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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University

4.7
10,137 ratings
2,891 reviews

About the Course

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...

Top reviews

AE

Jun 22, 2018

It was an amazing course that allowed for me to be much more conscious of what I was eating and pushed me to strive to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Overall, it was very entertaining and informative!

CS

Aug 27, 2019

Very informative and useful. I'm from India and I look forward to study more about nutritional values of different foods. This course gave me a head-start and information to pursue my goal. Thank You!

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2801 - 2825 of 2,856 Reviews for Stanford Introduction to Food and Health

By Elena K A

Feb 20, 2016

Not much content

By Leyton S

Jan 23, 2016

Not in depth enough

By Claude J G

Feb 14, 2016

The course is essentially a self-help guide focusing on the idea that cooking real food promotes health. This is certainly a message that many people need to hear.

Unfortunately, the advice concerning what to eat is less sound. Let me illustrate this with a historical counterexample.

Around 75 years ago, a Canadian dentist visited my home country of Switzerland, where he examined the health and diet of a population in a secluded mountain valley. He found them to be of exceptional health. Their diet?

breakfast: rye sourdough bread, butter and cheese

lunch: rye sourdough bread, butter and cheese

dinner: rye sourdough bread, butter, cheese and potatoes, along with some vegetables in the warmer half of the year, and small amounts of meat on Sundays

Contrary to four fundamental recommendations in the course, these people ate a lot of saturated fat (butter) and animal protein (cheese), but few vegetables and had hardly any variation in their diet.

They did prepare their own food, grown or pastured locally, in very mineral-rich soil, which imparted their butter and cheese with very high amounts of fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K2. Perhaps animal foods are not as unhealthy as the course suggests, and food (and soil) quality is paramount.

Instead of taking this course, watch Maya Adam's TEDx talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-gyIkA-crM) and browse the recommendations of the Weston A. Price Foundation (http://www.westonaprice.org/) to learn what to cook, in particular their Healthy4Life dietary guidelines (http://www.westonaprice.org/wp-content/uploads/Healthy4LifeEnglish.pdf). If you still need a self-help guide to actually start cooking your own food then by all means, take this course. It'll only take you about an hour.

By Jenny B

Feb 02, 2016

Really very basic, anyone with an interest in the subject is likely to know most of this already. nicely presented though, good quality videos.

By Carmen C

Mar 06, 2018

If you know literally NOTHING about nutrition this is a good place to start, if you however have any sort of understanding of fats, protein and carbs, even the knowledge of what they are, on a broad scale, then you probably already know more than this course will teach you.

It was a good reminder of healthy eating nonetheless.

The recipes in the last module were good, but as someone who doesn't care much for sweet stuff it left me kinda bummed. I wished there were more main meal recipes rather than recipes to cook all your favorite desserts in a gluten free way. I know they had to plug Grokker and get that shameless self-promotion, I am not opposed to that, but they could have chosen more diverse recipes.

If you are trying to get people to eat healthier you should give them something quick and easy, not a recipe for pancakes that takes 4 different kinds of flours.

By Rutuja C

Mar 16, 2018

Not as per my expectations. But good eye opener!

By Maria L

Dec 16, 2017

very basic

By Aeryn K

Jun 06, 2016

The very first lesson implies that sufficient quantities of micronutrients can't be obtained from a diet high in animal-based proteins and fats. In reality, organ meats and egg yolks are higher in micronutrients than many fruits and vegetables, and only small amounts of dark-colored veggies and fruits are required to balance a diet that already contains a variety of meats (as far as both species and cut). The body is also better able to synthesize glucose (or utilize ketones instead of glucose to fuel cell function) than to synthesize amino acids, which are more easily obtained in the correct amounts from animal sources. Plant-based diets work for some people, but if blood sugar levels, chronic inflammation and/or amino acid intake are issues that an individual needs to take into careful consideration, a high-fat, low-carb, diet with a variety of animal products is more likely to meet their needs.

By Sylvia T

Nov 03, 2017

This is, indeed, a very basic, introductory course. There are the usual misconceptions, e.g. low-fat is good, saturated fats are bad, and the gluten-free recipe made me laugh. This is coming from someone who has been on a 100% gluten-free diet, including what I put on my skin.

