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Stanford University

Stanford Introduction to Food and Health

Stanford University via Coursera

Overview

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Around the world, we find ourselves facing global epidemics of obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and other predominantly diet-related diseases. To address these public health crises, we urgently need to explore innovative strategies for promoting healthful eating. There is strong evidence that global increases in the consumption of heavily processed foods, coupled with cultural shifts away from the preparation of food in the home, have contributed to high rates of preventable, chronic disease. In this course, learners will be given the information and practical skills they need to begin optimizing the way they eat. This course will shift the focus away from reductionist discussions about nutrients and move, instead, towards practical discussions about real food and the environment in which we consume it. By the end of this course, learners should have the tools they need to distinguish between foods that will support their health and those that threaten it. In addition, we will present a compelling rationale for a return to simple home cooking, an integral part of our efforts to live longer, healthier lives. View the trailer for the course here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7x1aaZ03xU

Syllabus

  • Background on Food & Nutrients
    • In this section we will examine the social and cultural shifts that have contributed to our modern epidemics of overweight and obesity. We will briefly review the nutrients found in foods, their different functions in the human body and how we can support our own health by choosing wisely from the foods within each category.
  • Contemporary Trends in Eating
    • In this section, we will explore the ways in which highly processed foods differ from real, whole food and the implications of food processing on our health. We’ll also look at how our consumption of sugar has changed in recent decades and explore sensible solutions for people who wish to start eating better. We will also meet Kevin, a middle-aged pre-diabetic man, and find out how a step-wise approach to behavior change helped him change for the better.
  • Future Directions in Health - Part I
    • This section focuses on sustainable solutions to the challenge of choosing healthier foods more frequently. Michael Pollan explains his mantra and how we can use it to make better food choices. We also begin to explore practical tips for preparing foods that will support our health and enjoyment.
  • Future Directions in Health - Part 2
    • In this section you will find more practical tips for grocery shopping, reading labels and assembling a balanced meal. We also learn more about the most important secret ingredient for success: moderation.
  • Cooking Workshop
    • A few years ago, a friend of mine started a healthy eating and fitness website called Grokker. She asked me to make some instructional cooking videos and generously agreed to share some of them with you. Thanks, Lorna! (If you like this section, you can find many more great videos on cooking and fitness at Grokker.com)
  • Recommended Optional Resources
    • Here is a list of recommended books and videos that can help deepen your understanding of the course material. Feel free to explore the recommendations on this list to learn more about food, health, eating behaviors, and more.

Taught by

Maya Adam

Reviews

4.3 rating, based on 46 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 31351 ratings

Start your review of Stanford Introduction to Food and Health

  • Health and Diet explained in a very subtle yet efficient way. All the information taught in this course is very much relevant and must be taught as a part of the curriculum for all physicians during their study of medicine. "Let food be thy medicine" is the key to sustainable health .
  • It is a short course about health and nutrition. It makes us aware of avoiding processed food, informing us of an healthing diet and the last week is full of tasteful recipes.
  • Very good subject. By this course we can learn many name of food. We can take this food for our good health.
  • I was very excited about this course and found the content of week 1 interesting and useful. However, after the week 1, it was more about home cooking and avoiding processed food, and less about food science and research. The content was very limited, not concerning at all psychology of food, for example. And honestly it was a 4 week course, the 5th week being only cooking videos with nothing to accomplish. I know there are people who need exactly this kind of information and coaching to to start a healthy diet, but for me, it was too basic.
  • Profile image for Sivananda Ramnath
    Sivananda Ramnath
    Interesting, but very thin on content. The information about health is at a very superficial level, and nothing about specifics of nutrition is discussed. The videos of recipes were fun.
  • Anonymous
    Would put 0 starts if that'll be possible.
    That's not a university course. The content is on the level, that I imagine would be appropriate for people from the world of Idiocracy movie. No argumentation or explanations are given.
    If I'll be a person, responsible for maintaining Stanford reputation, I would never have allowed this "course" to go public.
  • Misako Yoke
    This class was excellent! The material and the information are very up to date, and easy to apply our daily lives. I also loved the recipes! I would highly recommend this class to anyone who is interested in learning about healthy food choices. It'll also help those around you to live healthier.
  • Profile image for Akash Deep
    Akash Deep
    I completed my course but i can't get certificate ..... can anybody help me related to this problem...
  • Profile image for Javed Hussain
    Javed Hussain
    The "Food and Health" course is a commendable resource for those eager to delve into the intricacies of nutrition. It provides a well-structured exploration of essential nutrients, emphasizing their impact on overall well-being. The emphasis on practical applications, such as crafting balanced meals, adds tangible value. However, staying current with the latest nutritional research would enhance its long-term relevance. Overall, it serves as an informative guide for cultivating a healthier lifestyle through a deeper understanding of the food-health connection
  • Riley L
    I was very excited about this course and found the content of week 1 interesting and useful. However, after the week 1, it was more about home cooking and avoiding processed food, and less about food science and research. The content was very limited, not concerning at all psychology of food, for example. And honestly it was a 4 week course, the 5th week being only cooking videos with nothing to accomplish. I know there are people who need exactly this kind of information and coaching to to start a healthy diet, but for me, it was too basic.
  • Profile image for Anna D
    Anna D
    A very basic course which could be useful for people just starting cooking, but otherwise was superficial and didn't address my learning needs. The last week especially consisted of strictly cooking recipes, which seemed weird to include as part of the actual course instead of extra material. You will learn how to read nutrition facts, be advised to eat lots of greens and fruit, to avoid processed food, to eat in moderation, to pick smaller plates and similar.

    I expected more from this course.
  • Profile image for Orajereyor Jahvona Ifesinachi
    Orajereyor Jahvona Ifesinachi
    It was really effective. I learnt that the consumption of overly processed foods caused obesity and major health risks due to the western civilization of modernised and processed foods but with the right eating habit, it can be overcomed.
  • I am an soccer coach and would like to know more and professional about diet specially for players. It is useful for my players as well as for each human resources which are interested in diet food. I prefer a certificate for this course as to showing my professional life as well as I'm school where I teach soccer to the junior and senior players.
  • Anonymous
    This is an an interesting course that everyone has to take. I now know what to eat and how to maintain my weight. How to cook certain foods. I can now take much time to eat more home -made food. Thank you very much Maya.l will not have to depend so much on processed foods again.
  • Simple language and delivery, informative and well presented. Encourages common sense and scientifically backed healthy eating habits. Highly recommend for anyone pursuing a healthier nutritious lifestyle.
  • Profile image for Stella Black
    Stella Black
    It was a nice course but contained only basic information. It did achieve its primary goal - after completing the course I went and bought more vegetables and was determined to eat healthily.
  • Nati
    A short course covering the basics of nutrition, with some actionable recommendations on cooking and diet.
    Gives just about enough information to start making sense of all those "healthy plates" and "healthy diets" that can be found on the Internet.
    A nice one for a beginner.
  • Anonymous
    It's a nice introduction to the topic but it's very brief and fairly simple.
    Nonetheless it's thought-provoking & pointing at some very big problems in our culture's food & health habits.
  • Anonymous
    This course is just amazing. It shows you the importance of cooking at home, what you should eat and what you should avoid eating and how to make a healthy shopping choice. Its perfect
  • A good course to learn about food and health, how to prevent or remove obesity by
    nutritional behavior, many important informations for a healthy nutrition and lifestyle.

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