By Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D. (August 21, 2009)
Having read the first 3 parts of my series on nutrition education, the question is, where do we begin and/or where do we go from here?
I see nutrition in 2 ways, the first is the nutrition about the foods we eat “before” we consume them, which would be the analysis of foods, nutrient sources, meal planning, recipes, etc. The second is the nutrition about foods “after” we eat them, which is the biochemistry and physiology part of it, which to me, is the core of what nutrition really is, how foods breaks, down, is metabolized, interacts and functions with in the human body.
Now, regardless of whether you choose to get a formal education or not, and regardless of whether you choose to go for the traditional or non-traditional degree, there is so much excellent information available, much of it free on the internet, that is available for everyone to educate themselves with.
Many of the classic textbooks used during formal traditional education are great resources for the background and basic information on biochemistry and physiology.
One of my favorites is, “Modern Nutrition in Health & Disease” by Maurice Shils. While not free or inexpensive, it can be found discounted on the internet through various book sites, such as half.com.
In addition, I highly recommend anyone interested in nutrition and health to go to the website of the National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization and read all their published reports on these topics. They are all free to the public.
Here are the links for the National Academy of Sciences
Make sure that you check out all the subtopics sections on the left also.
Here are the links for the World HEalth Organization..
In addition, the Institute of Medicine, the CDC, the National Institute of Aging also have great reports. Here is a link to one from the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences.
Also, this document is a great resource for anyone who would like to know more and understand the science behind vitamins and minerals and the various recommendations regarding them.
Human Vitamin and Mineral Requirements
Report of a joint FAO/WHO expert consultation
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
FOOD SND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
It is never to late to begin something new. In fact, learning something new is the best way to keep your mind active and young. I went back to school at 35 and it was one of the best things I ever did.
Besides the information I have provided above, anyone can sign up for a college class at a local university or college, even just to audit it on nutrition and/or biochemistry. In addition, there are many non-traditional and now traditional accredited courses that are offered in nutrition, biochemistry or physiology through online classes.
There is no better time to begin than now!