XIV Glossary

Open Resources for Nursing (Open RN)

Body Mass Index (BMI): A measure of weight categories including underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese taking height and weight into consideration. (Chapter 14.3)

Calorie-dense foods: Foods with a substantial amount of calories and few nutrients. (Chapter 14.2)

Carbohydrates: Sugars and starches that provide an important energy source, providing 4 kcal/g of energy. (Chapter 14.2)

Chemical digestion: Breakdown of food with stomach acids, bile, and pancreatic enzymes for nutrient release. (Chapter 14.2)

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. (Chapter 14.3)

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. (Chapter 14.2)

Complex carbohydrates: Larger molecules of polysaccharides that break down more slowly and release sugar into the bloodstream more slowly than simple carbohydrates. (Chapter 14.2)

Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Set requirements or limit amounts of a certain nutrient, including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. (Chapter 14.2)

Dysphagia: Difficulty swallowing. (Chapter 14.2)

Enteral nutrition: Liquid nutrition given through the gastrointestinal tract via a tube while bypassing chewing and swallowing. (Chapter 14.3)

Essential nutrients: Nutrients that must be ingested from dietary intake. Essential nutrients cannot be synthesized by the body. (Chapter 14.2)

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. (Chapter 14.2)

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. (Chapter 14.2)

Glycemic index: A measure of how quickly glucose levels increase in the bloodstream after carbohydrates are consumed. (Chapter 14.2)

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. (Chapter 14.2)

Lactation: Breast milk production. (Chapter 14.3)

Macrominerals: Minerals needed in larger amounts and measured in milligrams, grams, and milliequivalents. (Chapter 14.2)

Macronutrients: Nutrients needed in larger amounts due to energy needs. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. (Chapter 14.2)

Mastication: The chewing of food in the mouth. (Chapter 14.2)

Mechanical digestion: Breaking food down into small chunks through chewing prior to swallowing. (Chapter 14.2)

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. (Chapter 14.2)

Nutrient-dense foods: Foods with a high proportion of nutritional value relative to calories contained in the food. (Chapter 14.2)

Parenteral nutrition: An intravenous solution containing glucose, amino acids, minerals, electrolytes, and vitamins, along with supplemental lipids. (Chapter 14.3)

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. (Chapter 14.2)

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. (Chapter 14.2)

Proteins: Peptides and amino acids that provide 4 kcal/g of energy. Proteins are necessary for tissue repair and function, growth, energy, fluid balance, clotting, and the production of white blood cells. (Chapter 14.2)

Refined grains: Grains that have been processed to remove parts of the grain kernel and supply little fiber. (Chapter 14.2)

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. (Chapter 14.2)

Simple carbohydrates: Small molecules of monosaccharides or disaccharides that break down quickly and raise blood glucose levels quickly. (Chapter 14.2)

Trace minerals: Minerals needed in tiny amounts. (Chapter 14.2)

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. (Chapter 14.2)

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. (Chapter 14.2)

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. (Chapter 14.2)

Whole grains: Grains with the entire grain kernel that supply more fiber than refined grains. (Chapter 14.2)


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