Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet. Food and drink provide the energy and nutrients you and your clients need to be healthy. Understanding these nutrition terms may make it easier for you to help your clients make better food choices.
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP): a compound that is an immediate energy source for muscular contraction and other energy-requiring processes in the body.
Adequate Intake (AI): a recommended intake value based on observed or experimentally determined approximations or estimates of nutrient intake by a group (or groups) of healthy people, that are assumed to be adequate—used when an RDA cannot be determined.
Amino Acids: building blocks of protein.
Antioxidants: molecules that can prevent or reduce the actions of free radicals. The best way to consume antioxidants is through the diet with a high intake of fruits and vegetables.
Body Composition: the proportion of fat and fat-free weight on the body.
Body mass index (BMI): an index used to estimate levels of overweight and obesity. It is calculated by dividing body mass in kilograms by height in meters squared (kg/m2).
Calorie: one calorie is the amount of energy (heat) needed to increase the temperature of 1 g of water 1°C.
Carbohydrate: a compound composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Each gram of carbohydrate provides approximately 4 calories/gram.
Chyme: a mixture of stomach secretions and partially digested food.
Complementary proteins: two or more proteins combined to compensate for deficiencies in essential amino acid content in each protein (e.g., beans and rice).
Energy: the ability to perform work. Energy can exist in a number of forms, such as mechanical, heat, and chemical energy.
Energy Balance: the balance between energy intake and energy expenditure.
Ergogenic Aids: substances that are purported to enhance physical performance. They can be in the form of pills, liquids, powders, and topical lotions.
Essential Amino Acid: amino acids that must be obtained via the diet. The human body is not able to create these.
Estimated Average Requirement (EAR): a daily nutrient intake value that is estimated to meet the requirement of half of the healthy individuals in a life stage and gender group—used to assess dietary adequacy and is the basis for the RDA.
Fat: also known as lipids, fat is the general term for oils and waxes. The structure of this compound is the same as carbohydrates but contains less oxygen. Each gram of fat provides approximately 9 calories/gram.
Free Radicals: atoms or molecules that possess at least one unpaired electron in their structure. This unpaired electron causes the molecule to be highly reactive and can cause damage to proteins, enzymes, and DNA.
Glycogen: the stored form of carbohydrate. Glycogen is stored in the muscles and liver.
Glycemic Index: a ranking of carbohydrates based on their immediate effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels.
Kilocalorie (kcal): equal to 1,000 small calories. The calorie is so small, that kcal is the main expression of energy.
Lean Body Mass: All parts of the body aside from fat, include bone, ligament, tendons, organs, water, muscle, and protein.
Mastication: the act of chewing.
Minerals: an inorganic substance occurring in nature that is essential to life processes. Some examples include calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Net Carbs: manufacturers get “net carbs” or “impact carbs” by subtracting fiber, sugar alcohols, and other carbs that supposedly have “minimal impact on blood sugar.” This term is not regulated by any governing body.
Nonessential Amino Acids: amino acids that can be synthesized in the body.
Protein: composed of a chain of linked amino acids. The unique structure of the amino acid chain determines the type of protein. Each gram of protein provides approximately 4 calories/gram.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all (approximately 98 percent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group. The RDA is based on population assessments and does not represent the specific needs of each unique individual; these can only be determined through individual laboratory measurements.
Registered Dietitian: an expert in various aspects of nutrition, depending on their area of study and specialty. Registered dietitians have completed a minimum amount of coursework (typically a bachelor’s degree in nutrition) that allows them to apply for a dietetic internship, which is a 900+ hour internship allowing these individuals to sit for a national registration exam.
Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): the highest level of daily nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects for almost all individuals in the general population. As intake increase above the UL, the potential risk of adverse effects increases.
Vitamins: an organic substance necessary for normal functioning for the body. The body cannot synthesize vitamins, so they must come from the diet. Some examples include A, D, C, and K, among others.
You can become a Certified Personal Fitness Chef and expand your current personal chef business, or add a new profit center for your fitness or wellness business. Many personal chefs cook and coach people in groups to help more people and earn more money per hour. Some chefs provide weekly meal prep service for health-minded customers and athletes.
Spencer Institute certification programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.