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The Open University

The science of nutrition and healthy eating

The Open University via OpenLearn

Overview

This free course, The science of nutrition and healthy eating, looks at the science behind nutrition, covering aspects of biology, chemistry and physics as well as giving some insight into ...

Syllabus

  • Introduction and guidance
  • Introduction and guidance
  • What is a badged course?
  • How to get a badge
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week1Week 1: The basics of food
  • Introduction
  • 1 Why do we eat?
  • 1.1 What are the reasons for eating?
  • 1.2 Ghrelin
  • 1.3 The components of food
  • 2 Protein
  • 2.1 Protein sequencing
  • 2.2 Phenylketonuria
  • 2.3 Protein in foods
  • 3 Fats and oils
  • 3.1 Saturated fats
  • 3.2 Fat makes food taste good
  • 3.3 Butter and chocolate
  • 4 Carbohydrates
  • 4.1 Sugars
  • 5 Salt makes food taste good
  • 6 Vitamins and minerals
  • 7 Where can you find fibre?
  • 7.1 The benefits of fibre
  • 8 This week’s quiz
  • 9 Summary
  • References
  • Further reading
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week2Week 2: What happens to the food we eat?
  • Introduction
  • 1 Holes, tubes and valves
  • 1.1 Opening out the human digestive system
  • 1.2 Digestive system of a pig
  • 1.3 Move along in there, please
  • 1.4 The path your food travels
  • 2 A window into the stomach
  • 2.1 The pH scale
  • 2.2 Measuring pH
  • 2.3 Why is the stomach so acidic?
  • 2.4 Stomach ulcers
  • 2.5 Enzymes
  • 2.6 Enzymes in washing powder
  • 2.7 Digestion inside and outside the body
  • 2.8 Do the liver experiment
  • 2.9 Digestive enzymes
  • 3 Peristalsis
  • 3.1 Absorption into the blood
  • 3.2 What does the liver do?
  • 3.3 Taking the nutrients around the body
  • 3.4 Taking glucose from the intestine to the brain
  • 3.5 The large intestine
  • 4 This week’s quiz
  • 5 Summary
  • Further reading
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week3Week 3: The importance of hydration
  • Introduction
  • 1 What is hydration?
  • 2 Why you need to drink
  • 3 How much should you drink?
  • 4 What should you drink?
  • 5 Caffeine intake
  • 6 Effects of dehydration
  • 7 Physical activity and fluid intake
  • 8 Alcohol intake
  • 8.1 How much alcohol should you have?
  • What is a unit of alcohol?
  • 9 This week’s quiz
  • 10 Summary
  • References
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week4Week 4: What do food labels tell us?
  • Introduction
  • 1 What is in my food?
  • 1.1 Percentages
  • 2 Chemical analysis
  • 2.1 Using the laboratory data
  • 3 Presenting the data on the packaging
  • 4 Allergens
  • 5 Food additives
  • 6 Traffic-light system
  • 7 Eating like a horse!
  • 8 Packaging claims – to confuse the unwary shopper
  • 9 Do you look at food labels differently now?
  • 10 This week’s quiz
  • 11 Summary
  • References
  • Further reading
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week5Week 5: Energy from food and sweeteners
  • Introduction
  • 1 How much energy is in food?
  • 1.1 How do we find out the energy in food?
  • 1.2 How many kilocalories in a peanut?
  • 1.3 Some numbers
  • 1.4 Scientific uncertainty
  • 2 Calories and joules
  • 3 How much food do we need?
  • 3.1 Physiological requirement
  • 3.2 Reference values
  • 3.3 Calculating RIs
  • 4 Sweeteners
  • 4.1 How safe are sweeteners?
  • 5 This week’s quiz
  • 6 Summary
  • References
  • Further reading
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week6Week 6: What do people eat?
  • Introduction
  • 1 The Eatwell Guide
  • 1.1 Dietary advice from around the world
  • 1.2 Five a day – or more?
  • 1.3 Seven a day
  • 1.4 What about ten a day?
  • 2 Healthy snacks
  • 3 Vegetarian and vegan diets
  • 4 Malnutrition
  • 4.1 The Global Nutrition Report
  • 4.2 The obesity epidemic
  • 4.3 Measuring obesity
  • 4.4 Different BMI classifications for some population groups
  • 4.5 Measuring your waist
  • 4.6 Obesity levels
  • 4.7 What has caused the obesity epidemic?
  • 4.8 A drastic solution: bariatric surgery
  • 5 Food in the Second World War and food banks now
  • 5.1 Food in the Second World War
  • 5.2 Food banks
  • 6 This week’s quiz
  • 7 Summary
  • References
  • Further reading
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week7Week 7: Food allergy or food intolerance?
  • Introduction
  • 1 Food allergy
  • 1.1 Symptoms of a food allergy
  • 1.2 Top 14 food allergens in the UK
  • 1.3 Anaphylaxis
  • 1.4 The science bit
  • 1.5 Nut allergy
  • 2 Food intolerance
  • 2.1 Symptoms of food intolerance
  • 3 Diagnosing and managing a food allergy and food intolerance
  • 4 Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • 4.1 Healthy eating and lifestyle with IBS
  • 4.2 The low FODMAP approach
  • 4.3 Prebiotics and probiotics for good gut bacteria
  • 5 Coeliac disease
  • 6 This week’s quiz
  • 7 Summary
  • References
  • Acknowledgements
  • Week8Week 8 Taste and psychology
  • Introduction
  • 1 How we taste food
  • 1.1 The science bit
  • 2 Reasons for eating
  • 2.1 Sensory signals
  • 2.2 Pre-absorptive information
  • 2.3 Post absorptive signals
  • 3 Food habits
  • 4 Eating disorders
  • 5 Your food diary
  • 5.1 Thoughts on your food diary
  • 6 Summary
  • 7 This week’s quiz
  • 8 End-of-course round up
  • Tell us what you think
  • Where next?
  • References
  • Acknowledgements

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