Glossary

AdminB

Administrator
Staff member
#1
Glossary

Acesulfame potassium, or Ace-K
A sugar substitute, 200 times sweeter than sugar, that contains no calories.

Allergen
A substance foreign to the body that causes an allergic reaction

Allicin
The chemical responsible for garlic's odour and health effects

Amino acids
Organic (carbon-containing) acids that the body links to make proteins.
Nine amino acids are termed essential because they must be profided in the diet, the body produces the remaining 11 as they are needed

Anaemia
A condition in which there is a shortage of red cells in the blood or a deficiency of haemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying pigment) in these cells

Anthocyanins
Antioxidant flavonoids found in many plant pigments

Anticarcinogens
Compounds that are thought to counteract certain cancer causing substances

Asperagine
An amino acid found in certain plants especially legumes

Aspartame
An artificial sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than sugar

Bacteria
A single-celled microorganism that are found in aire, food, water, soil and other living creatures including humans.
Friendly bacteria support your body's own gut bacteria in preventing infections and synthesising certain vitamins; others cause disease.

Basal metabolic rate
The energy required to maintain vital processes in the human body.

Beta-carotene
One of a group of nutrients known as carotenoids. An immune system booster and powerful antioxidant, beta-carotene neutralises
the free radicals that can damage cells and promote disease.

Beta-glucans
The soluble dietary fibre component of barley and oat bran.

B-group vitamins
Although not chemically related to one another, many of the B vitamins occur in the same foods and most perform closely
linked tasks within the body.
B vitamins are known either by numbers or names or both. B thiamine, B2 riboflavin. B3 niacin, B5 pantothenic acid. B6 pyridoxine
B12, cobalamin, biotin and folate.

Biotin
One of the B vitamins.

Calcium
The most plentiful mineral in the body, a major component of bones, teeth and soft tissues.
Calcium is needed for nerve and muscle function, blood clotting and metabolism.

Calorie
The basic unit of measurement for the energy value of food and the energy needs of the body.
Because 1 calorie is minuscule, values are usually expressed as units of 1,000 calories, properly
written as kilocalories (kcal).

Capsanthin
A carotenoid. Capsanthin contributes to the red colour in paprika.

Carbohydrates
Simple carbohydrates are foods that are easily digested into glucose such as table sugar and bleached flour.
Complex carbohydrates which make up the bulk of whole grains and vegetables are starches composed of complex sugars
fibre and other nutrients. They take longer to digest and have more beneficial ingredients in them.

Carcinogen
A substance that can cause cancer.

Carotenes
Yellow and red pigments that colour yellow-orange fruits and vegetables and most dark green vegetables.
They are among the antioxidants that protect against the effects of ageing and disease.
The human body converts one such pigment - beta-carotene - into vitamin A.

Carotenoids
A group of red and yellow pigments similar to carotenes.Copper
A trace mineral necessary for the production of red blood cells, connective tissue

Chromium
A trace mineral that ensures proper glucose metabolism.

Cobalamin
See B-group vitamins; Vitamin B12.

Complex carbohydrates
See Carbohydrates.

Copper
A trace mineral necessary for the production of red blood cells, connective tissue and nerve fibres. Component of several enzymes.

Cruciferous vegetables
Members of the mustard family of plants which includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cress, mustard, radish and turnips.

Diabetes (diabetes mellitus)
A disorder of carbohydrate metabolism characterised by inadequate production or utilisation of insulin and resulting in excessive
amounts of glucose in the blood and urine.
There are two main forms:
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas which can
cause a total halt in insulin production.
Type 2 diabetes the pancreas produces insulin but the bodys cells begin to resist insulins message to let blood glucose in the cells
a condition called insulin resistance.

Duretic
A substance that causes the body to excrete excess urine.

E. coli (Escherichia coli)
Bacteria that occur naturally in the intestines of humans and other animals, one of the common causes of diarrhoea and
urinary tract infections.

Electrolytes
Substances that separate into ions than conduct electricity when fused or dissolved in fluids.
In the human body sodium, potassium and chloride are electrolytes essential for nerve and muscle function and for maintaining
the fluid balance as well as the acid -alkali balance of cells and tissues.

Essential fatty acids
The building blocks that the body uses to make fats.

Fats
A class of organic chemicals, also called fatty acids or lipids. When digested they create nearly double the energy
of the same amount of carbohydrates or protein.

