Glossary and list of terms that appear in the pages and articles of dietlist.
Proteins are large, complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body. They do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. Proteins are responsible for nearly every task of cellular life, including cell shape and inner organization, product manufacture and waste cleanup, and routine maintenance.
Carbohydrates are a superior short-term fuel for organisms because they are simpler to metabolize than fats or those amino acids (components of proteins) that can be used for fuel. The main function of carbohydrates is to provide and store energy. The most important carbohydrate is glucose, a simple sugar (monosaccharide) that is metabolized by nearly all known organisms. The concentration of glucose in the blood is used as the main control for the central metabolic hormone, insulin. All carbohydrate-rich foods also contain B vitamins, which have energy functions and tone the nervous system. These foods are very suitable when there is stress, anxiety or nervousness.
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia).If you have more sugar in your body than it needs, insulin helps store the sugar in your liver and releases it when your blood sugar level is low or if you need more sugar, such as in between meals or during physical activity. Therefore, insulin helps balance out blood sugar levels and keeps them in a normal range. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas secretes more insulin.
Metabolism is the set of life-sustaining chemical transformations within the cells of organisms. The three main purposes of metabolism are the conversion of food/fuel to energy to run cellular processes, the conversion of food/fuel to building blocks for proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and some carbohydrates, and the elimination of nitrogenous wastes. Your metabolism is the result of all the processes in your body working together to create the energy that keeps you going.
Your metabolism is the rate at which your body's many processes function, and it can be low, high, or somewhere in the middle. When you're younger, your high metabolism makes it easy to lose weight but as you get older your metabolism slows down and you might put on a few pounds. Exercising speeds up your metabolism.
- Fats and oils
Fat is an important foodstuff for many forms of life, and fats serve both structural and metabolic functions. Fat are an essential part of our diet and is important for good health. There are different types of fats, with some fats being healthier than others. To help make sure you stay healthy, it is important to eat unsaturated fats in small amounts as part of a balanced diet.When eaten in large amounts, all fats, including healthy fats, can contribute to weight gain. Fat is higher in energy (kilojoules) than any other nutrient and so eating less fat overall is likely to help with weight loss.
Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a food cultivated by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is a component in East Asian, Southeast Asian and West African cuisines. Tofu can be soft, firm, or extra firm. Tofu has a subtle flavor and can be used in savory and sweet dishes. It is often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish. Tofu has a low calorie count and relatively large amounts of protein. It is high in iron, and depending on the coagulants used in manufacturing (e.g. calcium chloride, calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate), it can have a high calcium or magnesium content. It is used as a low-fat meat surrogate.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance known as a lipid and is vital for the normal functioning of the body. It is found in every cell of the body and has important natural functions when it comes to digesting foods, producing hormones, and generating vitamin D. It's mainly made by the liver, but can also be found in some foods. Having an excessively high level of lipids in your blood (hyperlipidemia) can have an effect on your health.High cholesterol itself doesn't usually cause any symptoms, but it increases your risk of serious health conditions. It is manufactured by the body but can also be taken in from food. It is waxy and fat-like in appearance.There are two types of cholesterol; LDL (low-density lipoproteins, bad cholesterol) and HDL (high-density lipoproteins, good cholesterol).
- Oats and oatmeal
The oat, sometimes called the common oat, is a species of cereal grain grown for its seed, which is known by the same name (usually in the plural, unlike other cereals and pseudocereals). Oatmeal can refer to the product of cooking oats. It is a whole-grain food, meaning it is minimally processed and contains more vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients than most refined, or processed, grains. Eating oatmeal also supplies you with energy, protein and healthy fats. The nutritional value of oatmeal varies depending on whether it is cooked, instant, fortified or flavored and whether it is prepared with water or milk. Oats are a nutrient-rich food associated with lower blood cholesterol when consumed regularly.
- Goji berry
A bright red edible berry widely cultivated in China, supposed to contain high levels of certain vitamins.These berries contain all 8 essential amino acids. A single 4 ounce serving provides nearly 10 percent of your daily value for protein. For fruit, this is a surprising amount of protein.The carbohydrates in goji berries are also complex carbs. This means your blood sugar will raise slowly, reducing your risk of a sugar crash afterwards. Always talk to your doctor before you begin eating goji berries. Some companies may say they have less side effects than medications. But goji berries can interact with any medications you’re currently taking.
Soya comes from the soya bean pods that are located in the soya plant. The scientific name is Glycin Max and it is from the Pea family (Fabaceae). Soya bean pods were first cultivated in China over 4000 years ago. Today, they are mostly cultivated in North and South America inaddition to China. High in protein and used as a vegetarian and lactose alternative for many foods, soya has transcended its Asian origins to become the most widely cultivated legume across the globe. Soy is used to make many different foods. Soybeans can be eaten whole, with the immature types being called edamame. Soybeans must be cooked, as they are poisonous when raw. Interestingly, whole soybeans are rarely consumed in Western countries. The majority of soy in the diet comes from the refined products that are processed from the soybeans.
