Would You Like Fries With That?
Module written by Sandra Laursen and Heather Mernitz
Session 1: Is it Unhealthy to Eat Fat?
Analyzing Information about Diet and Health
Exploration 1A: What are the Health Consequences of Our Food Choices?
Assessing Media Claims
Exploration 1B: How Does Fat in Our Diet Compare with Other Health Risks?
American Heart Association, Absolute and Relative Risk (http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4719)
American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, Absolute vs Relative Differences (http://www.acponline.org/journals/ecp/janfeb00/primer.htm)
"Worth the Risk - Putting Activities in Perspective", Food Insight , Nov/Dec 1999 (http://ific.org/foodinsight/1999/nd/worthriskfi699.cfm)
Exploration 1C: Should We Eat Olestra Instead of Fat?
Preparing for the Culminating Project
FDA Approves Fat Substitute Olestra, January 1996 (http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/NEW00524.html)
The Olestra web site maintained by Procter and Gamble: http://www.olean.com. See the special information for news media page http://www.olean.com/media/media.shtml or the site map http://www.olean.com/map.html
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) web site: http://www.cspinet.org/olestra/. See their anti-olestra commercial http://www.cspinet.org/olestra/OLES-M.MOV (requires Quicktime plug-in)
Making the Link: Is it Unhealthy to Eat Fat?
Session 2: What Makes Fats Different From Other Nutrients?
Chemical Structure and Properties of Nutrients
Exploration 2A: How do Chemists Represent the Structures of Nutrients?
Exploration 2B: What Makes the Macronutrients Structurally Distinct?
Exploration 2C: What Properties Distinguish the Different Macronutrients?
Extraction of Fat From Food
In 1993 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration established new food labeling regulations, requiring a standard format and content for the Nutrition Facts Label and establishing standard definitions of terms such as lite, healthy, and fat-free. The label provides information about calories, macronutrients, and substances related to particular nutrition concerns (salt, cholesterol, certain vitamins). This food label is used as a source of comparative data for your experimental results in the fat extraction lab. For information on reading the food label see FDA Backgrounder: The Food Label, May 1999 (http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/fdnewlab.html)
Making the Link: What Makes Fats Different From Other Nutrients?
Session 3: Why is Fat a Necessary Nutrient?
Molecular Polarity and Solubility
Exploration 3A: Why Don't Oil and Water Mix?
Making Predictions and Testing Solubility
Exploration 3B: How Can We Make Oil and Water Mix?
Surfactants, Micelles, and Membranes
Making the Link: Why is Fat a Necessary Nutrient?
Session 4: How is Fat a Concentrated Energy Source?
Exploration 4A: How Do We Get Energy From What We Eat?
Combustion Reactions in Our Bodies
The National Institute of Standards and Technology maintains an excellent database of chemical data, including thermochemical data for many compounds and reactions. It contains the most accurate values of and available, and it is a good place to look up data for any compounds for which you cannot locate data in your text or other print sources. Follow the screen instructions at http://webbook.nist.gov to search for the desired data.
One excellent source of detailed data on the energy content of a wide variety of foods is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 14, 2001 (http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/). Click on the Search the Database button or click here. Enter keyword (e.g. peanut or corn puff) and press return. Then click on the report button (a 100 g sample size is convenient.)
Exploration 4B: How Do Chemical Bonds Affect Food Energies?
Making the Link: How is Fat a Concentrated Energy Source?
Session 5: What Kind of Fat Should We Eat?
Macroscopic Consequences of Microscopic Structure
Exploration 5A: What is the Difference Between Fats and Oils?
Bromine Titration Experiment
To analyze your laboratory results for this Exploration, you will need to find data on the fatty acid composition of the fats and oils studied in the lab. One excellent source of detailed data on the composition of a wide variety of foods is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrient Database (http://www.nalusda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/)
Exploration 5B: How Can We Explain the Differences Between Fats and Oils?
Exploration 5C: Should We Eat Fats or Oils?
Radicals, Rancidity, and Oxidation
Exploration 5D: Should We Eat Butter or Margarine?
Hydrogenation and Isomerism
Making the Link: What Kind of Fat Should We Eat?
Session 6: Should We Eat Fake Fat?
Science and Personal Choices
Exploration 6A: How is Fat Replaced in Food?
Chemistry of Fat Substitutes
International Food Information Council (IFIC) Everything You Need to Know About... The Functions of Fats in Foods, March 1998 (http://ific.org/publications/brochures/fatsbroch.cfm or pdf file)
American Dietetic Association position paper, Fat replacers, J. Am. Diet. Assoc. (1998) 98:463-468 (http://www.eatright.org/Public/Other/index_adap0498.cfm)
International Food Information Council (IFIC) Questions and Answers about Fat Replacers, April 2000 (http://www.ific.org/publications/qa/fatreplqa.cfm)
Exploration 6B: Should We Eat Olestra?
Rasmol models by Sandra Laursen and Marco Molinaro based on data from the Cambridge Crystallographic Database.
Copyright © 2004 by the trustees of Beloit College and the Regents of the University of California. This Module has been developed under the direction of the ChemLinks Coalition, headed by Beloit College, and the ModularChem Consortium, headed by the University of California at Berkeley. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation grants No. DUE-9455918 and DUE-9455924. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation, Beloit College, or the Regents of the University of California.
Published through exclusive license with W. W. Norton.
Would You Like Fries With That? The Fuss about Fats in Our Diet ISBN 0-393-92432-7
Fuss about Fats | ChemConnections