Fibre
Indigestible material in food that stimulates peristalsis in the intestine.

Flavonoids
Plant pigments that are potent antioxidants.

Folate
One of the B vitamins, also known as folic acid.

Free radicals
Waste products of oxygen metabolism that can damage cell components.

Fructose
A naturally occurring simple (monosaccharide) fruit sugar.

Glucose
A simple sugar (monosaccharide) that the body converts directly into energy, blood levels of glucose are regulated by
several hormones including insulin.

Glucosinolates
A group of phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables.

Gluten
The tough nitrogenous substance remaining when wheat or other grain is washed to remove the starch.

Glycaemic Index
A scale of numbers for foods with carbohydrates that have the lowest to highest effects on blood sugar.
There are currently two indexes. One uses a scale of 1-100 with 100 representing a glucose tablet, which has the
most rapid effect on blood sugar. The other common index uses a scale of 100 representing white bread
(so some foods will be above 100)

Glycogen
A form of glucose stored in the liver and muscles which is converted back into glucose when needed.

Gram (g)
A metric unit of weight: 1 g is equal to 1000 milligrams. there are 28.4 g to an ounce.

High-density lipoproteins (HDLs)
The smallest and 'heaviest' lipoproteins, they retrieve cholesterol from the tissues and transport it to the liver
which uses it to make bile called 'good cholesterol' because high blood levels of HDLs do not increase the risk of heart attacks.

Hormones
Chemicals that are secreted by the endocrine glands or tissue, they control the functions of all the bodys organs and
processes including growth, development and reproduction.

Hydrogenation
The process for transforming an oil (unsaturated liquid fat) into a hard fat by incorporating hydrogen.
Hydrogenated fat is similar to saturated fat and linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Hypertension
Elevation of the blood pressure.

Hypoglycaemia
An abnormally low level of glucose in the blood.

Indoles
Nitrogen compounds found in vegetables and believed to protect against certain cancers by accelerating the elimination of oestrogen

Insulin
A hormone that regulates carbohydrates metabolism.

Iodine
A mineral that is essential for the formation of thyroid hormones

Iron
A mineral that is essential for the manufacture of haemoglobin and the transport of oxygen

Lactose
The nature sugar in milk

Lipid
A fatty compound made of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. Lipids are insoluble in water.
The chemical family includes fats, fatty acids, carotenoid pigments, cholesterol, oils and waxes.

Lipoprotein
A combination of a lipid and a protein that can transport cholesterol in the bloodstream. The main types of lipoprotein are
high density, low density and very low density.

Lutein
A phytochemical found in spinach and other dark green leaves.

Lycopene
The main pigment in certain fruits such as tomato and paprika.

Lysine
A basic amino acid essential in human nutrition.

Macronutrients
Nutrients the body r
equires in large amounts for energy - specifically carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Magnesium
A trace mineral that is needed for healthy bones, the transmission of nerve signals, protein and DNA synthesis
and the coinversion of glycogen stores into energy

Metabolism
The bodys physical and chemical processes including conversion of food into
energy that are needed to maintain life

Microgram
A unit of weight equivalent to 1/1000 milligram

Micronutrients
Essential nutrients that the body needs in only traces or very samll amounts

Milligram
1/1000 gram

Monounsaturated fats
Fats that are liquid at room temperature and semisolid or solid under refrigeration.
They are believed to help to protect against heart diseases.

Niacin
B group vitamins

Oestrogen
A female sex hormone produced in both sexes but in much greater quantity in females.

Omega-3 fatty acid
A polyunsaturated fatty acid essential for normal retinal function that influences various metabolic
pathways resulting in lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels, inhibited platelet clotting and reduced inflammatory
and immune reactions.

Oxalic acid
A potentially toxic chemical found in certain plants that inhibits the absorption of calcium, iron, zinc and other minerals.
Can promote the development of oxalate kidney stones.

Oxidation
A chemical process in which food is burned with oxygen to release energy.

Pancreas
A large gland situated near the stomach that secretes a digestive fluid into the intestine
and also secretes the hormone insulin.

Pectin
Soluble dietary fibre that regulates intestinal function and can help to lower flood cholesterol levels.

Peristalsis
Wavelike muscle contraction that help to propel food and fluids through the digestive tract.

Phosphorus
A mineral needed for healthy bones and teeth, nerves, muscles and for many bodily functions.

