Key Terms

Amino acids

Long chains of compounds that make up proteins.

Brown sugar

A blend of sucrose, molasses and molasses flavoured syrup. Used for its distinctive flavour and/or for colouring.

Calorie

Unit of energy produced by food

Carbohydrate

Simple or complex sugars and starches

Celiac disease

An autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that is caused by a reaction to a gluten protein found in wheat, and to similar proteins found in other common grains such as barley and rye

Cholesterol

A sterol found in all animal tissues and animal fats. There are two types: low density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) and high density lipoproteins (HDL or “good” cholesterol)

Complex carbohydrate

Nutrient in food mainly found in vegetables, whole-meal breads, and cereals, consisting of a chemical structure that is made up of three or more sugars, which are usually linked together to form a chain.

Dietary fibre

A type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by our bodies' enzymes.

Fructose

A simple sugar found in fruits and honey

Genetically modified

Foods that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques.

Gluten

A protein composite present in cereal grains, especially wheat, but also found in barley, oats and rye. Composed mainly of two proteins, gliadin and glutenin. Gluten contributes to elasticity and texture in bread doughs and other products containing wheat.

Honey

An invert sugar (i.e. a monosaccharide) made by bees from flower nectar. Used as a sweetener for its distinctive flavour. It is hygroscopic - i.e. keeps products moist. Components of honey are levulose and dextrose (there is a tiny fraction of sucrose).

Insoluble fibre

Insoluble element in food that aids in digestive and intestinal processes

Lactose

A sugar naturally occurring in milk and other dairy products

Macronutrients

Nutrients that do provide calories or energy, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins.

Micronutrients

Nutrients that do not provide calories or energy, such as minerals and vitamins

Minerals

Inorganic elements, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, or sodium, that are essential to the functioning of the human body and are obtained from foods.

Nutrients

Substances in foods that provide nourishment to the body

Nutrition facts table (NFT)

A list of nutrients found on all packaged foods that shows the percent daily value (% DV) and recommended portion size

pH

Potential Hydrogen. A scale which measures acidity and alkalinity. The lower the pH the more acidic, and the higher the pH the more alkaline. Substances above 8 are considered alkaline and substances below 6 are considered acidic. Substances between 6 and 8 are considered neutral.

Protein

Element in plant or animal tissue supplying essential amino acids to the body

Simple carbohydrate

Sugars that provide very little nutritional value to the body found in processed sugars and refined cereals, with a chemical structure that is composed of one or two sugars.

Sodium

An essential nutrient that regulates blood volume, blood pressure, osmotic equilibrium and pH. Most of the sodium in the diet comes from salts and processed foods.

Soluble fibre

Soluble elements in food that slows down the food digestion

Sucrose

‘Ordinary’ sugar, a disaccharide, it is the form of sugar most familiar to us, coming in various sizes of granulation.

Vegetarian

A diet that excludes meat, poultry, and fish products; a person whose diet does not include these food products

Vitamin

Substances that are essential, in small quantities, for the normal functioning of metabolism in the body

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