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DIET DETECTIVE

Nutrition advice: Healthy tips at bargain prices

Monday, November 26, 2012 - 12:01 am

Here are my latest Calorie Bargain finds — healthy living at a good value.

VitaPizza

The Why: Vitalicious, famous for those low-calorie muffins, has done it again. Their NYC team has been working hard for two years perfecting a low-calorie, single-serving frozen pizza. Available in Cheese & Tomato and Meatless Pepperoni Supreme, it's only 190 calories for the entire pizza. Wow!

The Price: $59.99 (12 pizzas) (Coupon for free pizza: http://site.vitalicious.com/vitapizza/try.html)

Where to Find: www.vitalicious.com or in your local supermarket

Cooking Light Cooking Class: Fundamental Techniques

The Why: Master the basics of cooking healthy with the famous healthy cooking magazine Cooking Light. Learn how to braise, sauté, steam, grill and marinate, and get healthy recipes, too. Also, check out their online videos at www.youtube.com/user/cookinglight.

The Price: Free

Where to Find: www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/techniques/cooking-class-fundamental-techniquesi-ndex-main-00400000032930/.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) E-mail Updates

The Why: The National Institutes of Health is the nation's most prestigious medical research agency. They offer newsletters on many subjects, including the latest medical research on diabetes, exercise for seniors, exercise/physical fitness, gastroesophageal reflux/hiatal hernia, heart disease, high blood pressure, nutrition and obesity, among many other subjects.

The Price: Free

Where to Find: www.nih.gov/email.htm.

Nutrition, Health, and Lifestyle: Issues and Insights (Free Online Course from Coursera)

The Why: A free basic nutrition course from a top university — need I say more?

About the Course: “This seven-week course will explore nutrition concepts that take center stage in mainstream media outlets and become conversation topics among consumers interested in food choice as it relates to optimal health and physical performance.”

About the Instructor: Jamie Pope, MS, RD, LDN, has been with Vanderbilt University since 1986, working in the areas of obesity research, weight management, health promotion, and heart disease prevention.

University: Vanderbilt

The Price: Free

Where to Find: www.coursera.org/course/lifenutr.

When: April 2013.

Fundamentals of Human Nutrition (Free Online Course from Coursera)

The Why: If you want to really learn about nutrition, this is the real deal. You would take this course if you were a nutrition major in college.

About the Course: “This introductory course provides an overview of the principles of nutritional science. Subject matter includes description and functions of nutrients, digestion and absorption, effects of nutrient deficiencies and toxicities, requirements, food sources, nutrient interactions, dietary guidelines, and the role of nutrition in health and disease.”

About the Instructor: Kristina von Castel-Roberts, Ph.D., focuses on basic nutrition, oral health nutrition for dentistry and nutrition in health care and public health.

The Price: Free

Where to Find: www.coursera.org/course/humannutrition.

When: To be announced

Economic Issues Food & You (Free Online Course from Coursera)

The Why: Are you interested in food policy? How food and economics intersect? If so, this is the course for you. Anyone who is a foodie should take this course.

About the Course: “This course emphasizes the role of economics regarding its influence on food prices, the environment and government policies.”

University: University of Florida

Instructor: Jennifer Clark earned both bachelor and master of science degrees from the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida after spending time involved in research and development in private industry.

The Price: Free

Where to Find: www.coursera.org/course/ecfoodandyou.

When: To be announced

Nutrition and Physical Activity for Health (Free Online Course from Coursera)

The Why: Exercise and diet work together to create healthier behavior and weight loss. This free course, offered by two well-recognized leaders in the field, provides another tool for your health education.

About the Course: “This course is designed to provide a foundation of nutritional knowledge to develop a pattern of healthy eating that is sustainable. To this will be added a foundation of knowledge related to physical activity and exercise.”

University: University of Pittsburgh

Instructors: John M. Jakicic, Ph.D., is a professor and chair of the Department of Health and Physical Activity as well as the director of the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center. Amy D. Rickman, Ph.D., RD, LDN, is an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Physical Activity and a registered dietitian.

The Price: Free

Where to Find: www.coursera.org/course/nutritionforhealth.

When: To be announced

An Introduction to the U.S. Food System: Perspectives from Public Health (Free Online Course from Coursera)

The Why: Do you want to know why we eat what we eat? It's not just because we're hungry and crave a particular food. Everything we eat is part of our food system. Learn how it works from two very established professors from Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health.

About the Course: “In this course, we will provide a brief introduction to the U.S. food system and how food production practices and what we choose to eat impacts the world in which we live. Through several case studies, we will discuss some key historical and political factors that have helped shape the current food system and consider alternative approaches from farm to fork.”

Instructors: Robert S. Lawrence, MD, is professor of Health Policy and International Health in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Keeve Nachman, Ph.D., MHS, is an assistant scientist with a primary appointment in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and a joint appointment in the Department of Health Policy and Management.

The Price: Free

Where to Find: www.coursera.org/course/foodsys.

When: January 2013

New York City Department of Health Food Protection Course (Free Online Course)

The Why: How cool would it to be learn and understand food safety as if you owned a New York City restaurant?

About the Course: “This course is aimed at providing, online, information on Food Protection and Safety and the opportunity to prepare for the final examination for the New York City Department of Health's Food Protection Certificate.” FYI, if you really want the certificate, you have to take the final, which costs $24.60.

The Price: Free

Where to Find: www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/hany/hanyfood-online.shtml.

When: Any time

Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate and founder of www.DietDetective.com.