This is “Preface”, article 4 from the book An Introduction to Nutrition (v. 1.0).
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Welcome to Essentials of Nutrition: A Functional Approach! This book is written for students who are not majoring in nutrition, but want to learn about the fundamental aspects of nutrition and how it applies to their own lives. We have written this book with the assumption that you have little or no prior knowledge of college level chemistry, biology, or physiology. But that does not mean it’s not scientific! Nutrition is a science-based discipline, so all the material included is backed up by rigorous scientific research, but it is presented in a clear, easy-to-understand fashion without requiring a background in science.
People are increasingly interested in sustainable food issues. They are looking for favorable ways to impact not only their health, but also the environment and their local economy. However, misinformation about how one can make a positive impact abounds. By highlighting effective sustainable food behaviors, supported by science, this book will provide you with a significant resource for increasing the sustainable practices in your day-to-day life.
This book is organized using a functional approach, which means that the material is organized around physiological functions, such as fluid and electrolyte balance, antioxidant function, bone health, energy and metabolism, and blood health, instead of organizing it strictly by nutrient. This makes the information easier to understand, retain, and apply to your own life. As this text explores the relationship between nutrition and physiology, you will receive a “behind the scenes” examination of health and disease in the body.
Each chapter starts with a “Big Idea,” which provides a preview of the main theme of the chapter.
You Decide challenges you to apply what you are learning about nutrition topics—sometimes controversial ones—to your own life.
Key Takeaways and Key Terms provide the key take-home messages and definitions from each section, helping you to focus on the main points you should be learning.
Discussion Starters are questions that can prompt discussions with fellow students and your instructor to examine and extend what you’ve learned in the chapter.
There are many Videos available online and it is not always clear which ones have reliable information. We have done the legwork for you by providing interesting videos from reputable sources to accompany and highlight the content. Similarly, we provide links to useful online learning tools through the Interactive feature.
Most of the databases for diet analysis programs primarily feature industrial food. As we promote sustainable food activities in our text, we cannot use these common diet analysis programs because they do not cater to students who eat real food prepared at home. As a result, we provide links to http://www.choosemyplate.gov/ throughout the text. You will be encouraged to create your own meals, shop smarter, choose wisely, and, at the same time, foster an active attitude toward food sustainability.
Every chapter ends with Exercises, which are activities that can be used to test what has been learned in the chapter and may be used by your instructor as homework or assignment questions. There are exercises at three different levels (It’s Your Turn, Apply It, and Expand Your Knowledge) to meet the varied needs of different students.
Please do not use this book to substitute for professional medical care or advice. If you have medical concerns or questions, always seek guidance from a health-care professional. The authors and publisher are not responsible for the accuracy of any content added by faculty.