If you, like me, have been doing a Paleo, Whole Food or AIP diet and know that animal fats are actually good for you, this course will be a waste of time.

By Cecile H

Jul 22, 2016

I'd learned more since I check Harvard Health Blog so often.

By Laura E

Jun 26, 2016

This is ok if you know absolutely nothing about nutrition. Otherwise, it's basically information I'd expect to be relayed to kindergarteners.

By Martina M

Apr 06, 2018

The food part I think is unnecessary

By Nadine E

Aug 07, 2016

This is a very basic course on food and nutrition. I would consider the majority of the content to be common sense. I would not recommend it if you already have an interest or general knowledge of nu

By GBT

Apr 18, 2017

Did not go into enough detail, reiterated home cooking and spoil rate but did not get into specifics. Perhaps another class on what foods do what in your body would be beneficial.

By Lisa v V

Feb 21, 2017

Useful information about nutrition, I would've loved to learn more about that. The part about home-cooking and how to reduce the health risks when cutting an onion where too superficial and unnecessary for me.

By Anna J

Jun 20, 2017

I live in the Czech republic (central Europe) and I didn't learn anything new about nutrition in this course. I know it all, from my mother and my grandmother and, well, we all know it should by like this, not saying it IS like this :-) but for me this course was very interesting as a "sociological research". Are there really people who don't know that home cooking is healthier than highly processed fast food? Are there people who don't know how important vegetable is? Very often I was just thinking "are you kidding me or is this the real life in the US?"

By Deniz Ö

Mar 27, 2017

It is a kind of introduction course as it was mentioned on course info, however it is very basic.

If there would be follow up courses about the same topic it is a good start, otherwise that is not a learning based lecture.

Thank you for your understanding.

Deniz Ozalp

By Frederique

Jan 19, 2016

Very basic content. I am not sure that there was anything new for me in this course. I am born in France and I guess we learn this from our families.

By Jessica S

Jan 18, 2016

Far too easy and far too basic for me. I would have hoped for a more in-depth and scientific look at food and nutrition.

By José V d C

Oct 23, 2016

Very basic knowledge

By Susana C M

May 09, 2017

Weak courses, information very obvious. You don´t even need to watch the videos to pass the assignments. Maybe American lifestyle is not so healthy, but I thought it was a waste of time and money. It is indeed just an introduction. I wouldn't recommend it

By Aya A E

Jan 21, 2018

A very general information is given. I was expecting to have more information on how to divide my protein in take or carbs throughout everyday meals.

By Brooke A L

Jan 11, 2018

While the information provided was helpful in some cases, I highly disagree with the staff behind this writing that veganism is, quote, "the least sustainable method" as a food solution. That's simply untrue to say; that spreads misinformation about the lifestyle choice, and only further encourages people to not consider it for themselves. I understand trying to be reasonable, as the common western citizen consumes meat and dairy and God forbid you hurt anyone's feelings, but there is no need to spread mistruths for the sake of saving someone's feelings. Overall it was a good course, and I'm grateful to have learned something through Stanford, I just disagree with a lot of the information presented within the course (namely, that veganism is unsustainable and that fish is safe, and furthermore nutritious to eat - spoiler, it really isn't, and overfishing is a serious issue that this course seems to mention nothing of at all when discussing it as a food choice). Plus, a lot of what was discussed, I was already educated on. So I sincerely wish it was more in-depth, thorough, and more respectful to dietary/lifestyle choices outside of the omnivore perspective. Thank you to both the Stanford and Coursera communities for providing this course as a tool to better health and wellness in this world that often makes it feel almost impossible.

By Linda W

Feb 13, 2016

Too simplistic if you already have some knowledge about a healthy lifestyle

By HM

Feb 24, 2016

This is less of a university level course and more of a long infomercial for Michael Pollen books with a cooking show at the end.

There is no interviews with nutritionists or scientists. In fact, there really isn't much here in the way of science at all.

The cooking videos are fun with some good recipes.