Animal vs. vegetable protein
Your body creates protein from 13 building blocks called 'amino (uh-MEE-no) acids.' When you eat protein, whether from a T-bone steak or from a vegetarian source such as rice and beans, it's digested into the individual amino acids and reconstructed into the protein your body needs.
Artificial color additives
Certain coloring agents, approved by the U-S Food and Drug Administration, can legally be added to food, drugs, and cosmetics. Coloring is added by manufacturers strictly to make the food, drug, or cosmetic look more appealing.
Calcium
Calcium (CAL-see-um) is a mineral that's important for maintaining a healthy body. Calcium deficiency can cause stunted development of bones and teeth.
Cancer and nutrition
People are realizing that the best 'cure' for cancer is not just early detection, but prevention. Research is continuing to establish that what you eat may contribute to your getting cancer and, conversely, other foods may protect against many forms of the disease.
Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates (car-buh-HIGH-druts) are the starches and sugars in the diet that are used by the body primarily to supply energy. Carbohydrates is considered an 'essential nutrient,' asubstance the body is unable to make on its own, so it must be obtained from food.
Carbohydrates and glucose
'Carbohydrates' (car-buh-HIGH-druts) is the name for the starches and sugars in your diet. Glucose (GLUE-kohs) is the basic building block of starch and is the sugar in the blood that the body uses for energy.
Controlling your weight
Controlling your weight will help you look good, but more importantly, it will help you feel good. Being overweight puts a strain on your heart, as well as the joints and ligaments that must support the extra weight.
Credentials of registered dieticians
The American Dietetic Association is the official organization of the dietetics profession. Most dietitians work in hospitals, but today's dietitian also may be a university professor who teaches nutrition; a consultant to the restaurant, pharmaceutical, or supermarket industries; a researcher; or part of a public health program.
Defensive dining
More and more people are taking a defensive position when it comes to what they eat, especially by cutting down on fat and cholesterol. The easiest way to eliminate foods that are high in fat is to cut out animal products, except nonfat milk and yogurt; vegetable foods high in saturated fat, such as avocados, nuts, and seeds; and all oils, which are 100 percent fat, especially hydrogenated (high-DRAWJ-uh-nay-ted) oils, which also are high in saturated fat.
Definition and classification of vitamins
Vitamins are compounds that you need in small amounts to remain healthy and function normally. They help regulate the chemical reactions the body undergoes to convert food into energy and for tissue repair and regeneration.
Diet and menstrual cycle
Hormonal shifts that occur every month in women during reproductive years can cause physical symptoms and changes in mood, both prior to and during the menstrual (MEN-struhl) period.
Essential nutritients
A 'nutrient' (NOO-tree-unt) is a substance you get from food. It's used by the body for growth, maintenance, or repair of tissues. There are six categories of nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, fats and oils, vitamins, minerals, and water.
Fiber importance
Fiber is the indigestible residue in plants that you eat and is composed of the carbohydrates? (car-buh-HY-druts) cellulose (CELL-you-loas), pectin,hemicellulose (heh-mi-CELL-you-loas), and the noncarbohydrate lignin (LIG-nun).
Fluoride
Fluoride (FLOOR-ide) is an essential trace mineral found in bones, teeth, and body fluids. If it's present when bones and teeth develop, it makes them more resistant to decay and to diseases such as osteoporosis (ah-stee-oh-puh-ROE-sus).
Food groups
Following World War II, there was concern that Americans weren't getting enough protein, vitamins, and minerals in their diet. Government officials developed what they called the 'Basic Four Food Groups.
How diet affects moods
Did you now that the food you eat influences your brain chemistry and your mood? When you consume too few of the essential nutrients, your nerves react in ways that affect your behavior.
How fat is used
Fat is used by your body for energy. Each gram of fat contains about nine calories, compared with carbohydrates and protein, which have four per gram.
How protein affects growth and maintenance
Proteins are complicated molecules formed from building blocks called amino (uh-MEE-no) acids. There are approximately 22 different kinds of amino acids that can combine to form many types of proteins.
How to choose nutritious foods
Increasing scientific evidence indicates that what you eat can positively impact your health and well-being. Studies also show that foods high in fat and sugar and low in fiber and complex carbohydrates are increasingly linked with a variety of diseases.
Hunger problems in the United States
Many Americans live in poverty and are at risk of hunger. Over half are children and the elderly. Both public and private agencies provide monetary relief, food supplies, and nutritional counseling.
Importance of water intake
Your body is 60 percent water, and you can't live without it for very long. You excrete (eks-KREET) at least a quart of water every day, so you must drink at least that much to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Iodine
More than 60 percent of iodine (EYE-uh-dine) in the body is found in the thyroid (THIGH-royd) gland, located near the throat. Thyroid hormones control energy metabolism, body temperature, reproduction, and growth.
Iron
Iron (EYE-urn) is one of the most abundant materials in nature, and it's a substance essential to normal body structure and function. Iron is one of the major components of hemoglobin (HEE-muh-globe-un), the oxygen-carrying component in the blood.