- Chia seeds
Chia seeds have recently gained attention as an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid. They also are an excellent source of fiber at 10 grams per ounce (about 2 tablespoons), and contain protein and minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.Emerging research suggests that including chia seeds as part of a healthy diet may help improve cardiovascular risk factors such as lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. However, there are not many published studies on the health benefits of consuming chia seeds and much of the available information is based on animal studies or human studies with a small number of research participants.
- Uric acid
Uric acid is a normal bodily waste product. It forms when chemicals called purines break down. Purines are a natural substance found in the body and are also found in many foods such as liver, shellfish, and alcohol. They can also be formed in the body when DNA is broken down. When purines are broken down to uric acid in the blood, the body gets rid of it when you urinate or have a bowel movement. But if your body makes too much uric acid, or if your kidneys aren't working properly, uric acid can build up in the blood. Uric acid levels can also increase when you eat too many high-purine foods or take certain medicines like diuretics, aspirin, and niacin. Then crystals of uric acid can form and collect in the joints, causing painful inflammation. This condition is called gout.
- Rubik's Cube
Rubik's Cube is a 3-D combination puzzle invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik. Originally called the Magic Cube, the puzzle was licensed by Rubik to be sold by Ideal Toy Corp. in 1980 via businessman Tibor Laczi and Seven Towns founder Tom Kremer, and won the German Game of the Year special award for Best Puzzle that year. As of January 2009, 350 million cubes had been sold worldwide making it the world's top-selling puzzle game.It is widely considered to be the world's best-selling toy. On a classic Rubik's Cube, each of the six faces is covered by nine stickers, each of one of six solid colours: white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow. In currently sold models, white is opposite yellow, blue is opposite green, and orange is opposite red, and the red, white and blue are arranged in that order in a clockwise arrangement. On early cubes, the position of the colours varied from cube to cube. An internal pivot mechanism enables each face to turn independently, thus mixing up the colours. For the puzzle to be solved, each face must be returned to have only one colour. Similar puzzles have now been produced with various numbers of sides, dimensions, and stickers, not all of them by Rubik.
Glycogen is a large molecule produced in the liver and stored mainly in the liver and muscle cells. After we eat more carbohydrate than our bodies can use at the moment, glycogen is made from the leftover glucose. Later, when blood sugar levels fall, the glycogen is broken down to release more glucose into the blood. Low-carb diets initially deplete glycogen storage, although to some extent any weight loss diet has a similar effect. The most common disease in which glycogen metabolism becomes abnormal is diabetes, in which, because of abnormal amounts of insulin, liver glycogen can be abnormally accumulated or depleted. When you eat more calories than you need, your body has two ways to store this extra energy -- glycogen and triglycerides, or fat. When your body needs extra energy, it pulls it from these two sources, and what kind of exercise you do, how intensely and for how long affects where the energy to fuel it comes from.
- Glycemic index
The glycemic index represents the rise in a person's blood sugar level two hours after consumption of the food. The glycemic effects of foods depends on a number of factors, such as the type of carbohydrate, physical entrapment of the carbohydrate molecules within the food, fat and protein content of the food and organic acids or their salts in the meal. The GI is useful for understanding how the body breaks down carbohydrates and takes into account only the available carbohydrate (total carbohydrate minus fiber) in a food. Glycemic index does not predict an individual's glycemic response to a food, but can be used as a tool to assess the insulin response burden of a food, averaged across a studied population. Individual responses vary greatly.Foods with carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream tend to have a high GI; foods with carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, tend to have a low GI.
- Monounsaturated fats
Monounsaturated fats are simply fat molecules that have one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule, this is also called a double bond. Oils that contain monounsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature but start to turn solid when chilled. Olive oil is an example of a type of oil that contains monounsaturated fats.Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells. Oils rich in monounsaturated fats also contribute vitamin E to the diet.
Cortisol is a hormone, which is mainly released at times of stress and has many important functions in your body. Having the right cortisol balance is essential for human health and you can have problems if your adrenal gland releases too much or too little cortisol.Because most bodily cells have cortisol receptors, it affects many different functions in the body. Cortisol can help control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, help reduce inflammation, and assist with memory formulation. It has a controlling effect on salt and water balance and helps control blood pressure. In women, cortisol also supports the developing fetus during pregnancy. All of these functions make cortisol a crucial hormone to protect overall health and well-being.
- Plant sterols
Plant sterols are compounds that help block your body from absorbing cholesterol. While plant sterols help lower LDL cholesterol, they don’t appear to affect your levels of HDL cholesterol or triglycerides. Plant sterols are found naturally in: fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, wheat bran and wheat germ, cereals, legumes, nuts. An easier way to get enough plant sterols to lower your cholesterol level is through eating fortified foods. Plant sterols are added to certain foods, including some kinds of orange juice, yogurt, and margarine.