An Introduction to Nutrition by Dr. Maureen Zimmerman

Welcome to Essentials of Nutrition: A Functional Approach! This book is written for students who are not majoring in nutrition, but want to learn about the fundamental aspects of nutrition and how it applies to their own lives.

We have written this book with the assumption that you have little or no prior knowledge of college level chemistry, biology, or physiology. But that does not mean it’s not scientific! Nutrition is a science-based discipline, so all the material included is backed up by rigorous scientific research, but it is presented in a clear, easy-to-understand fashion without requiring a background in science.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Nutrition and You
  • Chapter 2: Achieving a Healthy Diet
  • Chapter 3: Nutrition and the Human Body
  • Chapter 4: Carbohydrates
  • Chapter 5: Lipids
  • Chapter 6: Proteins
  • Chapter 7: Nutrients Important to Fluid and Electrolyte Balance
  • Chapter 8: Nutrients Important As Antioxidants
  • Chapter 9: Nutrients Important for Bone Health
  • Chapter 10: Nutrients Important for Metabolism and Blood Function
  • Chapter 11: Energy Balance and Body Weight
  • Chapter 12: Nutrition through the Life Cycle: From Pregnancy to the Toddler Years
  • Chapter 13: Nutrition through the Life Cycle: From Childhood to the Elderly Years
  • Chapter 14: Nutrition and Society: Food Politics and Perspectives
  • Chapter 15: Achieving Optimal Health: Wellness and Nutrition
  • Chapter 16: Appendix A

About the Contributors


Dr. Maureen Zimmerman earned her undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at Arizona State University, a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Hawaii, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, with a specialization in educational research, from Northern Arizona University. She is a Registered Dietitian and has been a residential faculty member at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona since 1991.

She has been involved in many aspects of college life, most of them related to improving teaching and learning. She works indefatigably to assure that students enjoy their learning journey, regularly applying learning science to the online and ground classrooms. She is active every day of the week either practicing yoga, biking, hiking, tap dancing, or running. She enjoys reading a variety of genres, and likes to drink good coffee in the company of friends and family. She watches international films regularly, and tries to eat many fruits and vegetables every day. Her food first philosophy is summed up in this statement: “Enjoy real food, enjoy it with others, enjoy it in just the right amounts.

Dr. Beth Snow earned a BS (Hons) in Biochemistry (with a minor in Drama) from McMaster University in 1999, an MS in Human Biology & Nutritional Sciences from the University of Guelph in 2000, and a PhD in Human Nutrition from the University of British Columbia in2006. She also holds a Credentialed Evaluator designation from the Canadian Evaluation Society. Her PhD research focused on the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the developing fetal skeleton and she has published in the journals Bone, Alcohol, and Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Following her PhD training, she spent two years working at the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, where she ran an interdisciplinary research training program. She currently works as an Evaluation Specialist in Public Health in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where she also teaches at the University of British Columbia and the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

Her teaching philosophy involves empowering students to take ownership of their own learning; she uses active learning techniques and encourages students to apply what they learn to real life. Being a lifelong learner herself, Beth is currently working on a Masters of Business Administration at the University of British Columbia, with the goal of combining knowledge about organizations with her health research expertise in order to help get research evidence into Public Health practice. In addition to her busy career, Beth is a true foodie who always makes time to cook and share good food and she enjoys hiking, running, yoga, and, being a Canadian, playing ice hockey.