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QUICK GLOSSARY

Antioxidants include vitamins A and C which help prevent oxygen from combining with chemicals in the body that form free radicals, which can cause chromosomal damage.

Basal Metabolic Rate
is the amount of calories consumed by the body without any activity or exercise. The common units are given in calories per day.

Calcium
is an important mineral that helps keep bones strong, can prevent osteoporosis, and also is involved in the generation of muscle contractions.

Calories
are the measure of energy of a food and the measure of energy requirements of the body at rest and during exercise and activity.

Carbohydrates are the primary and most common source of energy, supplying 4 calories per gram. Carbohydrates are complex (starch, dietary fiber) or simple (sugars, fructose, lactose, sucrose). Glucose or blood sugar is the ready form of carbohydrate used by tissues for energy. The brain requires a steady level of glucose.

Cholesterol is a complex chemical related to fats in the bloodstream and in all the body's cells. Cholesterol forms part of cell membranes, some hormones and other needed tissues. HDL (high density lipoprotein) is considered "good cholesterol" and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is considered "bad cholesterol." Total cholesterol includes both HDL and LDL, which when elevated is associated with the risk of heart disease and hardening of arteries.

Cholesterol Free
Less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol and less than 2 grams of saturated fat per serving.

Daily Value or DV, is a dietary reference term required on food labels. The DV identifies the percent of each nutrient the serving of food provides and is shown as a percentage required of some substances.

Dietary Fiber is a zero-calorie substance that cannot be digested by the human body, found only in plants. Sources include fruits, vegetables, legumes (dried peas and beans), whole grains, nuts, and seeds. The recommended daily fiber intake is 20-30 grams to help keep the intestines healthy.

Electrolytes are minerals that help regulate fluid balance, nerve conduction and muscle contraction.

Fat Free
Less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving.

Fats supply 9 calories per gram. Fats are used to store energy, insulate body tissues, and transport the fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D and K through the blood.

Folic Acid is a B vitamin that's vital for women of childbearing age for the purpose of helping prevent birth defects.

Glycemic Index ranks foods based on the their immediate effect on blood glucose or blood sugar levels after ingestion. A low glycemic index food causes a smaller rise in blood sugar. A high glycemic index food causes a quick elevation of blood sugar levels and a higher insulin response.

Gram is a scientific measurement of mass. There are about 454 grams in 1 pound.

Lean
Less than 10 grams of fat, less than 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and less than or equal to 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving.

Light
One-third less calories or no more than one-half of the fat in the higher calorie version.

Low Fat
Less than or equal to 3 grams of fat per serving.

Macronutrients
are carbohydrates, fats, proteins and water.

Minerals help regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions, and nerve impulses. Minerals also make up many structures of the body, such as bone, teeth, and blood vessels.

Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals.

Monounsaturated Fats (a fatty acid) are fats found in vegetable and nut oils, such as canola, peanut and olive oil. Mono- refers to these fat having one chemical bond in the chemical structure that is not completely hydrogenated as are other bonds in the structure. These fats melt at lower temperatures and are not as hard as saturated fats.

Polyunsaturated Fats (a fatty acid) are found primarily in vegetable and nut oils, such as corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oils. Fish oils are also high in polyunsaturated fats, called omega 3 fatty acids. These fats have multiple bonds that are not completely hydrogenated.

Proteins supply energy at 4 calories per gram. A protein is broken down into amino acids, which are then used to build, repair and maintain body tissues and to allow new growth and development. Protein is also essential for manufacture of hormones, antibodies, and enzymes.

Saturated Fats (a fatty acid) are found primarily in animal products, including whole milk, cheeses and fatty meats, but also in vegetable oils, such as coconut, palm and palm kernel oils. Higher amounts of these fats are associated with a high risk of heart disease and obesity.

Trans Fatty Acids are usually manmade by hydrogenation of vegetable oils, a process which turns trans fatty acids into saturated fat. Trans fatty acids may increase LDL, the "bad cholesterol."

Vitamins
are complex chemicals essential to life processes -- regulating metabolism. Fat soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K. Water soluble vitamins are the B vitamins and Vitamin C.

Water is the most essential nutrient.


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