A TO Z OF NUTRITION TERMINOLOGY (Part 2)
Continuing from last week’s blog, here we give you some more terms that can help you improve your health and nutrition knowledge.
M – Macronutrients
Nutritionists often group nutrients into two sub classes, called macro nutrients and micro nutrients. Macro nutrients refer to those nutrients that form the major portion of your consumption and contribute energy to your diet. Macro nutrients include carbohydrates, fats, protein, and alcohol. Sometimes water is also considered to be a macro nutrient. All other nutrients are consumed in smaller amounts and are labeled as micro nutrients.
N – Nutraceuticals
A food or part of a food that allegedly provides medicinal or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease A nutraceutical may be a naturally nutrient-rich or medicinally active food, such as garlic or soybeans, or it may be a specific component of a food, such as the omega-3 fish oil that can be derived from salmon and other cold-water fish.
O – Oxygen (O2)
O2 is essential for the maintenance and growth of aerobic animals, like the essentiality of what are classically considered nutrients. Nevertheless, O2 is not customarily regarded as a nutrient, this reflecting the route by which it enters the body – through the lungs or gills in vertebrates, rather than via the mouth and gastrointestinal tract.
P – Protein
Protein is in every living cell in the body. Your body needs protein from the foods you eat to build and maintain bones, muscles, and skin. You get proteins in your diet from meat, dairy products, nuts, and certain grains and beans. Proteins from meat and other animal products are complete proteins. This means they supply all the amino acids the body can’t make on its own. Plant proteins are incomplete. You must combine different types of plant proteins to get all of the amino acids your body needs. You need to eat protein every day, because your body doesn’t store it the way it stores fats or carbohydrates.
Q – Quinoa
Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.
R – Refined
Refined refers to the process where foods are stripped of their coarse outer layers and many nutritional aspects. For example, wholegrain wheat is refined to produce white flour.
S – Sugar
Sugars are a type of simple carbohydrate. They have a sweet taste. Sugars can be found naturally in fruits, vegetables, milk, and milk products. They are also added to many foods and drinks during preparation or processing. Types of sugar include glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Your digestive system breaks down sugar into glucose. Your cells use the glucose for energy.
T – Trans Fats
Trans fat is a type of fat that is created when liquid oils are changed into solid fats, like shortening and some margarine’s. It makes them last longer without going bad. It may also be found in crackers, cookies, and snack foods. Trans fat raises your LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowers your HDL (good) cholesterol.
U – Unsaturated Fats
Fatty acids in which there is a shortage of hydrogen atoms. The carbon atoms then become linked by double bonds. Unsaturated fatty acids are less stable than saturated fatty acids.
V – Vitamins
Vitamins are molecules that are needed in small amounts by the body for health and growth, and they must be obtained by the diet daily. The exceptions to this rule are vitamin D, which is made in the skin when exposed to sunlight and vitamin K, which can be synthesized by gut bacteria in small amounts. Vitamins play an essential role in releasing energy from food and in speeding up many chemical reactions that occur in the body every second. They also play important roles in the formation of body components, such as blood and bone as well as being antioxidants.
W – Water Intake
We all need to drink water. How much you need depends on your size, activity level, and the weather where you live. Keeping track of your water intake helps make sure that you get enough. Your intake includes fluids that you drink, and fluids you get from food.
X – Xylitol
Sugar alcohols, sometimes called polyols, are a class of carbohydrates that are more slowly or incompletely absorbed by the human digestive system than sugars. Common sugar alcohols include sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, and xylitol. Sugar alcohols contribute less Calories to the diet than most other types of carbohydrates, but may cause digestive discomfort.
Y – Yeast
You can get plenty of proteins and B vitamins from yeast-rich foods. Yeast keeps your digestive system healthy and in balance. The right amount in your body helps your immune system do its job. Yeast is part of a healthy mix of bacteria in your gut. It can help you absorb vitamins and minerals from your food, and even fight disease. A little yeast in your body is good for you. Too much can cause infections and other health problems.
Z – Zinc
Zinc is a mineral found in almost every cell throughout the body. It’s needed for DNA synthesis as well as to support the immune system.
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