Nutritional Terms, All You Need To Know

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However, because it is not easily absorbed by the body, not much of the sugars and starches get into the blood stream. Fiber is a crucial part of nutrition, health, and fuel for gut bacteria. For more details go to " What is fiber? What is dietary fiber? About 70 percent of the non-fat mass of the human body is water. It is vital for many processes in the human body.

Nobody is completely sure how much water the human body needs - claims vary from liters per day to avoid dehydration. We do know that water requirements are very closely linked to body size, age, environmental temperatures, physical activity, different states of health, and dietary habits; for instance, somebody who consumes a lot of salt will require more water than another similar person. Claims that 'the more water you drink, the healthier you are' are not backed with scientific evidence. The variables that influence water requirements are so vast that accurate advice on water intake would only be valid after evaluating each person individually.

Dietary minerals are the other chemical elements our bodies need, other than carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. People with a well-balanced diet will, in most cases, obtain all the minerals they need from what they eat. The best example of this is iodized salt - iodine is added to prevent iodine deficiency, which affects about 2 billion people , globally; it causes mental retardation and thyroid gland problems.

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Iodine deficiency remains a serious public health problem in over half the planet. Experts at the University of Florida say that 16 key minerals are essential for human biochemical processes:. What it does - a systemic affects entire body electrolyte, essential in co-regulating ATP an important carrier of energy in cells in the body, also key in making RNA with sodium. What it does - key for producing stomach acid, important in the transport of molecules between cells, and vital for the proper functioning of nerves. What it does - a systemic electrolyte, and essential in regulating ATP with potassium.

Important for nerve function and regulating body fluid levels. Excess - hypernatremia - can also cause cells to malfunction, extremely high levels can be fatal. What it does - important for muscle, heart, and digestive health. Builds bone, assists in the synthesis and function of blood cells. Deficiency - hypocalcaemia - muscle cramps, abdominal cramps, spasms, and hyperactive deep tendon reflexes.

Excess - hypercalcemia - muscle weakness, constipation , undermined conduction of electrical impulses in the heart, calcium stones in the urinary tract, impaired kidney function, and impaired absorption of iron, leading to iron deficiency. What it does - important for the structure of DNA, transporter of energy ATP , component of cellular membrane, helps strengthen bones. Deficiency - hypophosphatemia, an example is rickets.

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What it does - processes ATP; required for good bones and management of proper muscle movement. Hundreds of enzymes rely on magnesium to work properly.


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Deficiency - hypomagnesemia - irritability of the nervous system with spasms of the hands and feet, muscular twitching and cramps, constipation, and larynx spasms. Excess - hypermagnesemia - nausea, vomiting, impaired breathing, low blood pressure. Very rare, but may occur if patient has renal problems. What it does - required by many enzymes.

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Important for reproductive organ growth. Also important in gene expression and regulating the nervous and immune systems. Deficiency - short stature , anemia , increased pigmentation of skin, enlarged liver and spleen, impaired reproductive function, impaired wound healing, and immune deficiency. Excess - suppresses copper and iron absorption. What it does - required for proteins and enzymes, especially hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying compound in blood.

Deficiency - wobbliness, fainting, hearing loss , weak tendons and ligaments. Less commonly, can be a cause of diabetes. Deficiency - anemia or pancytopenia reduction in the number of red and white blood cells, as well as platelets and neurodegeneration. Excess - can interfere with body's formation of blood cellular components; in severe cases, convulsions, palsy, and eventually death similar to arsenic poisoning.

Deficiency - developmental delays, enlarged thyroid gland in the neck , and fatigue. What it does - essential cofactor for antioxidant enzymes. Deficiency - Keshan disease - myocardial necrosis tissue death in the heart leading to weakening of the heart; Kashin-Beck disease - break down of cartilage. Excess - garlic-smelling breath, gastrointestinal disorders, hair loss , sloughing of nails, fatigue, irritability, and neurological damage.

