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2012-08-17 19:18:19
Nutrition Basics

Nutrition Basics
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  1. Nutrients
    Chemical substances in foods that are used by the body for growth and health.
  2. Food Security
    Access at all times to a sufficient supply of safe, nutritious foods.
  3. Food Insecurity
    Limited or uncertain availability of safe, nutritious foods, or the ability to acquire them in socially acceptable ways.
  4. Calorie
    A unit of measure of the amount of energy supplied by food.  Also known as the "kilocalorie" (kcal), or the "large Calorie"
  5. Essential Nutrients
    Substances required for growth and health that cannot be produced, or produced in sufficient amounts, by the body.  They must be obained from the diet.
  6. Essential Amino Acids
    Amino acids that cannot be synthesized in adequate amounts by humans and therefore must be obtained from the diet.

    Also called "indispensible amino acids"
  7. Nonessential Nutrients
    Nutrients required for growth and health that can be produced by the body from other components of the diet.
  8. DVs
    • Daily Values
    • Scientifically agreed-upon standards for daily intakes of nutrients from the diet developed for use on nutrition labels.
  9. DRIs
    • Dietary Reference Intakes
    • This is the general term used for the nutrient intake standards for healthy people.
  10. RDAs
    • Recommended Dietary Allowances
    • These are levels of essential nutrient intake judged to be adequate to meet the known nutrient needs of practically all healthy persons while decreasing the risk of certain chronic diseases.
  11. AIs
    • Adequate Intakes
    • These are "tentative" RDAs.  

    AIs are based on less conclusive scientific information than are the RDAs
  12. EARs
    • Estimated Average Requirements
    • These are nutrient intake values that are estimated to meet the requirements of half the healthy individuals in a group.  The EARs are used to assess adequacy of intakes of population groups.
  13. ULs
    • Tolerable Upper Intake Levels
    • These are upper limits of nutrient intake compatible with health.

    The ULs do NOT reflect desired levels of intake.  Rather, they represent total, daily levels of nutrient intake from food, fortified foods, and supplements that should not be exceeded.
  14. Insulin Resistance
    A condition in which cell membranes have a reduced sensitivity to insulin so that more insulin than normal is required to transport a given amount of glucose into cells.
  15. Type 2 Diabetes
    A disease characterized by high blood glucose levels due to the body's inability to use insulin normally, to produce enough insulin, or both.
  16. Glycemic Index
    A measure of the extent to which blood glucose is raised by a 50-gram portion of a carbohydrate-containing food compared to 50 grams of glucose or white bread.
  17. Amino Acids
    The "building blocks" of protein.  Unlike carbohydrates and fats, amino acids contain nitrogen.
  18. Kwashiorkor
    A severe form of protein-energy malnutrition, in young children. It is characterized by swelling, fatty liver; susceptibility to infection, profound apathy, and poor appetite. The cause of kwashiorkor is unclear.
  19. Fatty Acids
    The fat-soluble components of fats in foods.
  20. Glycerol
    A component of fats that is soluble in water: It is converted to glucose in the body.
  21. Essential Fatty Acids
    Components of fat that are a required part of the diet (i.e., linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids).  Both contain unsaturated fatty acids.
  22. Prostaglandins
    A group of physiologically active substances derived from the essential fatty acids.  They are present in many tissues and perform such functions as the constriction or dilation of blood vessels and stimulation of smooth muscles and the uterus.
  23. Thromboxanes
    Biologically active substances produced in platelets that increase platelet aggregation (and therefore promote blood clotting), constrict blood vessels, and increase blood pressure.
  24. Prostacyclins
    Biologically active substances produced by blood vessel walls that inhibit platelet aggregation (and therefore blood clotting), dilate blood vessels, and reduce blood pressure.
  25. Saturated Fats
    Fats in which adjacent carbons in the fatty acid component are linked by single bonds only (e.g. -C-C-C-C-).
  26. Unsaturated Fats
    Fats in which only one pair of adfacent carbons in one or more of its fatty acids is linked by a double bond (e.g., -C-C=C-C=C-).
  27. Monounsaturated Fats
    Fats in which only one pair of adjacent carbons in one or more of its fatty acids is linked by a double bond (e.g., -C-C=C-C-).
  28. Polyunsaturated Fats
    Fats in which more than one pair of adjacent carbons in one or more of its fatty acids are linked by two or more double bonds (e.g., -C-C=C-C=C-)
  29. Trans fat
    A type of unsaturated fat present in hydrogenated oils, margarine, shortenings, pastries, and some cooking oils that increase the risk of heart disease.  

