Weight Loss Program

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Weight Loss Glossary, N-S


See Vitamin B3.

Non-essential Fatty Acids

Saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids that can be synthesised in the body and their intake is not essential.


A substance in food that is needed by the body to maintain life and health. Nutrients include protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, etc.


Also called Omega-3 fatty acids. Essential fatty acids. Improve heart health, reduce hypertension, improve depression and symptoms of other mental health problems. Found in fish and in vegetable sources such as flax seeds, walnuts, canola oil, and dark green leafy vegetables.


Also called Omega-6 fatty acids. Essential fatty acids found in safflower, sunflower, corn and sesame oils.

Pantothenic Acid

See Vitamin B5.


Chemical symbol P. A mineral vital to energy production. It also helps build bone and teeth and form cell membranes and genetic material. The best sources of phosphorus are dairy foods, meat, and fish.

Polyunsaturated Fat

A form of fat that is liquid at room temperature. In small amounts, it tends to lower only LDL-cholesterol levels while when consumed in large amounts, lowers both HDL and LDL levels. Polyunsaturated fats are found in corn, soybean, and safflower oils, and many types of nuts.


Chemical symbol K. A mineral needed for maintaining fluid balance, transmitting nerve impulses, and making protein. Potassium is found in broccoli, leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, bananas, dried fruits, and legumes.


One of the three nutrients that supply calories to the body. Protein makes all life possible because it is the major structural material in the body forming muscle, bone, skin, blood, and hormones. Thousands of different proteins exist in the body, all made up from the 20 different amino acid building blocks. Protein is found in meats, dairy products, eggs, milk, as well as some vegetables and food starches.


See Vitamin B6.

RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance)

Recommendations made by a board of nutrition experts on the amount of nutrients healthy individuals should consume daily.


See Vitamin A.

RNA (Ribonucleic Acid)

A substance found in the nucleus of a cell. RNA copies genetic information from DNA and then translates it into proteins.

Saturated Fat

A form of fat that is usually solid at room temperature. Eating a diet high in saturated fat raises blood cholesterol. Saturated fat is found in dairy products, fatty meats, the skin and fat of chicken and turkey, lard, palm oil, and coconut oil.


Chemical symbol Se. A trace mineral acting as an antioxidant. It promotes healthy immune system and heart functions and protects red blood cells and cell membranes. Sources of selenium are seafood, meat, and whole grains.


Chemical symbol Na. A mineral needed by the body to keep body fluids in balance. The chief source of sodium is table salt, often called common salt.


Also known as white or table sugar. It is a combination of fructose and glucose and can be found in many plants.


A class of carbohydrates that taste sweet. They provide calories and raise blood glucose levels. Lactose, glucose, fructose, and sucrose are sugars.


Chemical symbol S. A mineral present in protein, biotin, thiamine and the hormone insulin. Sulfur is necessary for the production of collagen, which helps form connective tissue in the body. Sulfur is also a component of keratin, the chief ingredient in hair, skin, and nails. The main sources of sulfur are protein-rich foods.

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