The first of our four topics is about the food we eat. This topic starts with a brief introduction to interpreting chemical structures of organic molecules, which leads into looking at the main macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) that we take in and how we use them for energy, as well as the micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) we ingest and what purpose they serve.
- 1.1: What are chemicals?
- Chemicals are all around us in different forms: the food we eat, the water we drink, and pharmaceuticals we design to have particular effects on our bodies. The first section starts with a brief review of what chemicals are, and then looks at how we can divide up chemicals by type: organic and inorganic.
- 1.2: Representing Structures
- Before we look specifically at several important groups of molecules, we need to understand how chemists symbolically represent chemical structures and how to interpret them. This section focuses on how we represent the organic molecules that make up our body and foods we eat.
- 1.3: Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins
- The food we eat has three main types of macro-nutrients: carbohydrates (sugars), fats (lipids) and proteins (polymers of amino acids). In this section we will look at the structures and properties of each of these major classes of chemicals.
- 1.4: Macro- and Micronutrients
- Building from the last section that looked at the structures of macro-nutrients, this section will focus on how we break down macro-nutrients to use for different purposes in our body. It will also briefly examine the structure and function of micro-nutrients.