NAFTA - National Aerobics & Fitness Trainers Association

Functional Foods, Part 1


1 Credits


Updates throughout this important course help practitioners sort through the many "functionality" claims for foods and supplements. As evidence that dietary components have protective functions accumulates, the potential for misinformation and misunderstanding increases. This course concentrates on the proven functional components of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, including phytochemicals. A lengthy section on soy foods' effect on heart health, cholesterol, female hormones and diabetes is featured.

This course has two parts. We recommend taking Part 1 first.




Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Define functional food, nutraceutical, designer food, medical food, food for special dietary use, dietary supplement, phytochemical, and phytonutrient.
  2. Understand the concept of functional foods and name at least three factors that have contributed to the increasing interest in functional foods.
  3. Understand the Food and Drug Administration's role in regulating health claims on food labels and its criteria for foods to be considered functional foods.
  4. List at least 6 FDA-approved health claims.
  5. Distinguish between a health claim and a structure/function claim.
  6. Discuss at least three health benefits of the following: whole grains, fruits and vegetables, legumes and soy foods.
  7. List at least two categories or groups of phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables and two food sources from each.
  8. Explain the functions of phytochemicals in the body.
  9. Define antioxidant, free radical, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and oxidative stress.
  10. List at least two food sources of beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene and describe the various health benefits associated with these specific phytochemicals.
  11. Discuss the health benefits of soy, especially soy protein and soy isoflavones.
  12. Name and describe at least three types of soy foods.
  13. Explain how phytoestrogens found in soy may mimic endogenous estrogen in humans.
  14. Discuss at least two concerns regarding the safety of consuming soy foods.
  15. List at least three components of soybeans that have been identified as possibly anticarcinogenic.

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