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Glossary of Food Terms!
Antioxidant: An organic substance, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, or beta carotene, thought to protect body cells from the damaging affects of oxidation. Because of this, antixidants are thought to be helpful in reducing the risk of cancer and other illnesses.
Artificial Flavor: An artificial flavor is an ingredient in foods that adds flavor but is not derived from a natural source such as an animal or a plant, such as an herb, spice, or vegetable.
Atkins: A diet designed by Dr. Robert C. Atkins that targets insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Atkins's diet is extremely low in carbohydrates, which helps to regulate insulin production and decrease circulating insulin; less insulin soon results in less fat storage and fewer food cravings.
Certified Organic: For an organic product to be labeled as certified-organic, a USDA approved certifier must approve the growing, handling, and labeling of the product to confirm that product complies with all organic regulations. Quality Assurance International is an example of an approved certifier.
Cholesteral-free: For a product to be labeled "cholesteral-free," it must have less than 2 mg per reference amount and per labeled serving (or for meals and main dishes, less than 2 mg per labeled serving).
Cruelty-free: Not tested on animals.
Dairy-free: Products labeled as "dairy-free" may contain milk proteins. Read the ingredient list on the product packaging carefully.
Fair Trade: Fair Trade is an alternative approach to conventional international trade that seeks a fair deal for farmers, such as those who grow coffee.
Fat-free: Products with this label have less than 0.5 g per reference amount and per labeled serving (or for meals and main dishes, less than 0.5 g per labeled serving).
Fragrance-free: A product promoted as "fragrance-free" is typically one that has no fragrance ingredients added. The product will smell like the ingredients used to make it. This is different from "unscented" products, which have typically had some masking ingredients added to neutralize the product's smell.
Free-range: "Free-range" usually refers to animals or products made with animals that range freely for food rather than being confined. It's most often used in reference to poultry.
Genetically Modified Organism-free (Non-GMO): Used to identify foods with no bioengineered food ingredients.
Gluten-free: Free of ingredients that include wheat, barley, rye and oats. However, this does not mean these ingredients are completely absent from these products; read product packaging carefully.
High-fiber: Contains 20% or more of the Daily Value (DV) to describe protein, vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, or potassium per reference amount. May be used on meals or main dishes to indicate that product contains a food that meets definition. May not be used for total carbohydrate.
Kosher: Conforming to the dietary laws of Judaism. To be Kosher-certified, a Kosher certification company must inspect the production process from start to finish, checking every conveyor belt, container and piece of processing and packaging machinery to ensure that nothing non-kosher gets into the food.
Low Calorie: 40 calories or less per reference amount (and per 50 g if reference amount is small).
Low Carb: There FDA has no definition of "low carb," but the term is typically applied to products that may appeal to consumers on a low-carb diet, such as Atkins. The reference is to grams of carbs per serving, and does not imply "low calorie."
Low Cholesteral: 20 mg or less per reference amount (and per 50 g of food if reference amount is small).
Low Fat: These product contain 3 g or less per reference amount (and per 50 g if reference amount is small).
Low Sodium: Contains 140 mg or less per reference amount (and per 50 g if reference amount is small). Diets low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, a disease associated with many factors.
Natural: The term "natural" may be used when products contain no artificial ingredients and are no more than minimally processed.
Non-Dairy: Typically used in reference to coffee creamers or other dairy substitutes. Products labeled as "non-diary" may contain a milk-derived protein, such as casein.
Organic: Organic refers to a growing and processing method that helps protect the health of people, plants, animals, and the environment. Organic food is produced by farmers who use renewable resources and conserve soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic foods are produced without most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients, bioengineering or ionizing irradiation. Products may contain exclusively organic ingredients, or may be made of organic and non-organic ingredients.
Raw Food: Food products can typically be called "raw" if they have not been heated above 115 degrees F, making them close to their natural state.
Sodium Free: Contains less than 5 mg per reference amount and per labeled serving (or for meals and main dishes, less than 5 mg per labeled serving). Diets low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, a disease associated with many factors.
South Beach Diet: The South Beach Diet started when Miami cardiologist Arthur Agatston wanted to find a way for his heart patients to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way. Followers of this diet plan are encouraged to choose the carbs such as whole grains and certain fruits and vegetables; fats such as olive and canola oil; and lean sources of protein.
Soy: Soy comes from the soybean, a protein-rich legume. Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Sugar-free: The products contain less than 0.5 g sugars per reference amount and per labeled serving (or for meals and main dishes, less than 0.5 g per labeled serving).
Vegan: Vegan products have no ingredients derived from animals, including dairy.
Vegetarian: Vegetarian products have no ingredients that are meat or fish.
Whole grain: Contains 51% or more whole grain ingredients by weight per recommended allowance, and dietary fiber content at least:
- 3.0 g per RA of 55 g
- 2.8 g per RA of 50 g
- 2.5 g per RA of 45 g
- 1.7 g per RA of 35 g
Diets rich in whole grain foods and other plant foods and low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
Wild: Wild ingredients are those that have not been tended by humans (not cultivated).
Zone Diet: Created by Dr. Barry Sears, the Zone Diet teaches followers how to manage insulin levels through a diet designed to keep them within a certain zone. The focus is how to eat the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat with every meal and snack.
Glossary of Food Terms