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The three basic food groups: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats that make up the largest part of the nutrition we take in.


Chains of amino acid molecules used in all cell functions and body growth.

Amino Acid

Organic acids that from the building blocks of protein.

Deoxyribonucleic acid

The blueprint material of genetic information; contains all the information that controls the function of every living thing in the cell.

Nonessential amino acid

Amino acids that can be synthetized by the body and do not have to be obtained from the diet.

Complementary foods

Combinations of two incomplete foods; complementary proteins eaten together provide all the essential amino acids and make a complete protein.


Compounds that break down the basic chemical sugars and supply energy for the body.

Adenosine Triphosphate

The substance that provides energy to the cells and converts oxygen to carbon dioxide, a waste product we breathe out.


Carbohydrate-lipid complexes that are also good water binders.


A water binding substance between the fibers of the dermis.


Carbohydrates made up of one basic sugar unit.


These are made up of two molecular sugar units.


These compounds consist of a chain of sugar unit molecules.


When blood or blood sugar drops too low without adequate carbohydrates.

Fats (lipids)

Macronutrients used to produce energy in the body; the materials in the sebaceous glands that lubricate the skin.

Linoleic acid

Omega 6, an essential fatty acid used to make important hormones and the lipid barrier of the skin.

Omega 3 fatty acids

alpha linolenic acid; a type of "good" polyunsaturated fat that may decrease cardiovascular diseases. It is also an anti inflammatory and beneficial for the skin.


A measure of heat units; measures food energy for the body.


Clogging and hardening of the arteries.


Biological catalysts made of protein and vitamins, break down complexes food molecules into smaller molecules to utilize the energy extracted from food.


Vitamins and substances that have no calories or nutritional value, yet are essential for body functions.

Vitamin A (retinol)

An antioxidant that aids in the functioning and repair of the skin and skin cells.

Vitamin D

Fat soluble vitamin sometimes called the sunshine vitamin because the skin synthesizes vitamin D from cholesterol when exposed to sunlight. Essential for growth and development.


A reduction in the quality of bone or atrophy of the skeletal tissues.

Vitamin E (tocopherol)

Primarily antioxidant; helps protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun's rays.

Vitamin K

An essential for the synthesis of proteins necessary for blood coagulation.

B vitamins

These water-soluble vitamins interact with other water soluble vitamins and act as coenzymes (catalysts) by facilitating enzymatic reactions. B vitamins include niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, pyridoxine, folacine, biotin, cobalamine, and pantothenic acid.

Vitamin C (asorbic) Acid

An antioxidant that helps protect the body from many forms of oxidation and from problems involving free radicals.


Referred to as vitamin P; enhance the absorbtion of vitamin C.


Inorganic materials essential in many cell reactions and body functions

Fat soluble vitamins

A, D, E, and K are generally present in fats within foods, the body stores them in the liver and in adipose (fat) tissue.

Water soluble vitamins

B and C are not stored in the body and must be replaced daily.

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