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Navigating Nutrition. Julie Hansen, M.S., R.D., C.D. Presentation. Why is nutrition important? Navigating nutrients Navigating dietary tools Navigating your environment. The medical system is almost exclusively designed to treat, not prevent, chronic diseases. Non-Diet Related. Alcohol

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Navigating nutrition

Navigating Nutrition

Julie Hansen, M.S., R.D., C.D.


  • Why is nutrition important?

  • Navigating nutrients

  • Navigating dietary tools

  • Navigating your environment

Why is nutrition important

Non-Diet not prevent, chronic diseases






Deaths per 100,000

Why is Nutrition Important?

Nutrition basics
Nutrition Basics not prevent, chronic diseases

  • Carbohydrate-45-65%: preferred energy source

  • Protein-10-35%: body maintenance and repair

  • Fats-20-35%: energy source

  • Vitamins/Minerals-cell metabolism and structure

  • Water-mineral of life

Carbohydrate carbohydrate facts
Carbohydrate not prevent, chronic diseasesCarbohydrate: Facts

  • It is high performance fuel.

  • It produces energy at the fastest rate.

  • Needed for RBC, Brain and nervous tissue

  • 45-65% of calories

  • Sugar-<25% of calories

  • Digestion rate: 15 – 90 min

  • Provides 4 Calories/gram.

Carbohydrate food sources
Carbohydrate not prevent, chronic diseasesFood Sources

  • Grains, Cereals, & Legumes: Pasta, bread, cold/hot cereal, rice, oats, kidney beans, etc.

  • Fruits & Vegetables

  • Starchy Vegetables: Corn, potato, peas, acorn squash, etc.

Where is the fiber
Where is the Fiber? not prevent, chronic diseases

  • Total: 25-38 grams/day

  • Fruits 2-4 servings/day

  • Vegetables 3-4 servings/day

  • High fiber cereals- 5 grams/serving

  • Whole Wheat bread-2 grams/slice

  • Whole grains

  • Beans, legumes

Protein facts
Protein: not prevent, chronic diseasesFacts

  • Building blocks of protein- amino acids (10 essential, 10 non-essential)

  • 10-35% of calories

  • 1stused for tissue repair & maintenance

  • Can provide energy-4 cal/gram

  • Complete protein vs. incomplete

Protein Sources not prevent, chronic diseases

  • Incomplete Proteins are plant sources of proteins such as: vegetables, legumes (dried beans), nuts, seeds, tofu, and grains.

  • Complete Proteins come from animal sources such as: milk, yogurt, meats, eggs, and cheese.

Triglycerides fats
Triglycerides “Fats” not prevent, chronic diseases

  • Energy Yield: Fats provide 9 Calories/gram.

    • Fats are the only type of lipid that the body can convert to ATP or produce energy from.

    • Fats are the most Calorically Dense energy producing nutrient.

Fatty acids
Fatty not prevent, chronic diseasesAcids

1. Saturated fat food sources are comprised of mostly saturated fatty acids (SFAs). Limit to 20 grams/day.

2. Monounsaturated fat food sources are comprised mostly of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).

3. Polyunsaturated fat food sources are comprised mostly of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

Fat food sources
Fat Food Sources not prevent, chronic diseases

  • Oils, butter, cream, lard, margarine, dressings, cream cheese, olives, nuts & seeds are all examples of foods high in dietary fat.

  • Try to chose healthy fats from plant sources.

The vitamins
The Vitamins not prevent, chronic diseases

  • Some vitamins are essential.

  • Without an intake of, nutritional deficiencies occur.

  • Vitamins are organic compounds.

  • They contain the element carbon.

  • All vitamins are non-caloric.

Minerals not prevent, chronic diseases

  • All minerals are non-caloric

  • All minerals are needed in tiny amounts for cellular metabolism and structure

  • The majority of minerals in the human body play a structural role.

  • Also as cofactors of enzymes in metabolism.

Water not prevent, chronic diseases

  • Non-Energy Yield: Water provides 0 Calories/gram.  

  • Functions: Water is the medium for metabolism & nutrient transport.

  • It is the mineral of life.

  • Without water intake, dysfunction to death will occur faster than the limitation of any other of the essential nutrients in human nutrition.

Water not prevent, chronic diseases

  • Thirst mechanisms do not provide motivation to drink until an individual is 2% dehydrated.

  • At this point, the function of the cardiovascular system is decreased.

  • Thus, individuals need to learn to drink when they are not thirsty.

  • Recommended intake:

    • Men: 3.7 L/day (approx. 15 cups)

    • Women: 2.7 L/day (approx. 11 cups)

Navigating nutrition tools
Navigating Nutrition Tools not prevent, chronic diseases

  • Food labels


  • Food records

  • Environment

Navigating the food label
Navigating the Food label food package

  • Fiber

    • 5 grams/serving/cereal

    • 2 grams/serving/bread

  • Fat

    • Limit to 15-20 grams saturated fat/day

  • Sugar

    • 10 teaspoons/day or 40 grams

  • Sodium

    • 140 mg or less

  • Nutrient density

    • 20% Vitamins or Minerals

Restaurant labeling
Restaurant labeling food package

MyPyramid food package


  • Meet nutrient needs-individualized

  • Avoid excess

  • Food groups: Grains, Dairy, Fruits, Vegetables, Meats, Oils, Discretionary Calories

  • Food tracker

Navigating food records
Navigating Food records food package

  • Low tech-paper and pencil

  • High tech- phone apps, online programs (

  • Review

    • Look for patterns of eating

    • Look for portion control

    • Look for food choices

Navigating your environment
Navigating your environment food package



Summary food package

  • Majority of calories should come from whole grains, fruits and vegetables

  • Moderate protein from lean sources

  • Consume “healthy liquid oils” vs. solid fats

  • Use food labels to make better food choices

  • Try MyPyramid to meet nutrient recommendations

  • Use your environment to improve your food choices

  • Use meal patterning and planning to improve food choices

Think long term when you think about your diet. food package

Small investments in good nutrition will have a big payoff in the future.