Calorie: The unit of energy produced by food.
Carbohydrate: A nutrient that is the main source of energy for the body.
Complex carbohydrate: These carbohydrates are where most of the calories in your diet come from. Examples of complex carbohydrates are beans, bread, and potatoes.
Simple carbohydrates: Sugars that enter the bloodstream rapidly and provide quick, but unsustainable, energy. Examples of simple carbohydrates are candy, honey, and milk. Cholesterol: A fat-like substance found in certain foods and made by the body.
Fats: Nutrients that help the body store and use vitamins and provide energy.
Fiber: The part of grains and plants that cannot be digested, also known as roughage.
Glucose: Simple sugars used by cells to provide energy and heat for the body.
Glycogen: Stored in the muscles to be converted to glucose when your body needs energy. Hydrogenation: Fatty acids that are formed when vegetable oils are processed into solid fats, such as margarine or shortening.
Mineral: A nutrient that regulates many chemical reactions in the body.
Nutrient: A substance in foods that helps the body with processes such as building blood, bones, and muscles.
Nutrition: A sum of the processes by which animals, humans, and plants consume and use food. Proteins: A nutrient that is needed for growth and to build and repair body tissue.
Complete proteins: A protein that contains all of the essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins. Examples of complete proteins are eggs, fish, and meat.
Incomplete proteins: A protein from plant sources that does not contain all the essential amino acids. Examples of incomplete proteins are grains, nuts, and seeds.
Saturated fats: A type of fat found in dairy products, meat and poultry, and solid vegetable fat. They contribute to the level of cholesterol in a person's blood and are usually in solid form at room temperature. Starches: A food source that is found and stored in most plants with long lasting energy.
Unsaturated fats: A type of fat found in fish and plant products. There are two types: monounsaturated fats, such as canola oil and olives, and polyunsaturated fats, such as corn and sunflowers. They are usually in liquid form at room temperature.
Vitamins: A nutrient that helps the body use carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins that are dissolved in fat and stored in the body. The four fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K.
Water-soluble vitamins are vitamins that are dissolved in water and not stored in the body in significant amounts. Vitamin B complex and vitamin C are examples of water soluble vitamins.
Vitamin B complex: Necessary for the function of nerves. Can be found in eggs, poultry, and whole grain breads and cereals.
Vitamin C: Helps aid in iron absorption and strengthens the blood vessel walls and immune system.
Calorie listing: Listing of the number of calories in one serving of food.
Calories from fat: Listing of the number of calories from fat in one serving of food. Nutrition facts: The title of the information panel that is required on most foods.
Check the dates! 'Sell by' will be the last day the store can sell the particular item and 'best if used by' is the date that the particular item should be used by the customer.
Cholesterol free: A product that claims to be cholesterol free must have 2 grams or less of unsaturated fat per serving and less than .5 mg of cholesterol.
Fat free: A product that claims to be fat free must have less than .5 g of fat per serving.
Fresh: A product that claims to be fresh must be raw and unprocessed, have no preservatives, or never have been frozen or heated.
Healthy food: A food that claims to be healthy must be low in fat and saturated fat and have no more than 60 mg of cholesterol per serving.
Ingredients: The parts that make up a particular item.
Lean: A product that claims to be lean must have less than 4.5 g of unsaturated fat, 10 g of fat, and no more than 95 mg of cholesterol per serving.
Light: A product that claims to be light must have no more than half the fat or sodium or one third the calories of the regular version.
Low fat: A food that claims to be low fat must have 3 g of fat or less per serving.
Percent daily value: The total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins of a certain food. Your goal is to reach 100 percent during each meal.
Servings per container: Listing of the number of servings in a container or package.
Dehydration: A condition in which the water content of the body has fallen to an extremely low level. Food labels: A panel of nutrition information required on all processed foods regulated by the food and drug administration (FDA).
Herbal supplements: Supplement that contains extracts or ingredients from the berries, flowers, roots of plants, seeds, or stems.
Protein supplement: A product taken orally that contains proteins that are intended to supplement one's diet. Supplements are not considered foods.
Creatine: An amino acid that is made in the kidneys, liver, and pancreas. It is naturally found in fish and meat and used as a popular supplement.
Water: A nutrient that is involved in all body processes. It is important to drink an adequate amount of water. Depending on the person, the amount of water necessary varies. Water is found in fruits, juice, milk, and vegetables. When you have certain symptoms of disease or illness, it is especially important to drink clear liquids or water because diarrhea, fever, and vomiting cause water loss and put people at risk for dehydration.
Macro minerals: Minerals that are required in amounts greater than 100 milligrams. Examples include calcium, magnesium, and sodium.
Magnesium is necessary for chemical reactions during metabolism.
Trace minerals: Minerals that are needed in very small amounts. Examples include iron and zinc.
Iron aids red blood cells in transporting oxygen and zinc is necessary for digestive enzymes.