Skip to main content
Medicine LibreTexts

Glossary

  • Page ID
    34275
  • Example and Directions
    Words (or words that have the same definition) The definition is case sensitive (Optional) Image to display with the definition [Not displayed in Glossary, only in pop-up on pages] (Optional) Caption for Image (Optional) External or Internal Link (Optional) Source for Definition
    (Eg. "Genetic, Hereditary, DNA ...") (Eg. "Relating to genes or heredity") The infamous double helix https://bio.libretexts.org/ CC-BY-SA; Delmar Larsen
    Glossary Entries
    Word(s) Definition Image Caption Link Source
    Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) The value of the energy-yielding nutrients carbohydrates, protein, and fat, expressed as percentages of total daily calorie intake, sufficient to provide total adequate energy needs; staying within the AMDR is associated with reducing the risks for developing chronic disease.        
    Acidic amino acids Hydrophilic amino acids that are negatively charged.        
    added sugars Sugars and other sweeteners (such as high-fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, and molasses), that are added to food at the table, and are also ingredients in food products.        
    adequate A dietary term signifying a diet that provides all nutrients, fiber, and energy in amounts sufficient to maintaining good health and body weight.        
    Adequate Intakes (AI) If scientific data is insufficient to establish an EAR value, an AI is established based on the scientific data that is available. As with the RDA, the AI serves a nutrient-intake goal.        
    adipose tissue Fatty tissue in the body that consists of masses of fat-storing cells.        
    adolescence The period of the human life cycle between ages fourteen to eighteen, nutritionally speaking.        
    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) The progressive loss of central vision resulting from damage to the center of the retina, referred to as the macula.        
    albumin A butterfly-shaped protein that plays a role in fluid balance, acid-base balance, and the transport of biological molecules.        
    Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD) Liver problems linked to excessive alcohol intake including fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis.        
    Alcohols In chemistry, alcohols refer to a group of similar organic compounds, but in beverages the only alcohol consumed is ethanol.        
    Amino acids Simple monomers composed of the elements carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen.        
    amphiphilic A compound that has both water-loving and fat-loving properties.        
    anabolism All metabolic processes involved in building bigger molecules, which consume energy.        
    Anaphylaxis A life-threatening, extreme immune response to a food allergen. Anaphylaxis can result in difficulty breathing, swelling in the mouth and throat, decreased blood pressure, shock, and death.        
    Anorexia nervosa A psychiatric illness in which a person obssesses over their weight and the food that they eat. Anorexia results in extreme nutrient inadequacy and, eventually, organ malfunction.        
    Anorexia nervosa A psychiatric illness in which a person obssesses over their weight and the food that they eat. Anorexia results in extreme nutrient inadequacy and, eventually, organ malfunction.        
    anorexia of aging A condition that affects the elderly and is characterized by poor food intake.        
    antibodies A protein that protects against unwanted intruders.        
    antioxidant Any molecule that can block free radicals from stealing electrons.        
    arachidonic acid (ARA) An omega-6 essential fatty acid that is a precursor to the synthesis of eicosanoids.        
    atherosclerosis Disease that is characterized by the deposition of plaques and fatty material in the walls of the body’s artery, vein and blood vessel network.        
    atoms The basic building blocks of all matter, living and nonliving.        
    balanced diet A balanced diet supplies various types of foods in proportion to one another. With balance, foods rich in one nutrient leave room for foods that are rich in other nutrients.        
    basal metabolism Metabolic pathways necessary to support and maintain the basic functions of the body (e.g. breathing, heartbeat, liver, and kidney function) while at rest.        
    Basic amino acids Hydrophilic amino acids that are positively charged.        
    bile A substance secreted by the liver that aids in the absorption and digestion of fats.        
    binge-eating disorder A nonpsychiatric disorder characterized by periodic losses of control over eating. The periods of excessive overeating are not followed by fasting or purging. People who have this disorder are often overweight or obese.        
    biomarker A measurable molecule or trait that is connected with a specific disease or health condition.        
    blood alcohol concentration (BAC) A measurement of the level of alcohol in the blood stream, in terms of percentages; used to determine if an individual is legally intoxicated and driving while impaired.        
