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Key Terms


a unit of (heat) energy equal to 1000 calories


The study of how food (nutrients) impacts health through its interaction with our genes, body proteins, and metabolites and its subsequent effect of gene expression.


maintenance of stable internal conditions


Obtained from food and used by our bodies for growth and maintaining good health.

nutrition science

the body of science, developed through controlled research, that relates to the processes involved in nutrition-internationally, clinically, and in the community.


the scientific study of food preparation and intake

registered dietitian (RD)

A professional designation that requires a minimum of a bachelors degree in nutrition, completion of a supervised clinical experience, a passing grade on a national examination, and maintenance of registration with the American Dietetic Association. Rds are qualified to work in a variety of settings.

public health nutritionist

A dietician or other person with an advanced degree in nutrition who specializes in public health nutrition


substances in food that your body needs to grow, to repair itself, and to supply you with energy


Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which are necessary for building and maintaining body tissues and providing energy for daily activities


minor nutrients, which are vitamins and minerals and do not provide kilocalories


set of chemical reactions through which an organism builds up or breaks down materials as it carries out its life processes

amino acids

acid containing the essential element nitrogen, are the structural units of protein and the building blocks of body tissue.


action of forming new compounds in the body for use in building tissues or carrying out metabolic or physiologic functions.


any substance produced by metabolism or by a metabolic process


relating to measurement of the physical characteristics of the body, such as height and weight, skinfold thickness, or other dimensions that can estimate the relative proportion of body fat and body muscle.


abnormally low blood hemoglobin level caused by too few RBCs or RBCs w/ low hemoglobin content.

Dietary Reference Intake (DRIs)

provide reference values for use in planning and evaluating diets for healthy people. include RDA, AI, UL

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

average daily intake of a nutrient that will meet the requirement of nearly all (97% to 98%) healthy people given age and gender

Adequate Intake (AI)

suggested daily intake of a nutrient to meet body needs and support health that is used when available research is insufficient to develop an RDA. (guide for planning meals)

Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL)

highest amount of a nutrient that can be consumed safely w/ no risk of toxicity or adverse effects on health. (supplements)

Estimated Average Requirement (EAR)

average daily intake of a nutrient that will meet the requirement of 50% of healthy people given age and gender. (groups rather than individuals)

Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR)

suggested proportional distribution of kcalories across the macronutrients; carbs (45-65%), fat (20-30%), protein (10-35%) of total kcalories

Exchange Lists for meal planning

-published jointly by American Dietetic Association (ADA) and American Diabetes Association.
-encourages variety and helps control kcal and grams of carbohydrates, proteins and fats

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