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Getting in the Know on Nutrition Lingo
General Wellness

Getting in the Know on Nutrition Lingo

By Your Health Staff
Posted: July 15, 2024

If you’re new to Healthier 901, you may not know about all the awesome (FREE!) features available to community members through the Healthier 901 app. Member faves include on-demand workout classes, guided 30-day health and wellness challenges and (my personal favorite) the Healthier 901 nutrition tracker.

(Sidebar: Can’t see the goods at the other end of these links? Create an account at to unlock ALL the free features to help you kickstart your fitness journey! Download the mobile app to take your trackers with you everywhere you go.)

Unlocking the Power of the Nutrition Tracker

Getting back on our tracker track—the Healthier 901 nutrition tracker offers a built-in digital platform to log meals and snacks, making it easier than ever to keep up with your daily food and calorie intake. Members can search for any food or drink item under the sun, from whole fruits and veggies to fast food favorites. Once the item is logged, the Healthier 901 nutrition tracker will automatically offer a real-time view of your daily calories, fat, fiber, carbohydrates (a.k.a. carbs), cholesterol and more.

But how do we know how many calories we should aim for in a given day? And what even is a carbohydrate?

Nutrition Lingo 101

For starters—you can get your personalized daily calorie goal here, which will give you a target to shoot for when losing weight, plus a daily calorie goal if you want to maintain your current weight. Beyond that, we thought we’d offer up a few key terms and definitions to help you better understand the nutrition lingo breakdown:

  • Calorie. A unit of energy that measures how much energy a food provides to the body.

  • Carbohydrate. A sugar or starch (pasta, bread, beans, fruits, etc.) that the body uses as an energy source. One gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories.

  • Cholesterol. A waxy, fat-like substance found in all cells of the body. Our bodies make most of the cholesterol we need, so if we consume too much in our food, our chances of heart attack or stroke increase.

  • Daily Value. The Daily Value is the percentage of a particular nutrient in a food based on a daily diet of 2,000 calories, as indicated on a nutrition label.

  • Dietary Fiber. Dietary fiber is essential to a healthy diet. It is the part of plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, that helps to fill us up, lower our cholesterol levels, and keep our digestive system regular.

  • Metabolism. The process our bodies use to get or make energy from the foods we eat.

  • Nutrient. The chemical compounds in food used by the body to function properly and maintain health.

  • Protein. Makes up most of the body—including muscles, skin, organs and our immune system. Our bodies get protein from meat, dairy products, nuts, certain grains and beans.

  • Saturated Fat/Trans Fat. Often called “bad fats” because they raise cholesterol and increase our risk for heart disease. Less than 10% of our daily calories should be from saturated fats, and less than 1% (!) should be trans fat.

  • Serving Size. The recommended portion for an individual sitting. Read nutrition labels carefully for serving size—even small packages often contain more than one serving.

  • Sodium. The part of salt needed for fluid balance in our bodies—but too much can cause high blood pressure. Many processed foods are high in sodium.

  • Sugar. A sweet-tasting simple carbohydrate, found naturally in some foods and added to many processed foods and drinks (a.k.a. sucrose, glucose, fructose, corn syrup, etc.).  

  • Unsaturated Fat. These are often called “good fats” because they don’t raise cholesterol levels. Most fats we consume should be unsaturated fats.


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The Bottom Line

Ultimately, to lose weight, we need to ensure that our daily caloric intake (the number of calories we consume in a 24-hour period) is consistently less than the number of calories we burn through physical activity each day. But it’s not just about how much we eat—what we eat makes a huge difference to our bodies!

“Good nutrition means your body gets all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs to work its best. A healthy diet reduces your risk of many chronic illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease,” says Nutrition Therapy Lead Leslie Ely, RD, LDN, CEDRD at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. “Eating a variety of foods and consuming less salt, sugar, saturated and trans fats are essential to good nutrition and a healthier lifestyle.”

Join the Healthier 901 Movement

Good food is one of life’s great pleasures—and finding good foods that are also good for you is one of the secrets to a longer life (and a better quality of life, to boot). Peep these delicious recipes from Healthier 901 to get a head start on eating for a stronger heart, and join the Healthier 901 movement today to access our nutrition tracker, on-demand workouts, gym discounts, community challenges and more.

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