    Body mass index (BMI) A measurement that associates height and weight, and is a more comprehensive measurement of body fatness than weight alone.        
    bone remodeling Process in which bone tissue is broken down and then rebuilt at the same location.        
    bone resorption Process in which osteoclasts secrete hydrogen ions, which acidify the local environment and dissolve the minerals in the bone tissue matrix.        
    Bulimia A psychiatric illness characterized by frequent episodes of eating large amounts of food followed by purging.        
    Caffeine A chemical called xanthine found in the seeds, leaves, and fruit of many plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide. It is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance.        
    calcitonin This hormone has the opposite effect of calcitriol and parathyroid hormone and aids in the maintenance of blood calcium levels by decreasing the calcium level as necessary.        
    calcium The most abundant mineral in mineralized bone tissue. Good dietary sources of calcium are dairy products and many vegetables with low oxalate content, such as kale, collard greens, and okra.        
    calorie A unit of energy; equivalent to the amount of energy required to heat 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.        
    Calorie control Controlling energy intake so that energy requirements are being met but not exceeded.        
    Carbohydrates Organic molecules composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. There are two basic forms: simple sugars and complex sugars.        
    cardiorespiratory endurance The cardiovascular system’s ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients efficiently to fuel physical activity.        
    cardiovascular disease A disease of the heart or blood vessels.        
    Celiac disease An autoimmune disorder caused by an abnormal reaction of cells in the small intestine to a type of protein, called gluten.        
    cell theory Cells are the most basic building units of life, all living things are composed of cells, and new cells are made from preexisting cells, which divide into two.        
    cellular respiration The process by which the stored chemical energy in nutrients is transformed into cellular energy.        
    central nervous system Neurons form the core of the central nervous system, which consists of the brain, spinal cord, and other nerve bundles. The main function of the central nervous system is to sense changes in the external environment and create a reaction to them.        
    chemical energy Potential energy in chemical bonds.        
    chylomicron Chylomicron clusters form when lipids are combined with carrier proteins in the cells of the intestinal lining. Chylomicron is a vehicle of transport for fats throughout the watery environment of the body to the liver and other tissues.        
    Chyme A semiliquid mass of partially digested food that also contains gastric juices.        
    circulatory system Comprised of the heart, blood, and blood vessels. Its main functions are to transport nutrients to all cells and transport wastes from all cells.        
    cis fatty acid A fatty acid with the hydrogen atoms bonded to the same side of the carbon chain.        
    cofactors Minerals that make up part of enzymes required for converting a substrate to an end-product.        
    collagen A strong, fibrous protein made up of mostly glycine and proline amino acids.        
    complementary foods A combination of foods that when consumed together (though not necessarily at the same time) contain all nine essential amino acids at adequate levels.        
    complete protein sources Foods that contain all nine of the essential amino acids.        
    Concentration The amount of particles in a set volume of water.        
    conditionally essential amino acids Amino acids that become essential during certain times in life, such as child growth.        
    conditionally essential nutrients Nutrients that are supplied only under special conditions or circumstances, such as pregnancy, stress, illness, or aging.        
    cortical bone Dense, strong bone that surrounds trabecular bone tissue. Also called compact bone.        
    Dehydration Water loss from the body without adequate replacement.        
    Dementia A disorder of the nervous system characterized by changes in the normal activity of the brain.        
    Dementia A disorder of the nervous system characterized by changes in the normal activity of the brain.        
    Denaturation The physical changes that take place in a protein when it is exposed to abnormal conditions in the environment.        
    determinants of health approach These are the conditions reflective of the circumstances in which people are born, live, work, and age. It assesses the conditions that shape circumstances such as money, power, and resources at the local, national and global levels.        
    determinants of health approach These are the conditions reflective of the circumstances in which people are born, live, work, and age. It assesses the conditions that shape circumstances such as money, power, and resources at the local, national and global levels.        
    Dietary fibers Polysaccharides that are highly branched and cross-linked and only found in plant-based foods, with the exception of chitin (which forms the exoskeletons of some animals).        
