% Daily Value (%DV) A recommendation for key nutrients that is based on a 2,000-calorie diet.
acceptable macronutrient distribution range (AMDR) A recommended range of percentage of intakes for carbohydrates, protein, and fats to help ensure people get enough healthy nutrients in their diets while limiting others to help ward off disease.
acid reflux When stomach contents move backwards up into the esophagus.
amino acids The building blocks of proteins.
amylase The enzyme contained in your saliva that acts on the food in its moistened state, which begins breaking down starches.
anaphylaxis A severe and life-threatening reaction that affects the whole body, usually occurring within seconds or minutes after exposure to an allergen.
angina A reduction in adequate blood flow that can result pain in the chest, shoulders, neck, arms, jaw, or back, and is caused by plaque buildup in arteries.
anorexia An eating disorder in which a person eats too little food to maintain a healthy weight.
anthocyanidins Includes the dietary flavonoids cyanidin, delphinidin, malvidin, pelargonidin, peonidin, and petunidin, which are responsible for the red, blue, and purple pigments found in plants.
antioxidants Plant chemicals that protect your cells from damage from free radicals, which are produced during normal cell metabolism.
asymptomatic allergy A food allergy that involves antibodies but doesn’t always produce symptoms.
basal metabolic rate (BMR) The total number of calories your body needs at rest.
beta-carotene A phytonutrient that is also the precursor to vitamin A.
binge-eating disorder (BED) A disorder characterized by consuming large amounts of food in a very short period of time.
bioavailability Refers to an active chemical compound being physiologically available for use in the body.
body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) A severe form of negative body image in which individuals become obsessed with their perceived flaws.
body mass index (BMI) A calculation used by many health practitioners to determine if a person is at a healthy weight based on his or her weight-to-height ratio.
bolus Swallowed food.
bulimia An eating disorder characterized by repeatedly eating large amounts of foods and then purging those foods with self-induced vomiting or the use of laxatives along with excessive exercise to prevent weight gain.
calorie A unit of measure to determine the total amount of energy that’s provided from proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
carbohydrate A macronutrient that provides 4 calories per gram and is classified as either simple or complex.
carbon footprint Refers to the amount of pressure on the environment related to a particular product or system that’s measured by the amount of greenhouse gas emitted.
carotenoids Phytochemicals, such as lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, that include more than 600 plant pigments and are the primary sources for orange, red, and yellow colors.
catechin The primary phytonutrient found in tea leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant.
celiac disease An autoimmune disorder of the intestines that results in a person not being able to ingest gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.
chlorophyll A green plant pigment that allows a plant to capture light energy and convert it into plant energy through photosynthesis.
cholecystokinin (CCK) A hormone released to digest fat and protein, which also informs the brain that it’s no longer hungry.
cholesterol A waxy substance that’s present in all the cells in your body.
conventional farming Crops grown with the use of pesticides, synthetic chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and GMOs.
cooperatives (co-ops) Farms owned and operated by a group of members with a common interest and for the benefit of all members.
coronary artery disease (CAD) Occurs when the arteries that supply your heart with oxygen, blood, and nutrients become diseased or damaged.
Crohn’s disease An inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in any location throughout the digestive tract.
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet A diet designed to lower blood pressure that reduces saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and refined sugar.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans Governmental guidelines published every five years that provide valuable information on what we should be eating and drinking to promote health, maintain our weight, and ward off diseases.
Dirty Dozen Refers to the top 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the highest amounts of pesticide residue, and that you may want to consider purchasing as organic.
electrolytes Minerals that aid in the maintenance of your body’s fluid balance inside and outside of the cells.
empty calorie food A food in which the majority of calories are from sugars or fats and that doesn’t provide any additional vitamins or minerals.
environmental working group (EWG) A nonprofit, independent group that conducts random pesticide residue testing on fruits and vegetables.
epiglottis The flap of cartilage that covers the trachea and prevents food from going down into your windpipe.
fad diets Diets that are a temporary fix to a lifelong problem, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies, metabolic issues, and muscle loss.
fat-soluble vitamins Includes vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are stored in the liver or fatty tissues.
flavonoids A large group of phytonutrients that are categorized as polyphenolic compounds, which aid in cell-signaling pathways dealing with cell growth and death.
fluid balance Balance is achieved when the amount of fluid taken in equals the amount of fluid lost from the body.
food allergy Occurs when the body mistakes certain food proteins as harmful and mounts an immunologic attack by producing antibodies, histamines, and other defensive mechanisms as protection.
food intolerance Occurs when there’s a reaction to a food that doesn’t involve an immune system response.
food sensitivity A non-IgE allergy response that involves an immune response.
functional fiber Refers to isolated, purified forms of nondigestible carbohydrates that have beneficial effects in humans and are made from fiber extracted from plants or animals.
genetically modified organisms (GMOs) Organisms created when selected genes from one organism are inserted into the DNA of another, thus altering the organism’s DNA.
glycemic index (GI) A measurement of how much each gram of available carbohydrate (total carbohydrate minus fiber) in a single serving of a food affects your blood glucose level.
high-density lipoprotein (HDL) Considered the “good” cholesterol, HDL is made up of high-density lipoproteins and is a combination of 50 percent protein, 20 percent cholesterol, phospholipid, and triglyceride molecules.
hydrogenation The process of heating liquid oil under pressure while exposing it to hydrogen gas and a catalyst to create a lab-made trans fat.
hypertension High blood pressure.
hyponatremia A condition in which the sodium in the blood is lower than normal.
immune response How the body recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses, and substances that appear foreign and harmful.
immunoglobulin E (IgE) Antibodies that are directed to initiate a chemical release within certain cells, which then produce an allergic reaction in the body.
