Library of Terms

Some of the most popular words, terms, and phrases used by meal preppers.

Don’t take anything for granted.  Sometimes it just takes a second of research to make sure you understand exactly what you need to know about meal prepping, containers, food prep, or nutrients.  If you have any questions, comments, or phrases you’d like clarification on, please leave them in the comments.

BPA-Free – BPA stands for bisphenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s.  This is important to know because, if you’re using plastic meal prep containers, you do not want to expose yourself to consuming this chemical, by heating them in the microwave.

BMI (Body Mass Index) – An index of a person’s weight in relation to height, determined by dividing the weight (in kilograms) by the square of the height (in meters).

BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) – The rate of energy used for metabolism when the body is at complete rest.

Calorie – A calorie is the energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius. The important word to take away from this definition is ENERGY. Calories are ENERGY that fuel our bodies; much like gasoline fuels our cars. Without sufficient calories our heart would not beat, our lungs would not function, and our brain would not work.

Carbohydrate – Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches, and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products.

Complete Protein – A protein containing all the essential amino acids. For example, egg whites.

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) – A GMO  is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans.

Fat – Fat is an important nutrient that the body needs in order to function. Eating the right amount — and the right form — of dietary fat is key to maintaining good health.

Fiber – A general term denoting the structural part of plants. They are not digested by human digestive enzymes, although some are digested by the gastrointestinal tract bacterial.

Lactose – The main carbohydrate in milk (milk sugar).

MacronutrientsAlso known as Macros, are three major components that the human body needs in order to function properly: carbohydrates, protein, and fats.  When people ask, What are the macros, they are referring to how much/many carbs, protein, and fat are in the dish.

Metabolism –  The sum total of all the chemical reactions that go on in living cells; also the transformation by which energy is made available for the uses of the organism.

Micronutrients – Micronutrients are what are commonly referred to as “vitamins and minerals.” They are named “micro” nutrients because your body needs only very small quantities of them for survival. However, if your body doesn’t get the small quantities of micronutrients that it needs, serious health problems can result.

Nutrients – Substances obtained from food and used in the body to provide energy and structural materials and to regulate growth, maintenance, and repair of the body’s tissue.

Protein – Protein is a macronutrient that is essential to building muscle mass. It is commonly found in animal products, though is also present in other sources, such as nuts and legumes.

Organic – Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.

RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) – The amounts of energy and selected nutrients considered adequate to meet the nutrient needs of practically all healthy people.

Saturated Fat – Fatty acids that have all the hydrogen they can hold on their chemical chains. They mainly come from animal foods.

Unsaturated Fat – (Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated) are missing one or more hydrogen pairs on their chemical chains. They mainly come from vegetable sources and fish.

Vegetarian – A general term used to describe people who exclude meat, poultry, fish or other animal-derived foods from their diets.