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Nutrition Terms

A  

AMINO ACIDS

The building blocks of protein

ANOREXIA

Eating Disorder that leads to a potentially fatal low body weight

ANTHROPOMETRIC

Relating to measurement of the physical characteristics of the body such as height and weight

B  

BCA (Body Composition Analysis)

Determines percent of body fat and percent of lean body tissue (lean body mass)

BEHAVIORAL GUIDANCE

Provides nutritional counseling to learn proper eating habits

BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION

The changing of behavior by the manipulation of cues and environment factors that trigger behavior.

BLOOD PRESSURE

The pressure of the blood on the walls of the arteries

BMI (Body Mass Index)

An index of a person's weight in relation to height, determined by dividing the weight (in kilograms) by the square of the height (in meters)

BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)

The rate of energy used for metabolism when the body is at complete rest

BULIMIA

Eating disorder characterized by binge eating, sometimes followed by vomiting or purging

C  

CAFFEINE

A natural stimulant found in many common foods and beverages, including coffee, tea and chocolate

CALORIE

Unit of heat, measurement of energy

CARBOHYDRATE

A compound composed of sugars

COMPLETE PROTEIN

A protein containing all the essential amino acids

COUNSELING

The professional guidance of an individual in a specific area

D  

DIABETES TYPE 1

Insulin Dependent-persons body does not produce insulin at all

DIABETES TYPE 2

Non-Insulin Dependent-persons body does produce insulin but fat cells resist the insulin. Majority of cases are due to obesity.

DIET

To eat sparingly or according to prescribed rules

E  

ELECTROLYTES

Essential elements necessary for cell function to regulate the distribution of body fluids, (Ex. sodium, potassium)

ENERGY METABOLISM

The reactions by which the body obtains and spends the energy from food

ENZYME

A protein that facilitates chemical reactions without itself being changed in the process

ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS

Amino acids that the body cannot make in sufficient amounts to meet physiological needs and must come from foods we consume

EXCHANGE LISTS

Diet planning tools that organize foods by their nutrient and energy contents. Foods on any single list can be used interchangeably.

F  

FIBER

A general term denoting the structural part of plants. They are not digested by human digestive enzymes, although some are digested by the gastrointestinal tract bacterial.

G  

GLUCOSE

A monosaccharide, sometimes known as blood sugar

H  

HIGH QUALITY PROTEIN

A protein that is easily digestible and a complete protein

HYPERGLYCEMIA

Increase in blood sugar

HYPERTENSION

Elevated blood pressure

HYPOGLYCEMIA

Deficiency of glucose in the blood, low blood sugar

HYPOTENSION

Low blood pressure

I

 

IDEAL BODY WEIGHT

Based on a person’s height and gender. For men: 106lbs for first 5 feet + 6lbs for every inch over 5 feet. For women: 100lbs for first 5 feet + 5 lbs for each inch over 5 feet. For those under 5 feet, subtract 2 lbs for each inch under 5 feet.

INSULIN

A hormone secreted by special cells in the pancreas in response to increased blood glucose (blood sugar) concentrations

L  

LACTOSE

The main carbohydrate in milk (milk sugar)

LACTOSE INTOLERANCE

A condition that results from inability to digest the milk sugar-lactose

LEAN BODY MASS

The fat-free mass or part of the body including all its components except fat storage

LIPIDS

A family of compounds that includes triglycerides (fats and oils), phospholipids and sterols

M  

METABOLISM

The sum total of all the chemical reactions that go on in living cells; also the transformation by which energy is made available for the uses of the organism

MINERALS

Inorganic elements; some minerals are essential nutrients required in small amounts

MONOSACCHARIDE

A carbohydrate that consists of a single ring

MORBID OBESITY

100% to 149% above ideal body weight

N  

NUTRIENTS

Substances obtained from food and used in the body to provide energy and structural materials and to regulate growth, maintenance and repair of the body's tissue

O  

OBESITY

A chronic disease characterized by excessively high body fat in relation to lean body tissue

OVERWEIGHT

An excess of body weight that includes fat, bone and muscle

P

 

PLATEAU (WEIGHT)

Reaching a level or period of stability

PROTEIN

An energy yielding nutrient

R  

RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance)

The amounts of energy and selected nutrients considered adequate to meet the nutrient needs of practically all healthy people

RDI (Reference Daily Intakes)

Food labeling values for protein, vitamins and minerals based on population-adjusted means of the RDA

REGISTRED DIETITIAN

An expert in food and nutrition that has completed a bachelor’s degree, supervised internship and national exam for dietitians. In order to maintain this credential, continuing education credits must be obtained on a regular basis.

S  

SATURATED FAT

Fatty acids that have all the hydrogen they can hold on their chemical chains. They mainly come from animal foods.

T  

TRIGLYCERIDES

The scientific name for the common form of fat, found in both the body and in foods. Most body fat is stored in the form of triglycerides.

U  

UNSATURATED FAT

(Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated) are missing one or more hydrogen pairs on their chemical chains. They mainly come from vegetable sources and fish.

V  

VEGETARIAN

A general term used to describe people who exclude meat, poultry, fish or other animal-derived foods from their diets

VITAMINS

Organic, essential nutrients required in small amounts

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