Hrvoje Fabek, Research Associate

Nutritional Sciences
University of Toronto

Dr. Hrvoje Fabek is a Research Associate in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto and Program Manager of the NSERC Program in Food Safety, Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs. Dr. Fabek earned his PhD in 2015 at the University of Guelph in the Department of Food Science, Ontario Agricultural College. His research focus is on understanding the relationship between food structure and physiological functionality. He has carried out work using simulated digestion models to understand the role of dietary fibres and glycemic reductions and is currently managing human nutrition intervention trials in Dr. Harvey Anderson’s lab focused on exploring the functionality of an array of functional foods, including dairy, pulses and novel ingredients such as proteins extracted from an array of Canadian crops.

Understanding the impact of protein source on protein and nutrient quality of Canadian dietary patterns

Dietary guidance and Canada’s 2019 Food Guide encourages increased consumption of plant-based foods as a source of dietary protein. However, there is an absence of recent data on protein and nutrient intakes and quality of Canadian dietary patterns that might occur with increased plant protein intakes. The objective of this study was to examine and compare food sources and nutrient intakes reported by Canadian adults within groups of increasing plant protein containing diets. The CCHS 2015 Public-Use Microdata File and single 24-hour dietary recalls of males and females 19 years and older (n = 6,498) were examined to estimate total protein intake and protein intake from animal and plant-based foods. Respondents were allocated into four groups defined by their protein intake percentage coming from plant-based food sources (i.e., Group I: 0 – 24.9%, Group II: 25 – 49.9%, Group III: 50 – 74.9%, Group IV: 75 – 100%). Nutrient intakes, macro- and micronutrient amounts (g or μg/day), were identified within each plant protein consumption group and expressed as absolute values and amounts per 1000 kcal. The presentation will report on nutrient intakes relative to DRI requirements for males and females in adults (19 and older) as well as elderly (70 and older) as well as the top 10 foods consumed within each of the plant protein groupings. With a growing demand for plant protein foods and ingredients, the results of this study highlight the importance of understanding the nutritive value of foods that are being consumed by Canadians.