Nutrition Terms 101

Let’s establish some nutrition lingo definitions for you. I remember when I was starting out and hearing all this terms and phrases that I wasn’t quite sure what they meant. I ended up googling a lot of what I heard to research find out what people were talking about. So here is a list of general nutrition terms that should help you out!

Nutrition – The process by which we use food for growth and repair. The practice of nutrition is formally called dietetics.

Meal Prep – Premaking meals to consume throughout the day or week.

Clean Eating – Eating healthy, whole, nutrient-dense foods.

calorie – The amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1deg_C

Calorie – A unit of expression of energy equal to 1,000 calories. The amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram or liter of water to 1deg_C.

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) – the amount of energy (calories) spent, on average, in a typical day.

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) – The amount of energy expended while at rest; represents the minimal amount of energy required to sustain vital bodily functions such as blood circulation, respiration, and temperature regulation. RMR typically accounts for 70% of TDEE.

Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) – The amount of energy expended above RMR as a result of the processing of food (digestion) for storage and use. TEF typically accounts for approximately 6-10% of TDEE.

Satiety – The feeling of fullness in terms of hunger.

Macrosnutrients (Macros) – Protein, Fats, Carbohydrates

Micronutrients – Vitamins and Minerals

Metabolism – All of the chemical reactions that occur in the body to maintain itself. Metabolism is the process in which nutrients are acquired, transported, used, and disposed of by the body.

Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) – Muscles grow by repairing small micro-tears that occur on a cellular level during exercise, making exercise a key component of muscle growth. When the muscle experiences small micro-tears, blood flow to the area increases, bringing with it the necessary components for repair through protein synthesis.

Protein – Amino acids linked by peptide bonds, which consist of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and usually sulfur, and that have several essential biologic compounds.

Gluconeogenesis – The formation of glucose from noncarbohydrate sources, such as amino acids. During a negative energy balance (e.g., low-calorie diet), amino acids are used to assist in energy production, this is called gluconeogenesis.

Fat – One of the three main classes of foods and a source of energy in the body. Fats help the body use some vitamins and keep the skin healthy. They also serve as energy stores for the body. In food, there are two types of fats, saturated and unsaturated.

Triglycerides – The chemical or substrate form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body.

Lipids – A group of compounds that includes triglycerides (fats and oils), phospholipids, and sterols.

Beta-Oxidation – The breakdown of triglycerides into smaller subunits called free fatty acids (FFAs) to convert FFAs into acyl-CoA (acetyl coenzyme) molecules, which then are available to enter the Krebs cycle and ultimately lead to the production of additional ATP.

Carbohydrates – Neutral compounds of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (such as sugars, starches, and celluloses), which make up a large portion of animal foods

Glucose – A simple sugar manufactured by the body from carbohydrates, fat, and to a lesser extent protein, which serves as the body’s main source of fuel.

Glycogen – The complex carbohydrate molecule used to store carbohydrates in the liver and muscle cells. When carbohydrate energy is needed, glycogen is converted into glucose for use by the muscle cells. Glycogen is a string of glucose molecules that can rapidly be broken down into glucose and used for energy during periods of prolonged or intense exercise.

Glycemic Index (GI) – GI is the rate at which ingested carbohydrate raises blood sugar and affects insulin release. Foods lower on the glycemic index are good sources of complex carbohydrates, as well as being high in fiber and overall nutritional value.

Ketosis/Keto Diet - A high fat, super low carb diet in which your goal is to put your body into a state of ketosis. 

Paleo Diet - Eating like how the cavemen did. 

Carb Cycling - Cycling between days of high carbs and low carbs.

Intermittent Fasting - Only eating between a specific time period during the day. FOr example, only eating food from 10am to 4pm

Dietary Supplement – A substance that completes or makes an addition to daily dietary intake

Ergogenic – Literally means work generatin