Nutrition easily becomes a conversation subject in this day and age of informed consumerism. So many food options exist nowadays, some are healthy, others are non-value adding. It, therefore, becomes important to know some terms often used in nutrition to become better aware and make sounder diet decisions.
These refer to the added ingredients, commonly chemicals, to products in order to extend its shelf life or enhance its properties. So before purchasing, always read the label.
Protein topics almost always mention amino acids, protein’s own building blocks that form various sequences that function differently to facilitate growth and metabolism. Of the 20 types of amino acids, 8 are taken from natural foods while the remaining 12 from recycled proteins.
Antioxidants help protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals, reactive compounds caused by both internal (i.e., immune system, metabolic process) and external factors (i.e., radiation, pollution) that attack healthy cells. By neutralizing free radicals, antioxidants, thus, aid in preventing debilitating diseases like cancer.
It refers to the rate by which a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream from the digestive tract. Higher bioavailability translates to greater absorption, thus when buying food supplements, do your research and ask for the products projected bioavailability or absorption rates to avoid wasting money.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI captures the person’s weight in relation to their height (kg/m2). Over and above achieving unrealistic weight goals, one has to consider his BMI at a certain age.
The bone’s strength measured by its mineral content relative to its bone amount is called bone density. It is known that after 30 years old, a person’s bone density decreases as he ages.
Calories are what most dieters are concerned about. Yet in truth, they’re simply the measurement of energy. One caloric count equals 4.18 kilojoules (kJ).
It is the waxy substance found in the body cells that appear like fats. Cholesterol is needed to produce vitamins, hormones, and minerals essential in food digestion.
While the body produces cholesterol, the substance can also be sourced out from foods (e.g., meat, eggs, dairy products, etc.). Cholesterol must be maintained at healthy levels, otherwise it blends with other substances, thus forming plaque that attaches to arterial walls and complicating heart functions.
Calories are converted into energy, which is considered the body’s fuel. Energy, measured in kilojoules, is needed to function and dependent on the person’s age, lifestyle, and body size.
Energy sources include fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Because excess fats easily lead to weight gain, knowing your average energy consumption is important.
One may have heard of food products branded as fibre-rich. Fibre is a thread-like plant material found in fruits and vegetables that best aid digestion and prevent health issues like constipation and cancer. Three types of fiber are insoluble, soluble and resistant starch.
The last being recently acknowledged because of its fiber-like effects on the body.
The immune system reacts abnormally to certain kinds of protein and the aversive reaction is known as food allergy. Under such condition, substances are released into the system that cause swelling, redness, itchiness, cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.
he symptoms vary from person to person, thus one has to be on guard with the common allergens like eggs, peanuts, seafoods, and soy. Read the labels when buying processed foods and seek medical help when the symptoms persist for more than 3 days.
The list of nutrition terminologies is still long, running from simple to complicated. The common ones with letters A to F has been provided to you above to at least get you started on your journey towards optimum health.