The low carbs diet terms

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Terms Frequently Used in the Low Carbs Diet:


There are many terms thrown around in the low carb diets, and the definitions may not be clear to everyone. So in this article, we are doing our best to make the most used terms as clear as possible.

As a low card diet follower, there is no doubt that you will frequently be finding these terms in articles, magazines, books, ebooks, tv……etc.

Here is a list of the most important terms you will be using when it comes to carbohydrates and low carb diets.



It is a molecule that consists of carbon, oxygen molecules and hydrogen.

The sugar molecule is the most basic, it gathers 1 or 2 units of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, while others contain 3 or more units of the carbon-hydrogen-oxygen trio.



the most basic and simplest form of sugars.



When glycosidic link two monosaccharides it gives disaccharides.



A substance that prevents or slows oxidation (which can cause diseases such as cancer, as well as premature ageing).


Basal metabolic rate (BMR):

The rate at which your body uses energy to maintain basal metabolism (when you are awake but inactive and have fasted 14-18 hours). The BMR typically accounts for 60 to 70 per cent of daily energy use, but its value depends on body weight and other factors.


Blood Sugar (Glucose):

The level of glucose detected in the bloodstream (determined by blood tests). The blood sugar level in humans is normally 60 to 100 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood; it rises after a meal to as much as 150 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood, but this may vary.


Body Mass Index (BMI):

A measure which takes into account a person’s weight and height to gauge a degree of obesity in adults. A BMI between 19 and 24 is considered healthy; between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight; over 30 is considered obese. Note. BMI results should be interpreted with caution, however, since people with extensive muscle mass – athletes and bodybuilders, for example, and also pregnant women, have increased BMIs that do not necessarily dictate increase health risks.



A fatty substance produced predominantly by the liver, and necessary for building cell membranes, insulating the central nervous system, covering fats for blood transport, forming bile acids, oiling the skin and making steroid hormones. Blood cholesterols are not derived from food (digestion breaks them down) but are intentionally synthesized by the liver, in response to seeming need. Elevated cholesterols are the result of certain types of stress or metabolic imbalances, and the liver makes more than the tissues need.



A disorder where the individual has high fasting blood sugar levels (126 mg/dL and higher) and the body is able to transport glucose to the body’s cells. There are two types, Type I (juvenile) and Type II (adult onset).


Dietary Fiber:

chemical substances in the cells of plants that cannot be digested by the human body.


Essential Fat / Essential Fatty Acids:

The fats (polyunsaturated acids) critically necessary for the body to function correctly that cannot be produced by the body (such as omegas 3 and 6). These fatty acids play crucial roles in metabolism, skin processes, and other physiological processes. Research suggests it may assist weight loss as well.



Sugar from fruit (found in, for example, fruit, honey, and corn).



an elastic type protein that is found in wheat and grains.


Glycemic Index (GI):

A chart that ranks foods by comparing the effect they have on your blood sugar to pure glucose (sugar, enters your bloodstream immediately). The higher a food ranks on the glycemic index, the more glucose that food will send to your bloodstream (and the more insulin your pancreas must produce to transport that glucose to cells). With more insulin produced, your body is more likely to store fat. Therefore, foods high on the glycemic index are considered more fattening than foods lower on the index.

Understanding the glycemic index will help when choosing foods that will work specifically to a diet that you are comfortable with. The Glycemic Index is the only science based diet that is proven to help individuals loose weight, and maintain a healthy weight, while developing a lifetime of healthy eating habits that can protect against illnesses and disease.

Glycemic Load how it is calculated:

The formula for calculating glycemic load is totally simple if you count it this way. Multiplying the GI value of a food by the amount of carbohydrate per serving, so what you get do divide it by 100. Calculating the GI load will determine the total glycemic response for that one meal. A normal diet would have 100 GL units per day (range 60-180).


Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar):

A condition in which there is a lower than normal amount of glucose in the blood (under 45 mg/dl). This can happen when glucose is used up too rapidly, glucose is released into the bloodstream more slowly than is needed by the body or when excessive Insulin (a hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to increased glucose levels in the blood) is released into the bloodstream. Hypoglycemia is relatively common in pre-diabetes, although some individuals have hypoglycemia and never become diabetic.


Insulin Resistance:

Refers to individuals whose bodies do not respond to the action of insulin, although their bodies are making sufficient amounts of it. Studies suggest that obesity alone can create insulin resistance (too many fat cells), making it difficult for them to lose weight. Age also contributes (individuals lose the ability to respond to insulin). Certain metabolic disorders also are associated with insulin resistance, including Syndrome X and PCOS.



A ketone, or ketone body, is the byproduct of the body’s use of stored fat as an energy source (with low carbdieting, typically due to the absence of carbohydrates for this purpose).



A condition where the body is burning stored fat for energy (excess is secreted through sweat, urine, and breathing).



Sugar from milk.



A sugar substitute, under the class of sugar alcohol, that is very similar to sugar in its sweetness and does not affect blood glucose levels (and therefore insulin). Overindulgence can lead to lower GI distress.



The transformation by which energy is made available to the body. Metabolic Resistance Refers to a situation where it is very difficult for someone to lose weight, even when they have cut their caloric/food intake. Metabolism A chemical process in the body by which food is broken down and changed to energy. Metabolism includes all the reactions by which the body obtains and spends all the calories it gets from food.


Net Carbs (effective net carbs):

The amount of carbohydrate in food with the amount of dietary fibre, glycerine, and sugar alcohols in that same food subtracted out (since fibre and the other substances have little impact on the blood sugar and therefore the insulin). Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome/Disease An endocrine disorder that effects somewhere between 5-20% of women, characterized by insulin resistance and often infertility (as well as hirsutism and disproportional abdominal fat deposits). It was originally assumed the characteristic ovarian cysts in the ovaries of these women were the cause of the disorder – later research found that the cysts were merely another symptom rather than the cause of the disorder. Many women with PCOS are obese, though a subclass of women with PCOS are not (and have never been).


Processed Food:

Often contrasted to whole foods (food in its natural form or state). Processed foods have been altered from their original form and often have had various additives included, such as chemicals that enhance taste or increase the product’s shelf life. Very often, the original nutrients of the base food are destroyed or significantly reduced in processing.



One of the three nutrients used as energy (calories) by the body and are formed by a group of organic compounds composed of amino acids. They are involved in activities throughout the body, including growth and repair of all human tissue, oxygen transport, electron transport, and muscle contraction. Proteins have 4 calories of energy per gram (the same as carbohydrates).


Saturated fat:

A type of fatty acid that is found in eggs, dairy products, fish, meat, and some oils (e.g., coconut).



White (table) sugar.



It is made of sugar units bonded together.


Trans Fatty Acids (trans fat):

This is a fat that has been changed in a way that makes the body unable to digest it (such as hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils created by food manufacturers).


Type I Diabetes:

Often referred to as juvenile onset diabetes. A relative or absolute lack of insulin leading to uncontrolled carbohydrate metabolism. The insulin deficiency tends to be almost total and the individual is typically insulin dependent over a lifetime.


Type II Diabetes:

Also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes or adult onset (more common than Type I). The body’s fat cells resist the action of insulin, resulting in the inability to burn up the blood sugar (that comes from dietary carbohydrates), resulting in more sugar circulating in the bloodstream.



lipolysis testing strips.

Sugar alcohols (or polyols):

Are nutritive sweeteners that impart sweetness, but with reduced calories (1.5-2 kcal/g) because they are not fully absorbed in the gut. Sugar alcohols include sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and lactitol.



Sugars, both refined and unrefined, are considered to be nutritive sweeteners as they generally impart sweetness with an energy value of 4 kcal/g as carbohydrate. Therefore, one of the easiest options used to reduce carbohydrates in a product is to substitute other sweet ingredients for sugars

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