What is a Dietitian?

dietitian sitting at desk in yellow office with a pen in her hand

What's a dietitian?

Dietitians are regulated health professionals who use their expertise in food and nutrition to enhance the lives and improve the health of Canadians.

Dietitians use the science of nutrition to help people understand the connection between food and health, and provide personalized guidance to meet their needs and goals.
Dietitians are trained to use the most up-to-date science and translate it into practical guidance that you can use to make nutritious food choices that are right for you.

“Dietitians play such an important role in helping clients find practical solutions that are manageable and tailored to their specific goals and preferences"
- Jenna Chiandet, Dietitian, Mattawa

“I guide, support and motivate my patients to stay focused on the changes they can make."

-Laila Hussain, Dietitian, Abbotsford

Meet real-world dietitians and learn more about their personal approach to nutrition by reading our Dietitian Q & A Interviews.

Why would I need to see a dietitian?

Dietitians can support you throughout many phases of your life from pregnancy to eating well when you are older as well as treating and preventing various health conditions. Research has even shown that counselling sessions with a dietitian can help you manage high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol (dyslipidemia), prediabetes and diabetes to a greater degree then if you didn’t receive support from a dietitian. 

Dietitians work in a variety of settings. Some dietitians work as part of a team of other health care professionals like doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and speech pathologists. Dietitians may also work alone in a clinic or private practice to provide nutrition counselling. 

Reasons to contact a dietitian

These are just some of the topics a dietitian can help you with: 

  • Concerns about weight

A dietitian will work with you to give you advice and information that is right for you by considering your culture and food traditions. They will also think about your personal needs and challenges, including taste, food skills, budget and health conditions.
Until you can connect with a dietitian, UnlockFood has easy to read, science based information on these topics and more to help you get started. 

How do I find a dietitian near me?

It’s easy to find a dietitian near you, visit Find a Dietitian. You can search by postal code, city, and/or health condition. Some dietitian services are also covered by your provincial health insurance. Find out what qualifies for provincial coverage.

Many dietitians offer services virtually and most employee benefit plans cover dietitian services. Check your plan today. Dietitians not covered under your employee plan? Share this Fact Sheet with your employer to add dietitian services to your plan.

Bottom line

Whether you are looking  to improve your relationship with food, manage a health condition or to enhance athletic performance, dietitians can help. No fads. No gimmicks. Just up-to-date science and a commitment to helping you understand the connection between food and your physical, mental and emotional health.

You may also be interested in:

How can I find a dietitian near me?
Top 5 reasons to see a dietitian
What can I expect when I go and see a dietitian?
Is there a difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?
Where do dietitians work and what do they do?
What kind of training and education does a dietitian have in Canada?
This article was written and reviewed by dietitians from Dietitians of Canada. The advice in this article is intended as general information and should not replace advice given by your dietitian or healthcare provider.

Last Update – February 3, 2023

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Dietitians look beyond fads to deliver reliable, life-changing advice. Want to unlock the potential of food? Connect with a dietitian.