Phthalides
A group of secondary phytochemical compounds. A component of celery, 3-n-butyl phthalide that
gives the plant its characteristic smell and taste.

Phytochemicals
Chemicals derived from plants; some have powerful effects including both the prevention and the promotion
of certain cancers, heart disease and degenerative conditions linked to ageing.

Polyphenols
Organic compounds including tannins that combine with iron and can hinder its absorption; found in a number
of foods, tea and red wines.

Polyunsaturated fat
A fat containing a high percentage of fatty acids that lack hydrogen atoms and have extra
carbon bonds. It is liquid at room temperature.

Potassium
A trace mineral that is needed to regulate fluid balance and many other function.

Protein
Part of a large class of chemicals called amino acids. The body uses proteins to build and repair
muscles and tissues. Proteins are in plant foods - vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, soy products
- and are the main ingredient in animal foods like beef, poultry, seafood and dairy products.

Recommended daily amount (RDA)
The value used on food labels that refers to the recommended daily amounts of vitamins, minerals
and major nutrients needed for good health.

Reference nutrient intake (RNI)
The amount of a nutrient that should be taken daily in order to meet the requirements of the majority
of a specified population group - for example, children aged 7-10 years, women aged 19-50 years.

Resveratrol
A phytochemical derived from grape skin.

Riboflavin
See B-group vitamins; B2)

Saccharin
A sugar substitute. Saccharin is not metabolised by the body and provides little or no calories.

Saturated fat
A lipid with a high hydrogen content; the predominant fat in animal products and other fats that
remain solid at room temperature. A high intake of saturated fat is linked to an increased risk of
heart disease, certain cancers and other diseases.

Selenium
An essential trace mineral with antioxidant properties.

Serotonin
A neurotransmitter that helps to promote sleep and regulates many body processes including pain
perception and the secretion of pituitary hormones.

Sodium
A trace mineral essential for maintenance of fluid balance, it combines with chloride to form table salt.

Soluble fibre
A dietary fibre that becomes sticky when wet and dissolves in water.

starch
A complex carbohydrate that is the principal storage molecule of plants and the major sources of
carbohydrate and energy in our diet.

Sucralose
The only sugar substitute made from sugar. It has no calories and is 600 times sweeter than sugar.

Sucrose
A sugar composed of glucose and fructose. The sugar obtained from cane and beets, it is also present
in honey, fruits and vegetables.

Sulforaphane
An antioxidant phytochemical compound.

Tannin
An astringent substance derived from plants that can contract blood vessels and body tissues.

Thiamine
(See B group vitamins)

Triglycerides
The most common form of dietary and body fat, high blood levels have been linked to heart disease.

Tryptophan
An essential amino acid found in many animal foods, a precursor of serotonin.
It's use as a dietary supplement has been linked with serious illness, most likely due to contamination
during the manufacturing process.

Very low density lipoproteins (VLD Ls)
Fat carrying proteins that transport mostly triglycerides in the blood.

Vitamin A
A fat soluble nutrient occuring in foods such as green and yellow vegetables and egg yolk. Essential
to growth and the prevention of night blindness.

Vitamin B (thiamine)
A water soluble compound of the vitamin B complex essential for the normal functioning of the nervious
system. Found in natural sources such as green peas, liver and the seed coats of cereal grains.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
A vitamin B complex factor essential for growth, found in milk, fresh meat, eggs, leafy vegetables
and enriched flour.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Found in foods such as whole-grain cerals, meats and fish.
among other functions, this vitamin forms red blood cells, helps cells to make protein and manufactures
brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) such as serotoanin.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
Obtained from liver, milk, eggs, fish, oysters and clams. Important for red blood cell production, maintains
the protective sheath around nerves, helps to convert food to energy and plays a critical role in the
productionof DNA and RNA the genetic material in cells.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
A water soluble vitamin occurring in citrus fruits and green vehetables.

Vitamin D
A fat soluble vitamin found in milk and fish-liver oils.

Vitamin E
An important antioxidant found in vegetable oils, whole-grain cereals, butter and eggs.

Water-soluble vitamins
Vitamins that dissolve in water, specifically vitamin C and the B-group vitamins.

Zeaxanthin
A carotenoid found in collards, kale, mustard greens and spinach.

Zinc
A trace mineral that is essential for many processes including metabolism, the healing of wounds
and normal growth.














 

Latest posts

Top