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How do I Become a Naturopathic Nutritionist?

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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 05 December 2016
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In order to become a naturopathic nutritionist, or a nutritionist who emphasizes natural and holistic approaches to healing the body through foods, an individual needs to complete a Bachelor's of Nutrition at a certified naturopathic school or college. Only a few of these schools exist, but all teach the fundamentals of basic nutrition required to eventually obtain the registered dietitian (RD) status, as well as additional education that focuses on other natural alternatives to healing such as herbs and plants. After graduating with a bachelor's degree, an individual then needs to move into an internship program recognized by a dietitian committee that lasts at least a year to gain experience in the field. Upon passing the nationwide exam for dietetics, an individual can be then be recognized as a naturopathic nutritionist.

A few naturopathic schools offer a degree in natural nutrition that fulfills the education requirements to become a naturopathic nutritionist or a registered dietician. In order to become a naturopathic nutritionist, an individual will complete a certain number of nutrition education hours at a naturopathic school or university. These classes include the same classes offered at major universities that focus on nutrition, as well as classes that focus on whole foods and organic gardening. The whole food approach is emphasized in naturopathy school and holistic nutrition, as whole foods are seen as a way of reconnecting to the wisdom of nature.

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After the nutrition requirements for the bachelor's degree of naturopathic nutrition have been met at the college, an internship is required to gain experience in the field of holistic nutrition. Often, these internships will last for a full year and may include a stipend. Some students who are wanting to become a naturopathic nutritionist will participate in an internship as well as work on their master's in nutrition, but this is not necessary for obtaining the title of an RD. After the completion of an accredited internship by a nationwide dietitian association, a national exam for dietitians and nutritionists must be passed to obtain a registered dietitian status.

Whole food education is an important part of becoming a naturopathic nutritionist, as this education can help raise awareness of future clients of the harmful chemical additives in many processed foods that lead to poor health. A naturopathic nutritionist works one-on-one with clients and patients to incorporate a full-on approach to this way of eating as the first step to healing with foods. Often a naturopathic nutritionist will employ the additional education he gained from naturopathy school about herbs and herbal medicine and use it in his practice. Usually this involves the use of herbal teas rather than homeopathic remedies or prescriptions, as there is some disagreement as to the level of education one must pursue in order to safely offer this advice.

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