what is a registered holistic nutritionist

Registered Holistic Nutritionists (RHNs) are professionals trained in Natural Nutrition and complementary therapies, whose principal function is to educate individuals or groups about the benefits and health impact of optimal nutrition.

Mainstream medicine often does not emphasize the significance of poor nutrition as a major cause of a wide range of health disorders. Although most people are aware of the benefits of sound nutrition, the range of conflicting information available to the consumer is often confusing. RHNs guide their clients through the maze of information from books, magazines, supplements and diets on the market. They work with clients to identify and help correct the nutritional causes of diseases, and they are qualified to design personalized diet and lifestyle programs that optimize health.

An RHN provides specific food suggestions, individualized eating plans, lifestyle modifications, supplement suggestions, educational resources and one-on-one learning opportunities in order to help you work toward achieving your personal goals.

RHN’s perform an in depth assessment and interview of your current symptoms, state of digestion and your typical lifestyle behaviours. They make recommendations to assist you in living a healthier and more energetic life.

Natural Nutrition supports the use of good quality foods that are whole and alive. It’s about eating to enhance health while creating flavourful meals for your particular needs. RHNs encourage the use of healthy alternatives to processed and packaged foods and discourage toxic lifestyle choices. RHN’s consider the aspects of the mind, body and spirit when discussing the connection between food and health, as well as our relationship with the world and the ecology of the earth.

RHN’S are granted their designation after completing a demanding course of study set by the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.  They must complete the program within the allotted time frame (1 or 2 years) along with case studies, subject-specific, board and oral examinations, and practicum hours, with a cumulative minimum average of 80% to graduate. The school then grants them the RHN designation. RHNs must abide by strict codes of ethics or face consequences like losing their designation and the right to practice.

Examples of courses covered studying at CSNN:


  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Fundamentals of Nutrition
  • Symptomology
  • Preventative Nutrition
  • Chemistry & Bio-Chemistry
  • Cellular Biology
  • Pathology & Nutrition
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Pediatric Nutrition
  • Allergies

There has been much confusion lately with use of the term “nutritionist”. Although it is true that anyone can call themselves a “nutritionist”, only graduates from the CSNN program can call themselves an RHN. There are other nutrition schools granting various designations, and the client should investigate the credentials of their practitioner if they doubt their training or experience.