more perspective.