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Nutrition Course by NutritionSteps




Welcome to Nutrition Steps!

Welcome to Nutrition Steps, a free, open-access, introductory course in diet and human nutrition [Nutrition Steps 1.1]


The Science of Nutrition

First of all, a few tools to be able to be more objective when faced with new information concerning diet, food and nutrition [Nutrition Steps 1.2]


The Key Principles of Nutrition

Designing a balanced healthful diet is not as complicated as many people believe [Nutrition Steps 1.3]


Preventing Nutritional Deficiencies

The role of nutrition in preventing deficiencies and suboptimal intakes of energy, proteins, and many other essential nutrients [Nutrition Steps 1.4]


Avoiding Nutritional Excesses

The major diet-related risks today are largely different than what they were in the past, at least in our rich post-industrialized countries [Nutrition Steps 1.5]


Promoting Health and Preventing Disease with Optimal Nutrition

The goal of a balanced diet is not just preventing deficiencies and avoiding excesses. There's a lot more that we can ask... [Nutrition Steps 1.6]


What is a nutrient?

The energetic, structural and regulatory functions of nutrients [Nutrition Steps 1.7]


A brief survey of nutrients

A few facts about macronutrients, micronutrients and phytochemicals [Nutrition Steps 1.8]


How much do we need of a Nutrient?

We have learned that we need to get about 40 nutrients from food in order to sustain life. But how much do we need of them? [Nutrition Steps 1.9]


Nutrient Composition of Foods

A few calculations to familiarize with nutrition facts panels and nutrient composition tables [Nutrition Steps 1.10]
Link to assignment answers:


From Nutrients To Food

A brief nutritional survey of the major food groups [Nutrition Steps 1.11]


From Food Back To Nutrients: The Digestive Process

To be able to use nutrients, the first task that our body has to accomplish is extracting them from the food we eat. Here's how it happens [Nutrition Steps 1.12]


Ancient Genes in Modern Times: An Evolutionary Perspective of Nutrition

Our dietary habits and our environment have profoundly changed very fast very recently. But our genes haven't kept pace... [Nutrition Steps 1.13]


Old, New and Different Food

Think of the foods we find today in any grocery store. How many of them do you think our ancestor the caveman would recognize? And without going that far back, how many do you think your grandmother’s grandmother would recognize? [Nutrition Steps 1.14]


Hunger and Satiety

Hunger and satiety are crucial regulatory mechanisms that greatly contribute to maintain a healthy body weight, or to disrupt it if something goes wrong. Today we try to understand how they work [Nutrition Steps 2.1]


Do we eat only when we are hungry?

There are many other situations in which we eat even if we are not really hungry. The regulation of eating behavior is not only biological, but also psychosocial [Nutrition Steps 2.2]


Comfort Eating, Stress Eating and Other Disordered Eating Behaviors

Our tendency to associate food with comfort, reward or love, can result in disordered eating behaviors such as comfort eating, stress eating, binge eating, food addiction, food obsession, purging, and night eating syndrome [Nutrition Steps 2.3]


Eating Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa

Our concept of what is ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ is primarily a product of our culture, our values, what we see around us and what our parent taught us. This applies to body weight as well. Eating disorders, such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa, are pathological conditions which require medical attention and treatment [Nutrition Steps 2.4]


What drives our food choices?

What drives our food preferences and our food choices? The answer involves both biological, psychological and social factors [Nutrition Steps 2.5]


Strategies and Tricks to Change our Eating Habits

It’s really hard to change any of our habits, and this applies to our eating habits as well. However, we do have strategies and tricks to do it successfully [Nutrition Steps 2.6]

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