    Dietary fibers Polysaccharides that are highly branched and cross-linked and only found in plant-based foods, with the exception of chitin (which forms the exoskeletons of some animals).        
    Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) A set of nutrient recommendations that includes the Estimated Average Requirements (EAR), Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), Adequate Intakes (AI), Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) and Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR).        
    diglycerides A product of lipid digestion, consisting of a glycerol molecule that has two fatty acids attached.        
    Disaccharides Two monosaccharides joined together.        
    Disease Any abnormal condition that affects the health of an organism and is characterized by specific signs and symptoms.        
    Diverticulitis A condition that occurs when the out-pocketings in the lining of the colon become inflamed. Symptoms include lower abdominal pain, nausea, and alternating between constipation and diarrhea.        
    docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) An omega-3 fatty acid that is especially important for brain growth and development in infants.        
    dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) A procedure during which two X-ray beams pass through a person and calculate the amount of calcified tissue in grams per unit area of bone.        
    early childhood caries A dental disorder characterized by decay within the primary teeth.        
    eating disorder A behavioral condition that involves extreme attitudes and behaviors toward food and nutrition. These disorders are characterized by overeating or undereating, and include anorexia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa.        
    eating disorder A behavioral condition that involves extreme attitudes and behaviors toward food and nutrition. These disorders are characterized by overeating or undereating, and include anorexia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa.        
    eicosanoids Compounds derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids that control several body functions.        
    eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) An omega-3 fatty acid made from linolenic acid, found in fish.        
    embolism Blood vessel obstruction caused by a mass, such as a detached blood clot or other foreign body, that circulates in the bloodstream.        
    emulsifiers Compound that allow two immiscible liquids to combine so that no separation occurs.        
    Energy The quantity of work a particular system can perform.        
    Energy The quantity of work a particular system can perform.        
    energy balance When energy intake is equal to energy expended.        
    energy drinks Beverages containing extremely high levels of caffeine, which can augment the effects of the drug.        
    Energy metabolism The metabolic pathways that release or store energy.        
    Enzymes Proteins that conduct a specific chemical reaction in order to transform substrates into a product.        
    Epidemiological studies Scientific investigations that define frequency, distribution, and patterns of health events in a population.        
    Epigenetics A rapidly advancing scientific field, in which researchers study how non-gene factors affect gene expression.        
    Epigenetics A rapidly advancing scientific field, in which researchers study how non-gene factors affect gene expression.        
    essential fatty acids A fatty acid that the body cannot synthesize and must be supplied through the diet.        
    essential fatty acids A fatty acid that the body cannot synthesize and must be supplied through the diet.        
    Estimated Average Requirements (EAR) Average daily intake levels for nutrients estimated to meet the needs of 50 percent of the target group. Used in nutrition research and policy-making. EARs form the basis for which RDA values are set.        
    Estimated Energy Requirement (EER) Energy intake values that have been established to preserve energy balance in healthy adults of a specific age, gender, weight, and height, and category of physical activity concurrent with good health.        
    Estrogen Primary female reproductive hormone.        
    extrusion reflex An involuntary reflex that causes infants to push food out of their mouths with their tongues.        
    failure-to-thrive (FTT) A condition that is characterized by inadequate growth or weight gain due to any cause.        
    Fatty acids An organic compound that contains a carboxylic acid (−COOH) group at one end and a methyl group at the other (−CH3).        
    fermentable sugars Sugars such as glucose, fructose, and maltose that are easily metabolized by bacteria in a process known as fermentation.        
    Flexibility Capability of joints to move in a whole, wide range of motion.        
    Fluoride A mineral that blocks tooth decay and is part of mineralized bone tissue. The primary dietary source is fluoridated water.        
    food additives Natural or man-made substance added to a food product during the processing stage to improve its quality.        
    food allergy After eating certain kinds of food, the immune system reacts shortly thereafter producing symptoms such as digestive troubles, swollen airways, hives, or possible death.        
    food allergy After eating certain kinds of food, the immune system reacts shortly thereafter producing symptoms such as digestive troubles, swollen airways, hives, or possible death.        
    food desert A location that does not provide access to affordable nutritious food.        
    food infections Foodborne illness caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.        
    food infections Foodborne illness caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.        
    food insecurity The state of not having continual access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to achieve an active, healthy lifestyle.        
    food intoxications Foodborne illness caused by natural toxins or harmful chemicals.        
    food intoxications Foodborne illness caused by natural toxins or harmful chemicals.        
    food jag A behavior exhibited by a young child who insists upon eating the same foods over and over again.        
