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Week 2: Building Blocks for Nutrition

April 4, 2021
Brenda I. Belcher

Week 2: Building Blocks for Nutrition

Do you ever think of certain foods as good or bad? In the late 1980s and early 1990s, popular diets advertised that as long as a food was labeled low-fat or fat-free, it was good. Following that logic, oversized bagels covered in fat-free cream cheese were thought of as a health food. Then, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, this trend reversed. Bagels were deemed bad, and steak and butter were in vogue—thus, good.

This week, you will discern the difference between foods labeled good and bad, learn how the body uses carbohydrates and fats, and identify the nutrient content of different foods.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Appraise the role of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in a healthy diet
  • Explain criteria for determining good and bad carbohydrates and fats
  • Analyze the effects of good and bad carbohydrates and fats on health
  • Analyze foods to determine major organic groups
  • Investigate various component nutrients by completing a virtual laboratory experience
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the role of foods in building healthy bodies
  • Synthesize awareness of one’s dietary choices and how these can result in improved eating habits*

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Thompson, J., & Manore, M. (2015). Nutrition for life (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Benjamin Cummings.

  • Chapter 3, “Carbohydrates: Plant-Derived Energy Nutrients” (pp. 69–99)Carbohydrates are the body’s basic source of energy. In Chapter 3, the authors outline how the body uses carbohydrates, the different types of carbohydrates, and how to differentiate between good and bad sources of the nutrient.
  • Chapter 4, “Fat: An Essential Energy-Supplying Nutrient” (pp. 100–128)Fats and lipids are an energy source for the body and have several important roles to play in its function. The authors point out the differences in types of fats, how the body uses them, and how consumers can tell which kinds of fats are healthiest to eat.
  • Chapter 5, “Proteins: Crucial Components of All Body Tissues” (pp. 129–154)Proteins are the body’s building blocks for muscle, tissue, blood, and bone. Chapter 5 explains how the body uses proteins and breaks down the amino acids that make up proteins, and outlines the body’s protein requirements.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2016). Virtual biology lab [Interactive media]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Optional Resources

Center for Science in the Public Interest. (n.d.). 10 foods you should never eat. Nutrition Action: Health Letter. Retrieved from http://web.archive.org/web/20010303014119/http://www.cspinet.org/nah/10foods_bad.htmlHarvard School of Public Health (n. d.-d). What should I eat? The Nutrition Source. Retrieved from http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/Healthfinder.gov. (2016). Dietary fats. Retrieved from http://www.healthfinder.gov/FindServices/SearchContext.aspx?topic=944Helmenstine, A. M. (2014). Is it safe to use kitchen glassware for chemistry? About Education. Retrieved from http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryfaqs/f/kitchenchem.htmMayo Clinic. (2015). Healthy lifestyle: Nutrition and healthy eating. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983?p=1U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2015b). Trans fat now listed with saturated fat and cholesterol. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/labelingnutrition/ucm274590.htmUnited States Department of Agriculture. (2016). MyPlate. Retrieved from http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/

Discussion: Good and Bad Foods

Medical publications and physicians direct people to increase consumption of good carbs and fats while decreasing consumption of those labeled bad. But what does that mean? What qualifies a food as good or bad?

For this Discussion, you are going to identify foods in your diet that might be labeled bad and suggest how you can replace them with good foods.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Think about how good versions of carbohydrate and fats contribute to positive health outcomes, while the badversions create short- and long-term health issues.
  • Remember to use scientific sources to research your topic. Random websites may provide inadequate or false scientific information. Your credibility depends on the credibility of your references.
  • You will be assigned one of the following scenarios by your Instructor:

Scenario #1: Good Fats? Bad Fats?

  1. Choose one good fat and one bad fat as identified in your course text.
  2. Provide 2–3 food sources for each of your good and bad fats.
  3. Describe how fats are digested and where they are absorbed. Explain what determines whether a fat is a good fat or a bad fat. What role does covalent bonding play in whether a fat is identified as good or bad?
  4. Describe some of the consequences associated with the overconsumption of bad fats.
  5. What did you learn that you did not know before? In what way will it influence the food choices you make now?

Scenario #2: Good Carbs? Bad Carbs?

