Glossary of Terms

Carbohydrates: preferred fuel for the body.

Calorie: a unit that is used to measure energy. A calorie found in food is actually a kilocalorie (kcal). These particular calories provide energy in the form of heat so that our bodies can function.

Complete Proteins: contain all 9 essential amino acids (mostly animal products).

Complex Carbohydrates: have the potential to be stored in the body to be used at a later time. Starch, glycogen, and fiber are examples.

Dietary Guidelines: provide current nutrition and health recommendations for healthy children and adults of all ages.

Fats: the most “energy-rich” nutrient. Readily stored in adipose tissue.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins: A, D, E, and K. They require fat to be absorbed and are not easily excreted. Can be stored in the body.

Incomplete Proteins: lack at least one essential amino acid (mostly plant-based foods).

Macronutrients: are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that provide the body with energy.

Major Minerals: Are needed in large amounts: >100 milligrams per day. Include calcium, phosphorous, sodium, and potassium.

Micronutrients: are vitamins and minerals which contribute to the regulation and overall wellbeing of bodily functions.

Minerals: Inorganic compounds that provide no direct energy. They play a critical role in nervous system functioning, other cellular processes, and water balance.

MyPlate: a framework provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) which includes tips, ideas, and recommendations to create a healthy eating style. It can help find the right balance for you by including the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.

Nutrition: the science of food and how the body uses it in health and disease.

Proteins: the main structural material in the body. It is needed for the growth and repair of all cells.

Saturated Fats: mostly found in animal products. Try to limit to less than 10% daily calories.

Simple Carbohydrates: lack fiber and contain mostly sugar.

Trace Minerals: Daily requirements are less than 100 milligrams: copper, fluoride, iodide, iron, and zinc.

Trans Fat: chemically altered fat, which is often added to foods, fried, and processed.

Unsaturated Fats: found in plant-based products. They are liquid at room temperature.

Vitamins: Organic compounds that provide no direct energy. They enable chemical reactions to occur in the body.

Water Soluble Vitamins: B and C. They do not require fat to be absorbed and are easily excreted. Tend to be less toxic than the fat-soluble vitamins.


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Ch. 6 - Nutrition by UGA PEDB Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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