    Food security A state in which all persons in a community’s population obtain a nutritionally adequate diet that is culturally acceptable throughout the year that is not dependent on emergency aid sources, but more so from local production.        
    Food security A state in which all persons in a community’s population obtain a nutritionally adequate diet that is culturally acceptable throughout the year that is not dependent on emergency aid sources, but more so from local production.        
    functional foods Foods which do more than meet basic nutritional needs and could provide additional health benefits.        
    functional foods Foods which do more than meet basic nutritional needs and could provide additional health benefits.        
    gastroesophageal reflux A disorder that occurs when stomach acid rises into the esophagus. In infancy, it is characterized by coughing, choking, or vomiting after feeding.        
    Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) A persistant form of acid reflux, in which acidic contents of the stomach leak backward into the esophagus and cause irritation.        
    Genetically modified foods Food products made from animals or plants that have undergone genetic engineering.        
    genome Entire genetic information contained in an individual which is inherited from their parents.        
    gestational diabetes A metabolic condition similar to Type 2 diabetes that occurs in some pregnant women.        
    Gestational hypertension A possible complication of pregnancy characterized by raised blood pressure levels.        
    glycemic index (GI) A measurement of the effects of carbohydrate-containing foods on blood-glucose levels.        
    glycogen A highly branched macromolecule consisting of thousands of glucose monomers held together by chemical bonds.        
    glycogen A highly branched macromolecule consisting of thousands of glucose monomers held together by chemical bonds.        
    Glycolysis The first stage of glucose breakdown; a ten-step enzymatic process that splits glucose into two three-carbon molecules and yields two molecules of ATP.        
    HDLs High-density lipoproteins are also known as “good cholesterol.” It contains the maximum percentage of protein and a lower percentage of cholesterol and collects and transports excess cholesterol, returning it to the liver for reuse or excretion.        
    Healthy Eating Index (HEI) A standardized tool based on a simple scoring system of dietary components used to assess whether the diets of Americans are improving and adhering to the dietary guidelines.        
    heat capacity The capability of a substance to store heat.        
    hormones Biological molecules transported in the blood that regulate cellular processes in other target tissues.        
    human life cycle The span of a human life, which consists of different stages, including childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age.        
    Hyperlipidemia A term that refers to any number of conditions characterized by excessive amounts of fat in the blood.        
    hypertension Medical condition in which the force of blood against the arterial walls is high enough that it could lead to heart disease or other health problems.        
    IDLs Intermediate-density lipoproteins transport a variety of fats and cholesterol in the bloodstream and are a little under half triacylglycerol in composition.        
    immune system The immune system is made up of several different types of white blood cells and other components that act as barricades to foreign invaders. The functions of the immune system are to barricade, seek, recruit, attack, and destroy foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses.        
    immunoglobulins Proteins produced by plasma cells that function as antibodies. In infancy, immunoglobulins pass from mother to infant via breast milk and provide passive immunity for the baby.        
    Interventional clinical trial studies Scientific investigations in which a variable is changed between groups of people.        
    iron-deficiency anemia A condition characterized by inadequate hemoglobin in the blood due to low iron levels.        
    Iron-deficiency anemia A condition that develops from having insufficient iron levels in the body, resulting in fewer and smaller red blood cells containing lower amounts of hemoglobin. Signs and symptoms include fatigue, weakness, pale skin, shortness of breath, dizziness, swollen and sore tongue, and abnormal heart rate.        
    irradiation The application of radiation for the purpose of sterilization and the removal of harmful pathogens.        