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) A general term for illnesses that result from a frequent immune response and chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
insoluble fiber Fiber that doesn’t dissolve in water and adds bulk to the foodstuff in your GI tract. This fiber keeps nutrients moving through your system by adding roughage, decreasing transit time, and making it easier for you to go to the bathroom.
insulin resistance Occurs when the body can produce insulin without a problem but cannot utilize it effectively.
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) A functional GI disorder that causes the digestive tract to perform in an irregular way without evidence of damage to the digestive tract.
isoflavones Phytonutrients that are water-soluble and heat-stable and include the flavonoids daidzein, genistein, and glycitein.
ketogenesis The breakdown of fat due to an inadequate supply of carbohydrates.
large intestine Also referred to as the colon.
leaky gut syndrome Occurs when there’s increased permeability within the intestines due to a microflora imbalance.
leptin A hormone produced from adipocytes or fat cells in your body that signals the brain when your fat stores are low.
Lifestyle Eating and Performance (LEAP) An effective protocol that combines the Mediator Release Test (MRT) with the skills of a Certified LEAP Therapist to produce a patient-specific diet.
locavore A person who consumes foods grown locally, generally within a 100-mile radius.
low-density lipoprotein (LDL) Considered “bad” cholesterol, LDL is made up of 50 percent cholesterol, phospholipid, triglycerides, and 25 percent protein molecules.
lower digestive tract Refers to the small and large intestines.
lycopene A plant pigment that makes vegetables and fruits red and belongs to the group of carotenoids.
major minerals The set of minerals required by the body in amounts of more than 100mg per day. These include calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, sulfate, potassium, and chloride.
malabsorption syndrome The direct result of another disease or disorder that causes the intestines to not properly absorb certain nutrients.
Mediator Release Test (MRT) A simple blood test that measures your immune reaction or sensitivity to a whole host of foods and also food additives and chemicals.
meditation A practice that has been used for centuries to help find inner peace and deal with life stresses.
microvilli Hairlike projections found in the intestines that contain digestive enzymes from the mucosa cells in the lining.
minerals Inorganic elements that don’t contain carbon and occur naturally in soil and water.
neurotransmitters Chemicals responsible for sending communication signals throughout your body. They can either stimulate the brain or calm the brain. Stress, poor diet, genetics, drugs, alcohol, and caffeine adversely affect these levels.
omega-3 fatty acids Polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential. Commonly found in fatty fishes such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines, anchovies, and trout.
omega-6 fatty acids Polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential. They’re commonly found in safflower oil, walnut oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, and soybean oil.
oral allergy syndrome Occurs due to cross-reacting allergens in pollen, raw fruits and vegetables, and some tree nuts. Symptoms include a tingling, itching, or swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat.
organic Products that are created with concern for the environment and without use of antibiotics, growth hormones, GMOs, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers.
Organic System Plan Also known as the Farm Plan, this system helps farms improve management and conserve and optimize resources, and is a legal contract between the producer and certifying agency.
orthorexia When a person has an obsession with eating “healthy” foods.
oxidative damage An imbalance between the body’s ability to detoxify the harmful effects of free radicals and their rate of production.
Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) A scale for foods that measures the total antioxidant capacity of a particular food in a test tube and its ability to prevent oxidation by free radicals.
peer review process A collaborative process in which an author’s work or research is evaluated and commented on by peers in their field.
peptic ulcer Occurs when stomach acids that digest food cause erosion in the stomach wall or duodenum.
peripheral artery disease (PAD) A condition when arteries become narrow and restrict blood flow to the limbs.
phytonutrient Plant nutrients that offer the body a protective health benefit and help ward off disease.
polyunsaturated fat Fat molecules that have more than one double bond. Oils that contain these fats are liquid at room temperature and don’t typically solidify when chilled.
prebiotics Nondigestible carbohydrates, such as plant fiber, that assist in the growth of existing bacteria in the colon.
probiotics Healthy bacteria and yeast found in yogurt or kefer and that also can be taken as a supplement.
protein A macronutrient that provides 4 calories per gram and plays a very important role in the development, maintenance, and repair of the human body.
registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) A professional who has studied the science of nutrition and practical solutions for health.
satiety The feeling of fullness after eating.
saturated fat A type of fat that’s solid at room temperature and primarily comes from animal products such as dairy, red meat, and poultry that should only be consumed in limited amounts.
sickle cell anemia A genetic blood disorder that affects red blood cells and causes them to form in a crescent shape instead of being round.
simple carbohydrates Monosaccharaides that include glucose, fructose, and galactose.
small intestine The primary site of nutrient digestion and absorption. It’s composed of three sections—the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum.
soluble fiber Fiber that dissolves in water and forms a gel, and also slows down digestion and makes you feel full.
sphincter A circular muscle portal between key passages in the GI tract that controls the release of food.
trace minerals Minerals required by the body in amounts less than 20mg per day, including iron, iodine, chromium, molybdenum, copper, zinc, fluoride, selenium, and manganese.
trans fat A fat that occurs naturally in small amounts in beef, lamb, and butterfat, or is made artificially in a lab and found in processed foods and is no longer recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
triglyceride The primary storage form for fats in your body. A high level of triglycerides can harden your arteries and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, along with contributing to obesity and metabolic syndrome.
ulcerative colitis An inflammatory bowel disease that causes sores and inflammation within the lining of the colon and rectum.
upper digestive tract Refers to the oral cavity, esophagus, and stomach.
vitamins Naturally occurring organic compounds that are required by the body for nutrition and growth.
water-soluble vitamins These vitamins include all of the B vitamins and vitamin C, can be dissolved in water, and are not stored in the body.
xanthoma A skin condition where cholesterol-rich material is deposited under the surface of the skin. It’s most commonly associated with medical conditions that increase blood lipids, such as hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and pancreatitis.