What it does - vital part of three important enzyme systems, xanthine oxidase, aldehyde oxidase, and sulfite oxidase. It has a vital role in uric acid formation, in carbohydrate metabolism, and sulfite detoxification. Deficiency - may affect metabolism and blood counts, but as this deficiency often occurs at the same time as other mineral deficiencies, it is hard to say which deficiency caused which health problem. It is called a vitamin when our bodies cannot synthesize produce enough or any of it, so we need to get it from our food. Vitamins are classified as water soluble they can be dissolved in water or fat soluble they can be dissolved in fat.

For humans, there are four fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and nine water-soluble vitamins eight B vitamins and vitamin C.

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Water-soluble vitamins need to be consumed more regularly because they are eliminated faster in urine and are not easily stored. Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed through the intestines with the help of fats lipids. They are more likely to accumulate in the body because they are harder to get rid of quickly. If too many vitamins build up, it is called hypervitaminosis. A very low-fat diet can affect the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. We know that most vitamins have many different functions. Below is a list of vitamins, and some of their roles. Note that most often vitamin overdose symptoms are related to supplementation or impaired metabolism or excretion, not vitamin intake from foods.

Overdose disease - rare hypersensitive reactions resembling anaphylactic shock when an overdose is due to injection. Deficiency disease - ariboflavinosis mouth lesions, seborrhea, and vascularization of the cornea. Overdose disease - liver damage, skin problems, and gastrointestinal complaints, plus other problems.

Deficiency disease - paresthesia tingling, pricking, or numbness of the skin with no apparent long-term physical effect. Deficiency disease - anemia, peripheral neuropathy. Overdose disease - nerve damage, proprioception is impaired the ability to sense where parts of the body are in space.

Chemical name - biotin.

Common nutrition terminologies

Deficiency disease - scurvy , which can lead to a large number of complications. Overdose disease - vitamin C megadose - diarrhea , nausea, skin irritation, burning upon urination, depletion of copper in the body, and higher risk of kidney stones. Deficiency disease - rickets, osteomalacia softening of bone , recent studies indicate higher risk of some cancers , autoimmune disorders, and chronic diseases.

Overdose disease - hypervitaminosis D headache , weakness, disturbed digestion, increased blood pressure, and tissue calcification. Overdose disease - dehydration, vomiting, irritability, constipation, build up of excess calcium. Most foods contain a combination of some or all of the seven nutrient classes. We require some nutrients regularly, and others less frequently.

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Article last updated by Tim Newman on Fri 1 September All references are available in the References tab. Facts about minerals.

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University of Florida. Micronutrient facts. Sustaining the elimination of iodine deficiency disorders IDD. Vitamins and minerals. MLA Nordqvist, Christian. MediLexicon, Intl. APA Nordqvist, C. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. Privacy Terms Ad policy Careers.

Visit www. If you're having foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt and sugar, have these less often and in small amounts. Most people in the UK eat and drink too many calories, too much fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre. All nutrition information is provided per grams and sometimes per portion.

High: more than 1. Most of the big supermarkets and many food manufacturers also display nutritional information on the front of pre-packed food. Find out more about adult reference intakes.


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Colour-coded nutritional information tells you at a glance if the food has high, medium or low amounts of fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt:. If you buy a food that has all or mostly green on the label, you know straight away that it's a healthier choice. Amber means neither high nor low, so you can eat foods with all or mostly amber on the label most of the time.

But any red on the label means the food is high in fat, saturated fat, salt or sugars, and these are the foods we should cut down on. Most pre-packed food products also have a list of ingredients on the packaging or an attached label. Ingredients are listed in order of weight, so the main ingredients in the packaged food always come first.

That means that if the first few ingredients are high-fat ingredients, such as cream, butter or oil, then the food in question is a high-fat food. You're standing in the supermarket aisle looking at two similar products, trying to decide which to choose. You want to make the healthier choice, but you're in a hurry. But remember, even healthier ready meals may be higher in fat and energy than the homemade equivalent. Get tips on how to eat on a budget. Page last reviewed: 5 June Next review due: 5 June Food labels - Eat well Secondary navigation Food and diet Nutrition and food groups Eating a balanced diet 8 tips for healthy eating The Eatwell Guide Food labels Food labelling terms Reference intakes on food labels Starchy foods and carbohydrates Dairy and alternatives Meat in your diet Fish and shellfish The healthy way to eat eggs Beans and pulses Water, drinks and your health Eating processed foods.

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