    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) A disorder characterized by muscle spasms in the colon that result in abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and/or diarrhea. There is no permanent structural damage to the large intestine.        
    keratin A fibrous protein that provides skin, hair, and nails with structure.        
    kilocalorie (Calorie) A kilocalorie is the amount of heat generated by a particular macronutrient that raises the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius (this is what is denoted on the Nutrition Facts panel).        
    Kinetic energy Energy associated with motion.        
    Kwashiorkor A syndrome of severe protein and micronutrient deficiency, characterized by swelling (edema) of the feet and abdomen, poor skin health, growth retardation, low muscle mass, and liver malfunction.        
    Lactation The medical term for the process of producing and secreting breast milk.        
    lactose intolerance A condition in which there is incomplete digestion of lactose. It is caused by a deficiency in the enzyme, lactase. Symptoms include diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal cramps.        
    LDLs Low-density lipoproteins are also known as “bad cholesterol.” It contains higher concentrations of triacylglycerols and lower concentrations of protein and is responsible for delivering cholesterol to the body’s tissues.        
    life cycle The stages of life one passes through until death.        
    lifestyle Components of lifestyle are dietary habits, physical activity level, recreational drug use, and sleeping patterns, all of which play a role in health and impact nutrition.        
    linoleic acid An omega-6 fatty acid that is essential for human health.        
    lipase An enzyme responsible for the breakdown of triacylglycerols and phospholipids.        
    Lipids A family of organic compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. They are insoluble in water. The three main types of lipids are triglycerides, phospholipids, and sterols.        
    macronutrients Nutrients that are needed in large amounts. Includes carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and water.        
    macronutrients Nutrients that are needed in large amounts. Includes carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and water.        
    magnesium A mineral that is part of mineralized bone tissue. The dietary sources are meat, fish, dairy products, whole grains, nuts, chocolate, and coffee.        
    magnesium A mineral that is part of mineralized bone tissue. The dietary sources are meat, fish, dairy products, whole grains, nuts, chocolate, and coffee.        
    marasmic kwashiorkor The combined syndrome of severe protein and energy deficiency, characterized by variable edema, emaciation, poor skin health, and growth retardation.        
    marasmic kwashiorkor The combined syndrome of severe protein and energy deficiency, characterized by variable edema, emaciation, poor skin health, and growth retardation.        
    marasmus A syndrome of severe protein and energy deficiency, characterized by emaciation, poor skin health, and growth retardation.        
    marasmus A syndrome of severe protein and energy deficiency, characterized by emaciation, poor skin health, and growth retardation.        
    Mechanical breakdown Includes mastication (chewing) and the muscular contractions of the stomach and small intestine that mash, mix, slosh, and propel food down the alimentary canal.        
    Mechanical breakdown Includes mastication (chewing) and the muscular contractions of the stomach and small intestine that mash, mix, slosh, and propel food down the alimentary canal.        
    metabolic fitness Ability to provide energy to the muscles during physical activity.        
    Metabolic homeostasis The nutrients consumed and absorbed matches the energy required to carry out life’s biological processes.        
    Metabolic syndrome A medical condition in which people have three or more risk factors for Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.        
    metastasis Spread of cancerous cells from an original location to one or more new sites within the body.        
    metastasis Spread of cancerous cells from an original location to one or more new sites within the body.        
    Micronutrients Nutrients needed in smaller amounts. Includes vitamins and minerals.        
    Moderation Not eating to the extremes, neither too much nor too little.        
    monoglycerides A product of lipid digestion, consisting of a glycerol molecule with one fatty acid attached.        
    monosaccharide The simplest unit of a carbohydrate.        
    muscle endurance Quality of a muscle, or a group of muscles, to perform repetitive movements for a lengthy period of time.        
    muscular system The muscular system allows voluntary movement as well as involuntary movements of other organ systems. It consists of skeletal muscle, the heart muscle, and smooth muscles.        
    mycotoxins Natural, poisonous substance produced by certain molds and mushrooms that can cause foodborne illness.        
    myosin A contractile protein in muscle cells.        
    Newborn jaundice A condition that can occur within a few days of birth and is characterized by yellowed skin or yellowing in the whites of the eyes.        
    nitrogen balance When the amount of protein input into the body equals the amount used up and excreted.        
