This course taught me a lot about the components of food! Processed and non-processed food which was the best food of all. I will be happy to spread this healthy dietary ways to my family and friends!
Very informative! Thanks for having this course free so that more people who are starting to learn about eating properply (like me) will be able to get access to authentic and legit lessons on food ;)
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By Claude J G•
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 Brooke A L•
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 Claudia B•
I’m studying nutrition from a while now and I’m following who for me are the bests doctors and there are many info that are not exactly what I aspected... I’m more towards the vegan diet for the health benefits first but not only and seeing what you do advise to eat make me wander if there are some other interests apart from health that bring you to create a course structured like it is..
I watched only the first recipe about crepes just because I thought was part of the course and I would never personally give that to my kids! Eggs, milk, sugar, butter 😱😱😱
Anyway, I will not spend the money for the certificate only to be able to say that I studied a Stanford’s course..... and I will probably not advise to anyone this course unlikely.
I just think that we have to know better and dr.Dean Ornish, Micheal Gregor, Neal Bernard and many more demonstrated that cure, prevention and reversing diseases is possible with a low fat vegan diet so I don’t understand why at the begin of the course you mention that the science is not sure yet about the best diet yet......... there are no doubts about what is the best, but often is not comfortable for the single person and for sure isn’t for the big industry!
By Sophia T•
The course, unfortunately, was rather disappointing. It is super basic and superficial (only week 1 and half of week 2 were actually useful), and looks rather like a cooking course then nutrition (week 5 is purely cooking recipes and week 4 is supermarket shopping advices). It doesn't cover anything beyond carbs-fats-proteins on the most basic level. In other words, there will be no explanation of the difference between cooking oils or why we actually need different-coloured veggies, nothing about fruits or other nutrients. I didn't really understand the target auditory, cause there is an example case of middle-aged pre-diabetic man, while at the same time a whole week is dedicated to shopping and cooking advices for dummies who have never cooked pasta and cannot manage supermarket shopping. Lastly, the term "western diet" is often used, though the course is focused on the US only and not Europe, not to confuse. Same applies to statistics provided in the course, trends and eating habits (e.g. US people are eating non-home cooked meals more often compared to rest of the world, which entangles whole set of issues and ways to fix them).
By Aeryn K•
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 Carmen C•
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 Anna J•
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 HECTOR M M V•
Hi everyone! I respect the work behind this course, but I feel it is very basic and superficial. I used to cook everyday and most of the things that were mentioned I read them on short articles. I believe that the course may be good for people with unhealthy habits or limited knowledge about food.
Honestly, I was expecting deeper scientific-related information with information that could teach me to calculate portions according my weight or body shape and understand the effects of certain proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins, etc. on my body.
By 2023 H W•
Do to my extensive research with my family on food and what we eat, i found this course to have a little bit of unhealthy advice. however it is a good start, but our food system is falling apart and sooner or later the world will have a real food problem. this course does not have the answer but points somewhat in the wright direction. Go to the source, the supermarket is not the source the farmer is.
additional follow up information can be found on amazon prime(Food INC. GMO OMG, ect.) and books written by Joel Salitin.
Very Generic course. Not so impressive. The only interesting part was about reading and understanding the labels on the packaged food items correctly, and the quiz which is thoughtfully created. The recipes demonstrated at the end of the course, look very much heavy with rich ingredients. The recipes should be chosen which are more organic, simple and without much of the preparation or efforts. The reference book list seems to be interesting and worth giving a try.
By Nathaniel C•
Very light on information, targeted towards weight loss. A few useful points, but the entire course can basically be boiled down to "cook your own food, not too much, mostly plants."
Do not watch if you're bulimic or anorexic as they don't seem to understand that the maxim should actually be "cook your own food, not too much *or too little*, mostly plants"
Oh and it's quite twee and middle class - quite a few "simple" recipes involving flax seeds, that kind of shit.
By aliya b•
Great, but takes much more time, than could be.
It would be the same to find 20-min recording of a good educational TV-channel programme.
Stanford in title doesn't refer to any academical sense, but to time relevance and confidence (and activity of Stanford food policy institute).
Has regional specifics (fats, obesity, how to use (keep in hand) knife).
Recommend only if you like to take a brake learning engineering or linear models on coursera.
By Irene S•
Very well made, but waaaaay too easy, not enough information and more of a first session at your nutritionist without the personalised information - for someone who has never ever showed an interest in nutrition before. Especially the choice as Michael Pollan as the only "expert" invited by the main host to join is very questionable. I would have liked to have more detailed information and real experts of nutrition and not writing.
By Catie M•
Very, very basic. Already knew everything they talked about. Chances are you've heard a lot of the adages and advice included in this course. Felt more like a self-help "how to eat better" course and less of a course on actual nutrition. Was hoping for a bit more depth. Like when you say "Different color vegetables have different nutrients" - spell those out. Disappointed. I'm surprised this is considered a college level course.
By Sylvia T•
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 Barbara S•
This is not really an online course on food an health but a series on videos on eating and cooking. Interesting, but nothing new. And very much only US centered (e.g. supersize etc.). Living and eating in Europe this was not targeted. I liked the videos but it was way too basic (move more, eat less processed foods). I was expecting more from Stanford. This was a level which should be tought starting elementary school.
By Babett K•
Had some helpful insights but very U.S.-centric and very heavy focus on eliminating processed foods instead of talking about general nutrition/health. Should not be labeled as a course on "health and nutrition", as you don't really learn a lot about either. Instead 80% of the course is spend emphasising the importance of substituting processed food with fresh ingredients without actually going into very much detail.