Lecithin and cholesterol
Lecithin (LEH-suh-thun) is a waxy material found in the protective sheath that surrounds nerve fibers and plays a vital role in keeping the nervous system healthy.
Magnesium
Magnesium (mag-NEE-zee-um) is one of the most abundant minerals in the soft tissues of humans. It helps convert carbohydrates, protein, and fats to energy and is involved in the manufacture of proteins.
MSG
M-S-G is the abbreviation for 'monosodium glutamate' (MON-uh-so-dee-um GLUE-tuh-mate). It's a form of glutamic (glue-TAM-ick) acid, one of the amino acids that help build proteins.
Nutrient density
In today's busy world, less time is spent preparing meals from scratch. Instead, Americans increasingly rely on processed foods. Foods may be processed by canning, freezing, drying, or chemically preserving them.
Performance food
If you're an athlete, food is fuel that you need to consume in higher amounts than non-athletes. Very physically active people may wonder how to best meet their nutrition needs.
Pesticides
Although the Environmental Protection Agency tries to regulate the amount of pesticides in food, the residue can still have ill effects for some people.
Potassium
Potassium (puh-TAS-see-um) helps nerves transmit messages, aids digestive enzymes, guides normal growth, and ensures proper muscle functioning, including that of the heart.
Protein and energy
Protein--along with carbohydrates and fat--are called the 'energy nutrients.' The energy they provide is used by the body to fuel the billions of chemical reactions that sustain life each day.
Radiation
Irradiation is the process of exposing foods--including spices, fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and poultry--to gamma rays, X-rays, or electrons to kill harmful micro-organisms and insect larvae (LAR-vuh) without having to use chemicals or preservatives.
RDA and protein
In 1941 the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council established R-D-A's, or Recommended Dietary Allowances to prevent deficiencies in calories, protein, vitamins and minerals.
RDA/Food pyramid
In 1990, Congress passed the 'Nutrition Labeling and Education Act' to clear up confusion over food labels. The 'Recommended Dietary Allowances,' or R-D-A's are the most commonly used guidelines for determining how much of each vitamin and mineral people need to prevent deficiencies.
Salt intake
Salt can adversely affect your health by causing blood pressure to increase, When you eat salt, your body works to keep its salt level at a constant concentration, so it increases water retention to dilute the salt content.
Simple eating tips
Scientific evidence proves that what you eat can make a significant difference in your health and well-being. Eating well doesn't have to be complicated.
Sodium
Sodium is a mineral that regulates both the volume of fluid in your body and blood pressure. Too much sodium makes the body retain fluid. To pump the added fluid, the heart has to work harder.
Starch and fiber
'Starch' is the chief storage form of carbohydrate (car-buh-HIGH-drut) in plants. 'Fiber' is the indigestible (in-duh-JESS-tuh-bull) part of plants that we eat.
Sugar and starch
Carbohydrates (car-buh-HIGH-druts) are the sugars and starches in the diet. 'Complex' carbohydrates are starches in their unrefined form. They include potatoes, pasta, rice, beans, whole wheat bread, and apples.
Vitamin A
Vitamin A was the first vitamin to be discovered and named, back in 1913. Scientists noticed that animals whose diets lacked certain foods got inflamed eyes.
Vitamin B
Scientists thought that what they originally called 'water-soluble (SAHL-you-bull) B' was one vitamin. They later learned it actually consists of eight separate substances: vitamin B-1, or thiamine (THIGH-uh-mun); Vitamin B-2, or riboflavin (rib-uh-FLAY-vun); Vitamin B-6, or pyridoxine (pir-uh-DOC-seen); Vitamin B-12; Vitamin B-3, or pantothenic (pan-tuh-THEN-ic) acid; Vitamin B-7, or biotin (BYE-uh-tun); and folate (FOE-late), which is also called folacin (FOE-luh-sun) and folic (FOE-lick) acid.
Vitamin C
The oldest known nutrient-deficiency disease, called scurvy (SKUR-vee), was commonly diagnosed in sailors and was easily cured by eating citrus fruit.
Vitamin D
Vitamin D is the substance that's synthesized when your skin is exposed to direct ultraviolet light, such as from the sun. Vitamin D acts much like a hormone, working with calcium and phosphorous to help maintain healthy bones, nerves, and muscles.
Vitamin E
Vitamin E was discovered in the 1920's and is the name for a group of eight fat-soluble compounds called the tocopherols (toe-KAH-fer-uls), of which D-Alpha tocopherol has the most value to humans as an antioxidant.
Vitamin K
Vitamin K was first identified by a Danish scientist in 1929, who noticed that chicks fed diets lacking in a certain substance were slow to form blood clots.
Water supplies
The quality of water in public supplies varies from place to place, so you may want to have your water tested for impurities. Some chemicals in the water are naturally-occurring, while others are added by local water companies.
Zinc
Zinc is a component of several enzymes in your body that aid metabolism and reside primarily in your bones. It's also part of the hormone insulin, and it helps transport Vitamin A.


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