Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD

HEALCon 2024

Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD

Nutrivore: A Nutrient-Focused Path to Diet Expansion

Date: Thursday, April 25

Time:  4:00 – 5:30 pm

Speaker Bio

Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD is the founder of Nutrivore.com. She creates educational resources to help people improve their day-to-day diet and lifestyle choices, empowered and informed by the most current evidenced-based scientific research. Dr. Sarah began her career as a science communicator and health educator when she launched her original website in 2011.

Since then, Dr. Sarah has continued to follow the science—diving deep into immune health, metabolic health, gut microbiome health, nutritional sciences, and the compelling evidence for health at any size—while also observing the harm of healthism, diet culture, dogmatic misinformation and predatory marketing. With Nutrivore, Dr. Sarah seeks to create a positive and inclusive approach to dietary guidance, based in science and devoid of dogma, using nutrient density and sufficiency as its basic principles: Nourishment, not judgment.


Dietary restriction tends to cause fixation and can trigger disinhibition; and dichotomous approaches to diet increase the risks both of developing eating disorders and regaining lost weight. Striking a balance between eating for health and maintaining a healthy relationship with food requires that we move beyond moral judgments of foods. In this presentation, Dr. Sarah will examine the new science for sustainable healthy eating patterns and share her professional journey from promoting restrictive diets to a permissive, flexible, nutrient-focused
dietary approach, called Nutrivore. Nutrivore is a general nutritional sciences education that informs day-to-day choices with the simple goal of getting all of the nutrients our bodies need from the foods we eat. The Nutrivore philosophy appreciates the inherent nutritional value of
foods, but no food is strictly off limits. By extension, no singular food choice is a bad one, and Nutrivore fully embraces treats, cultural foods, and food traditions, without derision.

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding the Pitfalls of Dietary Restriction: Identify the psychological and physiological consequences of restrictive diets, including food obsession, cravings, disinhibition, and disordered eating patterns as well as nutrient shortfalls that increase risk for chronic and infectious disease.
  • Exploring the Nutrivore Philosophy: Examine the Nutrivore approach, a permissive, flexible, nutrient-focused dietary philosophy that disengages from moral judgments of foods. Understand how Nutrivore promotes a balanced and sustainable diet along with a healthy relationship with food.
  • Navigating Dietary Recommendations: Discuss the confusion surrounding what to restrict versus embracing whole foods and dietary diversity. Explore the significance of making room for cultural foods and understanding that no singular food choice is inherently bad within the Nutrivore philosophy.
  • Implementing Sustainable Nutrition: Explore the benefits of adopting a whole diet approach, emphasizing that not every food needs to be the pinnacle of nutrient density. Understand the Nutrivore Score as a practical lens for viewing food choices and how incremental changes can lead to lifelong health and improved overall well-being