Nutrition Terminology
Posted in Health

With a growing awareness about health and Nutrition, there are many terms that we tend to come across. Here’s a quick look at some of the very basic one that we tend to see frequently around us, be it in the media, or on food labels.

A – Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. The body produces many amino acids and others come from food. The body absorbs amino acids through the small intestine into the blood. Then the blood carries them throughout the body.

B – Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index is a standardized ratio of weight to height and is often used as a general indicator of health. Your BMI can be calculated by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by the square of your height (in meters). A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal for most adults. Higher BMIs may indicate that an individual is overweight or obese.

C – Caffeine

Caffeine is a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee and cacao plants. Caffeine’s main effect ison the brain. It stimulates the brain by blocking the effects of the neurotransmitter adenosine. It may boost metabolism and promote fat loss, but these effects are likely to remain small over the long term. Consumingsmall amounts of caffeine about an hour before exercise are likely to improve exercise performance.

D – Diuretic

A diuretic is a substance that increases the production of urine thereby increasing the removal of water from the body. Caffeine is a naturally occurring diuretic.

E–Electrolytes

Electrolytes are minerals which are needed to keep the body’s balance of fluids at a healthy level and to maintain normal functions, such as heart rhythm, muscle contraction, and nerve impulse transmission. Electrolytes include potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium.

F – Fiber

Fiber plays a key role in preventing constipation, cancer and heart disease. Wholegrain breads, cereals, legumes, rice, pasta, fruit and vegetables are good sources of fiber. There are several different types of dietary fiber. The three major types are soluble fiber, insoluble fiber and resistant starch. (Although it is not actually a fiber, resistant starch is now being recognized as a member of the ‘fiber family’ due to its similar effects on the body.)

G – Glycaemic Index (GI)

The Glycaemic Index (GI) is a system of classifying carbohydrate foods based on their effect on blood glucose (sugar) levels. Foods are given a rating between 0 and 100. Carbohydrate foods can be classified as having a low, moderate or high GI. Low GI foods are those that have a slower, more constant affect on a person’s blood sugar levels. That means, they break down slowly and generally provide a longer ‘feeling of fullness’. Taking this into consideration, a diet based on low GI foods can be useful to prevent overeating and maintain more optimal blood sugar levels.

H – HDL

HDL stands for high-density lipoproteins. It is also known as “good” cholesterol. HDL is one of the two types of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol throughout your body. It carries the cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Your liver removes the cholesterol from your body.

I – Iron

Iron is one of the human body’s essential minerals. It forms part of hemoglobin, the component of the blood that carries oxygen throughout the body. People with iron-poor blood tire easily because their bodies are starved for oxygen. Iron is also part of myoglobin, which helps muscles store oxygen. With insufficient iron, adenosine triphosphate (ATP; the fuel the body runs on) cannot be properly synthesized. As a result, some iron-deficient people can become fatigued even when they are not anemic.

J–Joule

These days, energy intake is often measured in joules (J) (or kilojoules (kJ)) but many people are more familiar with Calories (kcal).

  • 1 kilojoule (kJ) = 1,000 joules
  • 1 megajoule (MJ) = 1,000,000 joules
  • 1 kilocalorie (kcal) = 1,000 calories, or 1 Calorie

To convert from one unit to another:

1 kcal = 4.184 kJ, so a 1000 kcal diet provides 4.184 MJ or 4184 kJ

1 MJ = 239 kcal

K–Potassium (K)

Potassium and sodium work together in the body to regulate the balance between water and acidity in the blood. Potassium is also important for nerve function to the muscles which causes muscles (including the heart) to contract. If there is a deficiency in potassium, heart rhythm can be altered. Potassium can be found in fruits, vegetables, grain foods, meats and milk.

L–LDL

LDL stands for low-density lipoproteins. It is also known as “bad” cholesterol. LDL is one of the two types of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol throughout your body. A high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. 

That’s all for this Folks! Stay tuned to know more next week. Until then, do refill on your Ultra Clean Nutrition needs here.

Comment (1)

  • Interesting read and a good recap of important health terminology!

    Shevvy
    Reply

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