    Nonpolar amino acids Hydrophobic amino acids with side groups that are long or bulky.        
    Nutrient-dense foods Foods that contain many nutrients per calorie.        
    nutrients Substances required by the body that must be obtained from the diet.        
    Nutrition Facts panel Found on most packaged foods, it contains specific amounts of nutrients and also compares the amounts of nutrients in the food and the recommended intake values. These comparisons are reported as percent DV.        
    Nutritional science The investigation of how an organism is nourished, and how nourishment affects personal health, population health, and planetary health.        
    nutritionists Health-care professional who works in the field of nutrition, but does not have registered credentials.        
    Obese Having excess body fat (BMI greater than 30).        
    obesity A metabolic disorder that leads to the overaccumulation of fat tissue, compromising overall health.        
    oligosaccharides A carbohydrate that is a chain of a few (between three and ten) monosaccharides.        
    Organ systems Two or more organs that support a specific physiological function.        
    organelles A structural or functional unit in a cell that is constructed from several macromolecules bonded together.        
    organism The complete living system capable of conducting all basic life processes.        
    Organs A group of tissues arranged in a specific manner to support a common function.        
    osmolality The total number of dissolved particles in a solvent, such as water.        
    osmosis The movement of water through a selectively permeable membrane from an area where it is highly concentrated to an area where it is not as concentrated.        
    osmotic pressure The force exerted by solutes at different concentrations on either side of a selectively permeable membrane.        
    Osteocytes Star-shaped cells that are the most abundant cell type in bone tissue.        
    Osteoid Bone tissue that is not mineralized.        
    osteomalacia Similar to nutritional rickets, in adults this disease involves softening and weakening of the bones due to a lack of vitamin D or a problem metabolizing the vitamin.        
    osteopenia Lower than normal bone mass.        
    Oxidation The interaction between oxygen molecules and all the different substances they may contact. Can be more precisely defined as the loss of at least one electron when two or more substances interact and these substances may or may not include oxygen.        
    Oxidative stress An imbalance in any cell, tissue, or organ between the amount of free radicals and the capablilities of its detoxifying and repair systems.        
    pancreatic amylase Enzyme secreted by the pancreas that breaks down carbohydrates in the small intestine by breaking the glycosidic bonds between monomers.        
    peak bone mass The greatest amount of bone mass that a person reaches during their lifetime.        
    pepsin An enzyme secreted by stomach cells. It breaks the peptide bonds between amino acids, producing much shorter protein fragments.        
    peptide bond The chemical bond that connects amino acids in a sequence.        
    percentage of Daily Value (percent DV) The percentage of the amount of the nutrient in relationship to the DV. They are applicable only for a 2,000-calorie daily diet (not 2,500 calories).        
    peristalsis Waves of smooth muscle contraction that propel food down the digestive tract.        
    Phospholipids The second most common of the three basic lipids. Similar to triacylglycerols, phospholipids have an acid containing phosphorus in place of one of the fatty acids. These lipids appear in all cell membranes.        
    Phosphorus A mineral that makes up a substantial part of mineralized bone tissue. The dietary sources are meat, fish, and dairy products, as well as processed foods, and cola beverages.        
    phytochemicals Nonessential plant compounds considered to have a beneficial impact on human health.        
    pincer grasp A grip that involves picking up an object with the fingers.        
    Platelets Fragments of cells that, when stimulated by blood vessel injury, rush to plug up the wound.        
    point of unsaturation The place on a molecule where additional hydrogen atoms can attach.        
    Polar amino acids Hydrophilic amino acids that are not charged.        
    polysaccharides A long chain of monosaccharides that may be branched or not branched.        
    polyunsaturated fatty acid A fatty acid that contains two or more points of unsaturation.        
    prediabetes A metabolic condition in which people have moderately high glucose levels, but do not meet the criteria for diagnosis as a diabetic.        
    preeclampsia A possible complication of pregnancy marked by elevated blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine.        
    preventive nutrition The use of dietary practices to reduce disease and promote health and well-being.        
    primary prevention Actions taken to avoid developing a disease before it starts.        
    protein folding A sequence of amino acids transforms into its dictated shape.        
    protein turnover The processes of continually breaking down proteins and building new ones.        
