What is a Registered Dietitian?
Registered Dietitians (RDs) are specially trained food and nutrition experts. They take scientific evidence about food and turn it into practical nutrition information that is easy to understand. Dietitians often work with other health professionals to prevent and/or treat diseases and to promote health.
All Registered Dietitians must be registered members of the College of Dietitians of Ontario to practice using the title “Registered Dietitian” in Ontario. This means that our patients receive safe and ethical care from qualified Registered Dietitians.
*Information partially derived from the College of Dietitians of Ontario.
Is a Registered Dietitian and a Nutritionist the Same?
No. A Registered Dietitian is a protected title and a registered health professional in Ontario. This means that a governing body (such as the College of Dietitians of Ontario) ensures that all practicing dietitians are qualified and licensed to practice. To be sure that you are seeing a Registered Dietitian, look for the initials RD after the health professional’s name.
A nutritionist in Ontario is not a protected title or a registered health professional. This means that there is no guarantee on the level of education or training that someone practicing as a nutritionist may have.
It is important to note that protected titles can vary across provinces and countries. For more information, click here.
What Services do Registered Dietitians Provide?
A Registered Dietitian is available to answer your questions about a number of health issues. Some examples are:
- Diabetes management
- Heart health
- High blood pressure
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Eating on a limited budget
- Eating Disorders
- Healthy eating for babies and children
- Digestive conditions such as Celiac Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and others
- Nutrient deficiencies
How Do I Get A Referral for the Registered Dietitian?
You can see the Registered Dietitian in two ways:
- Speak with your Nurse Practitioner for a referral, or
- Self-refer and book directly to see the Registered Dietitian yourself