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Learn the nutrients

Health & HD

Protein Macronutrient made from amino acids that is necessary for the growth, maintenance and repair of body tissue
Amino Acid Building blocks from which proteins are made and that can be classified as essential or nonessential
Complete Protein Protein foods that come mainly from animal sources that contain all the essential amino acids needed by the body to support life
Antioxidants: Substances that prevent or reduce damage to the body by free radicals
Carbohydrate Macronutrient made from monosaccharides which is the body’s most important source of energy
Carcinogen Substance that causes cancer
Cholesterol Waxy substance essential to making cell membranes, some hormones, vitamin D and bile
Dissacharide Carbohydrate made from a double unit of sugar, for example sucrose
Energy-dense Foods that are high in energy, usually because of their high fat and sugar content
Fat Macronutrient made from fatty or oily compounds that is insoluble in water and is necessary to provide and store energy in the body
Fibre Complex carbohydrate found in plants that remains mostly undigested as it travels through the digestive tract
Fat-soluble vitamins Vitamins A, D, E and K that are found in fatty and oily foods and can be stored in the body
Free radicals Substances produced by the body when oxygen is metabolised, which cause a build-up of cholesterol deposits in the arteries and damage cells, accelerating the ageing process
Glucose Carbohydrate, made from a single unit of sugar, which provides the main source of energy in the body; also known as ‘blood sugar’ or ‘blood glucose’
Glycaemic Index (GI) Index that ranks a food containing carbohydrate by the speed at which the food raises blood glucose once eaten
High GI foods Foods that contain carbohydrates that are digested quickly and release their glucose over a short period of time
High-density lipoproteins (HDL) Protein carriers that collect cholesterol from the tissues and blood and are linked to a healthy cardiovascular system
Insoluble fibre Type of fibre that is found in plant cell walls and does not dissolve in water but can bind with water
Insulin Hormone produced by the pancreas that stimulates cells to absorb glucose for use in energy production
Legumes Plants with pods such as peas, green beans, broad beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, navy beans and lentils; also called pulses
Low GI foods Foods that contain carbohydrates that are digested and absorbed slowly into the body and release their glucose over a relatively long period of time
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) Protein carriers that transport cholesterol to the tissues and deposit any excess in the arteries, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease
Macronutrient Nutrient that is needed by the body in relatively large amounts and whose intake can be measured in grams required per day
Micronutrient Nutrient that is required by the body in small amounts and whose intake can be measured in milligrams and micrograms per day
Minerals Inorganic compounds needed, in small amounts, for the health, growth and optimal functioning of many parts of the body
Monosaccharide Single unit of sugar from which carbohydrates are built, for example glucose
Monounsaturated fats Fats with one double bond in their structure, usually liquid at room temperature, eg Olive Oil
Non-essential amino acids Amino acids that can be made by the body from essential amino acids
Nutrient Chemical found in food that enables the body to function by providing materials for energy production, building, maintaining and repairing body tissue, regulating body processes and preventing disease
Polysaccharide Large complex carbohydrate made from many sugar units, for example starch
Polyunsaturated fat Fats with two or more double bonds in their chemical structure; includes essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6
Saturated fats Fats that do not contain double bonds in their chemical structure and are usually semisolid to solid at room temperature; known as ‘bad’ fats, because they are associated with many chronic diseases
Soluble fibre Type of fibre found in plant cell walls that dissolves and swells in water eg. citrus fruit, oats and green leafy vegetables
Trans fats Unsaturated fats that have been partially hydrogenated; known as ‘ugly fats’ because they have a more adverse effect on cardiovascular health than saturated fats
Unsaturated fats Fats that have double bonds in their chemical structure and are usually soft or liquid at room temperature; known as ‘good fats’ because they are associated with a healthy diet
Vitamins Organic substances needed by the body in minute amounts to ensure the optimal health, growth and functioning of the body
Water Macronutrient that is an essential component of all body tissues, and performs many important functions including digestion, transportation, lubrication, regulation and elimination
Vitamin A Fat soluble vitamin which helps to maintain normal vision and improve immune function. Found in yellow and red vegetables including carrots and pumpkin
Vitamin D Vitamin that is made with exposure to sunlight. Helps us to absorb calcium and phosphorus and therefore reduce osteoporosis risk
Vitamin C Water soluble vitamin, essential for collagen production and healing wounds. Assists with iron absorption. Found in blueberries and oranges
Folate B group vitamin essential for cell division and maintenance. Helps to make healthy red blood cells and prevent spina bifida. Found in oranges, avocado and strawberries
Calcium Mineral that is essential for healthy bones and teeth and blood clotting. Found in dairy products and fish
Phosphorus Mineral that works with Calcium to harden bones and teeth. Found in chicken, eggs and milk
Flouride Mineral that strengthens tooth enamel and prevents tooth decay. Found in tea, water and toothpaste
Iron Necessary for the formation of haemoglobin to carry oxygen in the blood. Found in red meat and green leafy vegetables
Iodine Necessary for the formation of the thyroid hormone thyroxine which regulates growth and metabolism. Found in salt, fish and prawns
Sodium Regulates fluid levels inside and outside the cells and is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses. Excess can cause atherosclerosis and hypertension
Created by: H F