Body Mass Index (BMI): A measure of weight categories including underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese taking height and weight into consideration.
Calorie-dense foods: Foods with a substantial amount of calories and few nutrients.
Carbohydrates: Sugars and starches that provide an important energy source, providing 4 kcal/g of energy.
Chemical digestion: Breakdown of food with stomach acids, bile, and pancreatic enzymes for nutrient release.
Chyme: Broken-down food that has undergone chemical digestion in the stomach.
Colostrum: A thick yellowish-white fluid rich in proteins and immunoglobulin A (IgA) and lower in carbohydrates and fat than mature breast milk secreted within the first 2-3 days after giving birth.
Complete proteins: Proteins with enough amino acids in enough quantities to perform necessary functions such as growth and tissue maintenance. These must be ingested in the diet.
Complex carbohydrates: Larger molecules of polysaccharides that break down more slowly and release sugar into the bloodstream more slowly than simple carbohydrates.
Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Set requirements or limit amounts of a certain nutrient, including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Dysphagia: Difficulty swallowing.
Enteral nutrition: Liquid nutrition given through the gastrointestinal tract via a tube while bypassing chewing and swallowing.
Essential nutrients: Nutrients that must be ingested from dietary intake. Essential nutrients cannot be synthesized by the body.
Fat-soluble vitamins: Vitamins that dissolve in fats and oils and are stored in fat tissue and can build up in the liver, resulting in toxicity. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Fats: Fatty acids and glycerol that are essential for tissue growth, insulation, energy source, energy storage, and hormone production. Fats provide 9 kcal/g of energy.
Glycemic index: A measure of how quickly plasma glucose levels are released into the bloodstream after carbohydrates are consumed.
Incomplete proteins: Proteins that do not contain enough amino acids to sustain life. Incomplete proteins can be combined with other types of proteins to add to amino acids consumed to form complete protein combinations.
Lactation: Breast milk production.
Macrominerals: Minerals needed in larger amounts and measured in milligrams, grams, and milliequivalents.
Macronutrients: Nutrients needed in larger amounts due to energy needs. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Mastication: The chewing of food in the mouth.
Mechanical digestion: Breaking food down into small chunks through chewing prior to swallowing.
Nitrogen balance: The net loss or gain of nitrogen excreted compared to nitrogen taken into the body in the form of protein consumption; an indicator of protein status where a negative nitrogen balance equates to a protein deficit in the diet and a positive nitrogen balance equates to a protein excess in the diet.
Nutrient-dense foods: Foods with a high proportion of nutritional value relative to calories contained in the food.
Parenteral nutrition: An intravenous solution containing glucose, amino acids, minerals, electrolytes, and vitamins, along with supplemental lipids.
Partially complete proteins: Proteins that have enough amino acids to sustain life, but not enough for tissue growth and maintenance. Typically interchanged with incomplete proteins.
Peristalsis: Coordinated muscle movements in the esophagus that move food or liquid through the esophagus and into the stomach or coordinated muscle movements in the intestines that move food/waste products through the intestines.
Proteins: Sources of peptides, amino acids, and some trace elements that provide 4 kcal/g of energy. Proteins are necessary for tissue repair, tissue function, growth, fluid balance, and clotting, as well as energy in the absence of sufficient intake of carbohydrates.
Refined grains: Grains that have been processed to remove parts of the grain kernel and supply little fiber.
Saturated fats: Fats derived from animal products, such as butter, tallow, and lard for cooking, or from meat products such as steak. Saturated fats are generally solid at room temperature and can raise cholesterol levels, contributing to heart disease.
Simple carbohydrates: Small molecules of monosaccharides or disaccharides that break down quickly and raise blood glucose levels quickly.
Trace minerals: Minerals needed in tiny amounts.
Trans fats: Fats that have been altered through hydrogenation and as such are not in their natural state. Fat is changed to make it harder at room temperature and to make it have a longer shelf life and contributes to increased cholesterol and heart disease.
Unsaturated fats: Fats derived from oils and plants, though chicken and fish contain some unsaturated fats as well. Unsaturated fats are healthier than saturated fats, and some containing omega-3 fatty acids are considered polyunsaturated fats and help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Water-soluble vitamins: Vitamins that are not stored in the body and include vitamin C and B-complex vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cyanocobalamin), and B9 (folic acid, biotin, and pantothenic acid). Toxicity is rare as excess water-soluble vitamins are excreted in the urine.
Whole grains: Grains with the entire grain kernel that supply more fiber than refined grains.