A Glossary Of Nutrition Terms




Body Mass Index or BMI

The BMI is basically a formula which combines height and weight to get an estimate of body fat and to give a range of health risks that could possibly develop due to excess fat on the body. Body Mass Index in only one example that is used in the determination of a persons overall health risks. A Body Mass Index reading of a person in the “Healthy” category doesn't immediately mean that the person is exactly fit and healthy.

The Body Mass Index does not take into account the different types and shapes of individual bodies. The BMI reading a of larger framed or muscular type person can easily be shown to be obese, however, some of the other types of calculators would take into account a persons different measurements and show differently from the BMI reading.

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Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR

The Basal Metabolic Rate is an estimated degree of energy that is required for a body's proper functions and to be able to sustain it while at rest. Of a person's total calories burned per day, more than half are used to ensure that the body functions properly.


This is the basic unit of measurement that is referred to energy that is produced when food is burned.


A simple source of energy for the body. Another form of carbohydrates called complex carbohydrates break down into two or more sugars through digestion and are usually associated with foods that are of plant origin.

Simple carbohydrates are usually found in varieties of fruits and vegetables. However, simple carbohydrates from lower nutrient based processed and refined sugars should be avoided.

For Reference: There are four (4) calories for every gram of carbohydrates.

Diet Induced Thermogenesis – SDA (specific dynamic action)

DIT is simply the energy that is used to absorb, transport, digest and metabolize all the food that is eaten. This usually represents ten percent of the total calories that a person eats.

Fat (Saturated)

This is often referred to as bad fat and some people are still debating this issue. Saturated fats are animal based fats. Limiting your daily caloric intake of saturated fats to around ten percent is an ideal option.

Fat (Trans Fat Acids)

Trans Fatty acids are fats that are man made fats that are produced through what is called hydrogenation, which is a process of heating liquid vegetable oil with the presence of metal catalysts and hydrogen. Some Trans Fatty Acids can be found in other well known food products such as meats and dairy products like milk and butter.

Fat (Unsaturated)

Unsaturated fats is usually referred to as the Good fat. Monounsaturated fats can be found in canola oils, avocado, olive oils and peanuts. Another type of unsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats can be found in sunflower, corn oils and safflower.


Maintaining a persons health is important and dietary fats help with this by providing equally important fatty acids. Dietary fats provide essential fat soluble vitamins in the form A, D, E and K.


Fiber or dietary fiber comes from UN-digestable complex carbohydrates. Essentially, the body cannot absorb fiber like other food sources, so there are literally no calories. Fiber helps the body through digestion and elimination of waste.

Glycemic Index or GI

This is a ranking that is given to most foods that helps to indicate what affects the blood sugar and insulin levels. A higher value means that blood sugar and insulin levels will increase.

Glycemic Load or GL

This is a ranking of food content based on the amount of carbohydrates that are actually eaten.

Reference Formula: GI/100 x grams of carbohydrates eaten = GL


This is the process where digested foods or nutrients end up being converted in to energy which the body uses to function properly. A persons metabolism can be measured in calories and many factors can affect the rate of your body's metabolism. One of these factors is the percent of body fat compared to lean muscle as muscle usually burns more calories than that of fat.


Minerals are an important substance in terms of helping to keep your body healthy through hair, teeth, bones, nails, nerves, muscle tone, muscle strength and regulating body fluids.


Protein is an essential element of growing and maintaining muscle tissue as well as maintaining other bodily functions. One gram of protein produces four (4) calories of energy.

Vitamins that are Fat Soluble

Fat soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K. The body has a hard time excreting fat soluble vitamins and this can lead to toxic levels being built up over time if a person takes more than the recommended daily allowance.

Vitamins that are Water Soluble

Common known B complex and C vitamins are water soluble. Water soluble vitamins are excreted by the body more easily than fat soluble vitamins. The body can easily eliminate water soluble vitamins through the urine and by sweating. Also, cooking or processing foods can sometimes lower the content of water soluble vitamins.








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