  1. Choose one good carbohydrate and one bad carbohydrate as identified in your course text.
  2. Identify two food sources that you eat that contain a bad carbohydrate.
  3. Describe how carbohydrates are digested and where they are absorbed. Explain what determines whether a carbohydrate is a good carbohydrate or a bad carbohydrate. What does the identification of a carbohydrate as a monosaccharide, disaccharide, or polysaccharide have to do with whether it is classified as good or bad?
  4. Describe some of the consequences associated with the overconsumption of bad carbohydrates.
  5. What did you learn that you did not know before? In what way will it influence the food choices you make now?

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

Post a 2- to 3-paragraph analysis that compares good foods and bad foods based on your assigned scenario. Articulate how the consumption of good or bad foods (focusing on either carbohydrates or fats, based on your assigned scenario) may impact digestion and overall health. Discuss the specific health benefits of switching to good carbohydrates or good fats.

Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to the week’s Learning Resources, or something you have read, heard, seen, or experienced. Use at least two scientific APA-formatted references for full credit.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

By Day 5

Respond to at least two of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • At least one response must be on the topic in which you did not initially post.
  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 2 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5

To participate in this Discussion:Week 2 Discussion

Assignment: Virtual Lab: Chemistry of Food

Proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids are all organic groups found in every living organism as well as everyday foods. Various foods have different ratios of these organic molecules for different reasons. For example, corn is a seed and has a high starch content because glucose is the metabolic fuel that the seedling needs to grow. And a chicken drumstick is muscle (protein) used for movement. Knowing the organic groups present in our foods allows us to make choices to maintain a healthy weight and optimistic long-term health outcomes.

It is important not to assume that information you read is correct, but to trust your own scientific investigations to uncover fact vs. fiction. Using the data and results from this laboratory experiment, you will determine the major organic group present in the foods you test. By actively investigating your foods, you will learn incredible facts that will help in your everyday food choices.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review Chapters 3, 4, and 5 of the course text, Nutrition for Life.
  • Think about the foods you eat and the different organic compounds from this week’s resources that may be present in those foods. Many people look at the label for information, but what about food without a nutrition label? Do you always know what is in your food? How can knowing what is in the food you eat change what you eat?

For this Assignment, you will complete an interactive Virtual Lab experience to discover the various component nutrients found in common food items. Click on the link to access and complete the lab activity.

Click on this link to access and complete the lab activity: https://mym.cdn.laureate-media.com/2dett4d/Walden/BIOL/2320/CH/mm/food-lab/index.html

By Day 7

Complete your virtual lab. Once you have completed the lab, be sure to print out your Completion Certificate as a PDF, and submit it to your instructor on or before Day 7. Once your instructor receives your Completion Certificate, he or she will enter a grade of “Complete” in the gradebook.

Questions about this Assignment? Post them in the Contact the Instructor area. That way, everyone in the class will see, and benefit from, the Instructor’s response.

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK2Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 2 Assignment link.
  • Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK2Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
  • If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
  • Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.
Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:Submit your Week 2 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7

To submit your Assignment:Week 2 Assignment

Project: Final Project Milestone: Continue Working on Your Final Project

In the Looking Ahead section of Week 1, you were introduced to the Final Project. By now, you should have logged into the MyDietAnalysis program to better understand what type of data you will need to enter into the program. By the end of this week, you should record your 3-day food journal and organize your information. Keeping up with the steps of your Final Project will help you to be better prepared for your final deliverables in Week 5. Be sure to ask your Instructor for guidance, if necessary.

By the end of this week, you should have completed Steps 1 and 2 of the Final Project.

By the end of Week 3, you will submit your MyDietAnalysis Actual vs. Recommended Intakes report and your Activity Summary report.

There is nothing to submit this week. Nevertheless, it is in your best interest to complete each step for the Final Project in advance of the due dates.


This 20-question, multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank quiz will assess how well you can apply the information in this week’s assigned readings.

About the quiz:

  • The quiz has a 2-hour time limit.
  • You may take the quiz as many times as you need in order to achieve a passing score.
  • If you encounter technical difficulties during the quiz or if you have questions about how a quiz works in your online classroom, contact the Student Support Team for more information. (The team’s contact information is in the Student Support area.)

By Day 7

Complete this week’s quiz.

Submission and Grading Information

Submit Your Quiz by Day 7

To submit your Quiz:Week 2 Quiz

Week in Review

This week, you examined the role of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in a healthy diet. You also explained the criteria used for determining good and bad carbohydrates/fats. In addition, you investigated component nutrients and analyzed foods to determine major organic groups.

Next week, you will begin to evaluate nutrition and the role of vitamins, minerals and water in keeping a body healthy.

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