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Weight Loss Glossary, A-D
Also called ethanol or ethyl alcohol. A tasteless and colorless volatile liquid with the chemical formula C2H5OH that occurs naturally during fermentation when sugars are processed by yeast.
Any of the 20 molecules that are the basic building blocks of proteins. The sequence of amino acids in a protein and, hence, the function of a protein is determined by the genetic code. The body can make some amino acids, while others must be supplied by foods containing proteins.
The chemical name for vitamin C. See Vitamin C.
See Vitamin H.
Also called blood glucose. The level of glucose in the blood stream. If the level is too low, hypoglycemia occurs, which causes hunger and poor concentration. If the level is too high, it can lead to an overproduction of insulin – a hormone that triggers cravings and fat storage; this condition is known as hyperglycemia.
The energy the body uses at rest to maintain normal functioning.
See Vitamin D.
Chemical symbol Ca. A mineral that gives strength to bones and teeth, it is essential for muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve function. Approximately 99% of the body's calcium is contained in teeth and bones. It is found in dairy foods and leafy vegetables.
Abbreviated to cal. A unit of measurement; the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by 1 degree Celsius. A food calorie is actually equal to 1,000 calories (1 food calorie = 1 kilocalorie).
The number of calories you burn when at rest and when exercising.
The number of calories you consume in your food.
Also called carbs. One of the three nutrients that supply calories to the body. They may be simple (sugars) or complex (starches and fiber). Carbohydrates are mainly found in cereals, fruits and vegetables.
A component of many mineral salts, including common salt. It is involved in fluid balance and acid-base balance, and is part of the acid in the stomach.
A fat-like substance that is found in certain foods and is also made in the body. Cholesterol travels through the bloodstream as low-density lipoproteins (LDL, or "bad" cholesterol) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL, or "good" cholesterol). LDL delivers cholesterol to the body cells, while HDL takes cholesterol out of the bloodstream. Too much cholesterol may cause fat build up in the artery walls and lead to arteriosclerosis, a disease that slows or stops the flow of blood. Egg yolks and butter contain a lot of cholesterol.
Chemical symbol Cr. A mineral important for the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It helps build lean muscle tissue and regulate blood sugar level. Chromium is found in meat, vegetable oil, and whole grain cereal.
Chemical symbol Cu. A trace mineral important for the formation of red blood cells and for keeping bones, blood vessels, nerves and the immune system healthy. Copper is also involved in the absorption, storage and metabolism of iron. Copper is found in organ meats, shellfish, legumes, and nuts.
See Vitamin B12.
A substance that carries genetic information. It is found in the nucleus of a cell. DNA determines the structure, function and behavior of a cell.
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