    Fats containing fatty acids in the trans versus the more common cis form are generally referred to as trans fat.
  30. Cholesterol
    A fat-soluble, colorless liquid primarily found in animal products.
  31. Coenzymes
    Chemical substances that activate enzymes
  32. Metabolism
    The chemical changes that take place in the body.  The conversion of glucose to energy or body fat is an example of a metabolic process.
  33. Antioxidants
    Chemical substances that prevent or repair damage to cells caused by exposure to oxidizing agents such as oxygen, ozone, and smoke and to other oxidizing agents normally produced in the body.  Many different antioxidants are found in foods; some are made by the body.
  34. Phytochemicals
    (phyto = plants) Chemical substances in plants some of which affect body processes in humans that may benefit health. 
  35. Homeostasis
    Constancy of the internal environment.  The balance of fluids, nutrients, gases, temperature, and other conditions needed to ensure ongoing, proper functioning of cells and, therefore, all parts of the body.
  36. Malnutrition
    Poor nutrition resulting from an excess or lack of calories or nutrients.
  37. Primary Malnutrition
    Malnutrition that results directly from inadequate or excessive dietary intake of energy or nutrients.
  38. Secondary Malnutrition
    Malnutrition that results from a condition (e.g., disease, surgical procedure, medication use) rather than primarily from dietary intake.
  39. Autoimmune Disease
    A disease related to the destruction of the body's own cells by substances produced by the immune system that mistakenly recognize certain cell components as harmful.
  40. Chronic Disease
    Slow-developing, long-lasting diseases that are not contagious (e.g., heart disease, cancer, diabetes).  They can be treated but not always cured.
  41. Hypertension
    High blood pressure.  It is defined as blood pressure exerted inside blood vessel walls that typically exceeds 140/90 mmHg (millimeters of mercury).
  42. Stroke
    An event that occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or becomes blocked.  Stroke is often associated with "hardening of the arteries" in the brain.  also called cerebral vascular accident.
  43. Alzheimer's Disease
    A brain disease that represents the most common form of dementia.  It is characterized by memory loss for recent events that expands to more distant memories over the course of five to ten years.  It eventually produces profound intellectual decline characterized by dementia and personal helplessness.
  44. Chronic Inflammation
    Low-grade inflammation that lasts weeks, months, or years.  Inflammation is the first response of the body's immune system to infectious agents, toxins, or irritants.  It triggers the release of biologically active substances that promote oxidation and other reactions to counteract the infection, toxin, or irritant.  A side effect of chronic inflammation is that it also damages lipids, cells, and tissues.
  45. Oxidative Stress
    A condition that occurs when cells are exposed to more oxidizing molecules (such as free radicals) than to antioxidant molecules that neutralize them.  over time, oxidative stress causes damage to lipids, DNA, cells, and tissues.  It increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and other diseases.
  46. Osteoporosis
    A condition in which low bone density or weak bone structure leads to an increased risk of bone fracture.
  47. Nutrient-Dense Foods
    Foods that contain relatively high amounts of nutrients compared to their caloric value.
  48. Empty-Calorie Foods
    Foods that provide an excess of calories relative to their nutrient content.
  49. Dietary Supplements
    Any product intended to supplement the diet, including vitamin and mineral supplements, proteins, enzymes, amino acids, fish oils, fatty acids, hormones and hormone precursors, and herbs and other plant extracts.  In the United States, such products must be labeled "Dietary Supplement."
  50. Enrichment
    The replacement of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and iron that are lost when grains are refined.
  51. Fortification
    The addition of one or more vitamins or minerals to a food product.
  52. Functional Foods
    Generally taken to mean food, fortified foods, and enhanced food products that may have health benefits beyond the effects of essential nutrients they contain.
  53. Prebiotics
    Certain fiberlike forms of indigestible carbohydrates that support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the lower intestine.  Nicknamed "intestinal fertilizer"
  54. Probiotics
    Strains of lactobacillus and bifidobacteria that have beneficial effects on the body.  Also called "friendly bacteria"
  55. Registered Dietitian
    An individual who has acquired food and nutrition knowledge and skills necessary to pass a national registration examination and who participates in continuing professional education.
  56. Anthropometry
    The science of measuring the human body and its parts.
  57. Nutrition Surveillance
    Continuous assessment of nutritional status for the purpose of detecting changes in trend or distribution in order to initiate corrective measures.
  58. Nutrition Monitoring
    Assessment of dietary or nutrition status at intermittent times with the aim of detecting changes in the dietary or nutritional status of a population.