    Proteins Macromolecules composed of chains of organic monomeric subunits, called amino acids. Amino acids are simple monomers composed of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen.        
    Randomized clinical interventional trial studies Scientific investigations which incorporate a change in the variable being tested between groups of people and are therefore capable of determining a causal relationship.        
    reactive oxygen species Molecules containing oxygen that have unpaired electrons and are highly reactive.        
    Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) Based upon the EAR, these are nutrient-intake goals designed to meet the requirements of 97 to 98 percent of the target group for a given nutrient.        
    risk factor A variable that is linked to an increased probability of developing a disease or adverse outcome.        
    sarcopenia The age-related decline in muscle mass.        
    satiety The sensation of feeling full; determined by mechanical and chemical signals relayed from the periphery.        
    scientific method The process of inquiry that involves making an observation, coming up with a hypothesis, conducting a test of that hypothesis, evaluating results, gathering more supporting evidence, and coming up with a conclusion.        
    secondary prevention Strategies focused on halting or reversing a disease after it has developed.        
    Sedentary behavior Activity during which energy expenditure is no more than one and one-half times the amount of energy expended while at rest (examples include sitting, reclining, or lying down while awake).        
    smoking point The temperature at which fat gives off a pungent blue gas.        
    Socioeconomic status A measurement dependent on three variables; income, occupation, and education.        
    SoFAS An acronym for solid fats and added sugars.        
    SoFAS An acronym for solid fats and added sugars.        
    Soluble fiber Fiber that attracts water and turns to gel, which slows digestion. Soluble fiber is readily fermented in the colon by bacteria into gases and waste byproducts.        
    Solutes Any dissolved substances in a fluid.        
    subsidies Federal funding given to an agricultural producer to provide assistance and support.        
    Sugar alcohols Carbohydrates that occur naturally in some fruits and vegetables; however they are industrially synthesized by yeast and other microbes for use as food additives.        
    supplements Vitamins, minerals, and herbs which are taken in addition to your regular diet to promote healthy body functions or to target specific body parts.        
    sustainable food system A system that can meet the needs of the current generation while providing food for generations to come without negatively impacting the environment.        
    T-score Compares the patient’s BMD to the averaged BMD of a healthy thirty-year-old population of the same sex.        
    taste threshold Minimum concentration at which taste sensitivity to a food or substance can be perceived.        
    Thirst An osmoregulatory mechanism to increase water input.        
    Tissues A group of cells that share a common structure and function and that work together.        
    Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) The highest average daily nutrient-intake level at which a nutrient can be consumed before it poses a risk of toxicity.        
    trans fatty acid A fatty acid that has hydrogens attached on opposite sides of the carbon chain.        
    Triacylglycerols The most common of the three basic classes of lipids and the main form fat takes in both diet and the human body. A triacylglycerol is made up of three molecules of fatty acids and one molecule of glycerol.        
    Type 1 diabetes A metabolic disease in which cells in the pancreas are killed by an abnormal response of the immune system, causing a lack of insulin in the body.        
    Type 2 diabetes A metabolic disease of insulin insufficiency; also caused by muscle, liver, and fat cells no longer responding to the insulin in the body.        
    Type 2 diabetes Occurs when the pancreas produces enough insulin initially, but the body is unable to use the hormone properly (insulin resistance).        
    Variety Consuming an abundance of foods from different food groups on a regular basis.        
    visceral fat Fat deposited in the abdominal cavity.        
    Vitamin D Both a vitamin and a hormone, vitamin D plays an essential role in maintaining calcium homeostasis. A deficiency in vitamin D compromises bone health.        
    Vitamin K A vitamin that acts as a coenzyme that modifies proteins important for bone health. The dietary sources are green vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, parsley, spinach, and lettuce.        
    VLDLs Very low-density lipoproteins formed in the liver from the remains of the chylomicron.        
    waist-to-hip ratio Waist circumference divided by hip circumference.        
    wellness Achieving balance and integration of aspects that affect quality of life, including physical, mental, emotional, social, environmental, and spiritual dimensions.