Nutrition in food is a path to improved health | 24 Mantra

Commonly used Nutrition Terminology


Commonly used Nutrition Terminology

Health and Nutrition

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): Average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%-98%) healthy people.

Recommended intakes of nutrients vary by age and gender and are known as Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) and Adequate Intakes (AIs).

Adequate Intake (AI): Established when evidence is insufficient to develop an RDA and is set at a level assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy.

Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): Maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects

Daily Value: Recommended intakes of nutrients vary by age and gender and are known as Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) and Adequate Intakes (AIs). However, one value for each nutrient, known as the Daily Value (DV), is selected for the labels of dietary supplements and foods. A DV is often, but not always, similar to one’s RDA or AI for that nutrient.

DVs were developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help consumers determine the level of various nutrients in a standard serving of food in relation to their approximate requirement for it. The label actually provides the %DV so that you can see how much (what percentage) a serving of the product contributes to reaching the DV.

Probiotic: According to FAO/WHO probiotics, “Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”.

Prebiotics: Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that stimulate the growth and/or activity of bacteria in the digestive system in ways claimed to be beneficial to health. Typically, prebiotics are carbohydrates (such as oligosaccharides), but the definition may include non-carbohydrates.

Roberfroid in 2007 stated “A prebiotic is a selectively fermented ingredient that allows specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microflora that confers benefits upon host well-being and health.”

PUFA: Poly unsaturated Fatty acids

MUFA: Mono Unsaturated fatty acids

SFA: Saturated Fatty Acids

TFA: Trans-fatty acids

Complete protein: A protein that supplies all amino acids in required amounts and proportions as required by our body.

Antioxidants: Antioxidants are substances that may prevent potentially disease-producing cell damage that can result from natural bodily processes and from exposure to certain chemicals. Examples of antioxidants include anthocyanins, beta-carotene, catechins, flavonoids, lycopene, selenium, and vitamins C and E. There are a number of different antioxidants found in foods and available as dietary supplements.

Free radicals: A free radical is any species capable of independent existence containing one or more unpaired electrons. The unpaired electron alters the chemical reactivity of the molecule/atom, making it more reactive than the corresponding non-radical form.

Oxidative stress: The term is used to describe the condition of oxidative damage resulting when the critical balance between free radical generation and antioxidant defenses is unfavorable.

Oxidative stress has been postulated in many conditions, including atherosclerosis, inflammatory condition, certain cancers, and the process of aging.

Bioavailability: “The bioavailability of a nutrient can be defined as its accessibility to normal metabolic and physiologic processes.” The definition continues: “Bioavailability influences a nutrient’s beneficial effects at physiologic levels of intake and also may affect the nature and severity of toxicity due to excessive intakes.”

Knowing what the abbreviations or terms mean will us make better choices when it comes to food.

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