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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Susan K Raatz

Nutrition Scientist


Susan Raatz

SUSAN RAATZ, PhD

Research Nutritionist

Biography

Dr. Raatz joined the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center in November, 2009. She came to Grand Forks from Minneapolis, MN, where she was an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes and the Bionutrition Manager of the General Clinical Research Center. Dr. Raatz completed a BS in Dietetics at Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI, a MS in Foods and Nutrition at Eastern Michigan University, a MPH in Epidemiology and a Ph.D. in Human and Clinical Nutrition at The University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

Dr. Raatz has holds appointments at the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN; Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND; and the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo, ND.

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Research Interests

Dr. Raatz' research focuses on the evaluation of the role of dietary macronutrient distribution in the promotion of optimal health and the prevention of chronic diseases. She primarily works with the utilization of whole foods diets to modify energy distribution from macronutrient substrates. Her work is focused primarily on macronutrient (carbohydrate, protein and fat) modification for metabolic control, body weight management, and the prevention of chronic diseases.  Since joining the USDA she has applied this research to determining the effect of specific foods and dietary patterns in the prevention of obesity, and cardiometabolic disease risk.

Current research areas include:

  • Identifying role of dietary fats and oils in energy metabolism, satiety and body composition.
  • Assessing the effect of diet modification (whole diets or specific foods) on the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

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Research Accomplishments

  • Determined the effect of various nutritive sweeteners (honey, cane sugar, and high fructose corn syrup) on cardiometabolic risk factors in normal and pre-diabetic individuals.

  • Demonstrated that the cooking and service method of potatoes modified their resistant starch content.

  • Determined that eating farm-raised salmon twice weekly improved plasma n-3 fatty acids and plasma lipoproteins in humans.

  • Demonstrated that emulsified fish oil supplements have superior bioavailability than encapsulated fish oils.

  • Determined that a low-fat diet is effective in increasing circulating levels of omega-3 fatty acids in healthy men and women.

  • Demonstrated that diets with a low glycemic index/glycemic load do not provide any added benefit to energy restriction in promoting weight loss in obese individuals.

  • Determined that a low-fat, high-omega-3 fatty acid diet reduced hormonal risk factors for breast cancer in post-menopausal women..

  • Demonstrated that high-protein diets enhance satiety and preserve lean mass during weight reduction in midlife women.

  • Demonstrated that electronic recording of diet records is an effective tool for the evaluating the nutrient intake of people.

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Last Modified: 11/30/2016
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