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Nutrition.com.sg - Glossary
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Glossary
Antioxidants
Antioxidants may help to maintain overall health. Studies show that antioxidants may be able to help fight off toxic oxygen molecules (often called "free radicals"), a byproduct of metabolism and exposure to oxidizing substances.
BMI
Body Mass Index is an index of a person's weight in relation to height, determined by dividing weight (in kilograms) by the square of the height (in meters).
BMR
Basal Metabolic Rate is the rate of energy used for metabolism when the body is at complete rest.
Caffeine
A natural stimulant found in many common foods and beverages, including coffee, tea, cola drinks and chocolate.
Calcium
A mineral that you need for strong bones and teeth. Calcium is found in dairy products (like milk and cheese) and also in dried beans and dark green vegetables (like spinach).
Calorie
A unit of measure like an inch or a teaspoon, sometimes refered to as kilocalorie(s). Calories measure the amount of energy your body can get from a food. Calories are found in fats, carbohydrates, proteins and alcohol.
Carbohydrates
Sugars and starches are the main forms of carbohydrates. Sugars are simple carbohydrates and starches, such as breads, cereals and pasta, are complex carbohydrates. Each gram of carbohydrate provides 4 calories of energy. Foods with lots of carbohydrates give us quick energy!
Carotene
Also known as beta-carotene is a yellow pigment (found in food) that may be converted into Vitamin A in the body.
Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids (fats) in the bloodstream and in all your body's cells. It is used to form cell membranes, some hormones and other needed tissues. But a high level of cholesterol in the blood— hypercholesterolemia—is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease.
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease describes conditions related to the heart and blood vessels leading to and from the heart. Most common conditions are chest pains, heart attacks, stroke and high blood pressure.
Diet
What you eat every day.
Digestion
The process where your body breaks down food into its smaller parts, which are called nutrients.
Energy
The body's capacity for doing work. Food gives us the energy we need to live & play.
Enriched
Indicates that more of the food's natural nutrients have been added during processing. This is often done to replace nutrients that may have been lost through handling.
Fat
These are concentrated sources of energy. Every gram of fat provides 9 calories!
Fibre
Part of plants which the body cannot digest; helps your digestive system and bowels keep working well.
Free Radicals
A chemical reactive molecule generated from the decomposition of unsaturated fatty acids.
Fortified
Means that nutrients not naturally found in that particular food have been added during processing to enhance the consumer's diet.
Iron
A mineral that is an important part of haemoglobin, your blood's oxygen-carrying molecule. Iron also helps your body resist infection and use energy from food.
Lipids
A family of compounds that includes triglycerides (fats and oils), phospholipids and sterols.
Malnutrition
Poor nutrition resulting in tiredness, illness, lack of ability to fight infection and finally muscle wasting in the latter stages.
Metabolism
The chemical reactions that go on in living cells by which energy is produced for use by the cells.
Nutrition
The way that our bodies use food for maintenance and health.
Nutrients
Components in food that our bodies use for survival eg. vitamins, minerals.
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.
Phytochemicals
Chemicals found in plants and vegetables, some of which have been found to provide restorative properties and help protect against some cancers, heart disease and other chronic health conditions.
Poultry
Meat that comes from birds, like chicken, duck, goose, and turkey.
Protein
Building blocks that our body uses; made up of chains of amino acids. Body tissues, like our skin, hair and muscles are built mostly of protein; also needed for grow and repair.
RDA
Recommended Dietary Allowances are the suggested average daily dietary intakes of nutrients which will keep most people healthy.
Refined
Refers to the fine grinding and sifting of cereal grains to produce white flour.
Saturated Fat
Fatty acids that have all the hydrogen they can hold on their chemical chains. They mainly come from animal foods and tend to deposit in blood vessels, blocking blood flow.
Sodium (Na)
This mineral is used for cellular fluid balance, and muscle retractions.
Starch
A complex carbohydrate that our bodies break down and use for energy.
Sugar
A simple carbohydrate that our bodies break down and use for energy.
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.
Unsaturated Fat
Type of fat that is found to be better for health and may protect against heart disease. Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats are missing one or more hydrogen bond on their chemical chains. They mainly come from vegetable sources and fish.
Vegetarian
A diet that excludes some or all protein from animal sources.
Semi-vegetarians: will not eat red meat, but will eat fish and poultry.
Lacto-ovo vegetarians: no meats but will eat dairy products & eggs.
Lacto vegetarians: no meat, only dairy products
Vegans: strict vegetarians, no foods from animals at all; eats food from plant sources only.
Vitamins
A group of nutrients that our bodies need to grow and function well. Some important vitamins that we need are B vitamins, and vitamin A, C, D, E and K.
Whole Grain
Applies to grains in which the outer layer, where the B vitamins and minerals are concentrated, is not removed during processing.


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