The 10% Solution For A Healthy Life, Glossary
March 6, 2002
Adrenaline: also known as epinephrine. A hormone secreted by the adrenal gland during stressful situations. Adrenaline stimulates the heart and nervous system, preparing the body for action. Muscles contract, blood pressure and heart beat increase, and the immune and digestive systems shutdown.
Adult-onset diabetes: see Type II diabetes mellitus.
Aerobic exercise: exercise that lasts more than ninety seconds, works large muscle groups, and provides oxygen to the muscles. Examples: brisk walking, running, swimming.
Aflatoxin: a carcinogen produced by a mold that grows on potatoes, corn, and peanuts.
Anaerobic exercise: high-intensity exercise that does not supply oxygen to the muscles or lasts for less than ninety seconds. Examples: weight training, sprinting, calisthenics.
Aneurysm: a bulging area of a weakened blood vessel, usually an artery. An aneurysm often develops as a result of atherosclerosis.
Angina: a condition marked by chest pains or pressure due to decreased blood supply to the heart Angina is often a symptom of advanced atherosclerosis.
Aorta: the main and largest artery in the human body. The aorta supplies all other arteries with oxygen-rich blood.
Arrhythmia: irregularity or loss of rhythm in the heartbeat.
Artery: a vessel that carries blood from the heart to tissues throughout the body.
Arthritis: inflammation of the joints and other connective tissues.
Atherosclerosis: a progressive disease in which plaque forms in the inner lining of arteries, causing narrowing or blockage of artery walls.
Balloon angioplasty: a treatment to widen a blood vessel severely narrowed by plaque. An inflatable device is inserted past the narrowed path of the blood vessel and is inflated, forcing the narrowed vessel open.
Barbiturate: a group of drugs, used as sedatives and tranquilizers, that depress the central nervous system and respiration, decrease blood pressure, and affect heart rate.
Benzodiazepine: a group of tranquilizers and sleeping pills that temporarily reduce anxiety but can produce long-term dependency and depression. Examples of tranquilizers: Valium (diazepam), Librium (chlordiazepoxide), and Tranxene (clorazepate). Examples of sleeping pills: Dalmane (flurazepam) and Halcion (triazolam).
Beta Blockers: an agent capable of blocking nerve impulses to special sites in the brain. Beta blockers, which reduce heartbeat rate and the force of the heart’s contractions, are prescribed to treat high blood pressure.
Bile acid: a fluid produced by the liver and used for fat digestion.
Biofeedback: a technique that teaches control of breathing, heartbeat, and blood pressure. Biofeedback is used to combat anxiety disorders and chronic stress.
Blood cell aggregation: also known as sludging or sludged blood. A condition in which red blood cells cluster together, often clogging smaller blood vessels.
Blood pressure: the force of blood against artery walls. Systolic blood pressure measures the force of blood as the heart contracts and pushes blood through the circulatory system. Diastolic blood pressure measures the force of blood in arteries as the heart relaxes.
Caffeine: a stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and cola drinks.
Calcium: the body’s most abundant mineral, most of which is stored in the bones. Calcium aids in nerve and muscle function, building of bones and teeth, and blood clotting. Dietary calcium is found in milk; cheese; sardines; dark-green, leafy vegetables; citrus fruits; and dried beans and peas.
Caloric restriction: a nutritional guideline that limits calorie intake to less than 100 percent (but no less than 95 percent is recommended) of the calories needed to maintain one’s ideal body weight. When following this guideline, one should also obtain adequate nutrition by eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and certain low-fat meat and dairy products.
Calorie: a unit of heat that is burned by the body. The term calorie may refer to a measurement of energy expenditure (exercise, daily living) or energy intake (food eaten).
Cancer: abnormal, uncontrollable growth of cells that spreads to other parts of the body. The three most common kinds of cancer are lung, breast, and colon.
Capillaries: minute vessels that connect arterioles and venules (small branches of arteries and veins).
Carbohydrate: one of six nutrients needed to sustain human life. Carbohydrates are the basic source of energy for metabolism and for muscle use. Carbohydrates are classified as simple (sugars) or complex (starches). Carbohydrates are found in grains, cereals, pasta, breads, vegetables, and dairy products.
Carcinogen: a cancer causing substance. Examples: aflatoxins and tar.
Cardiovascular disease: a disease of the heart and blood vessels.
Carnivore: an animal that eats meat.
Cataract: a clouding of the eye lens, causing partial or total blindness.
Cerebral hemorrhage: a type of stroke due to bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel in the brain. A cerebral hemorrhage is typically the result of high blood pressure.
Chinese County Study: called the Grand Prix of epidemiology, a massive study of 6,500 Chinese individuals conducted by a team of Chinese and American researchers that compared patterns of diet and disease in 65 Chinese counties. Among other dramatic results, the study found that the rate of heart disease in the rural counties of China is 155 times lower than in the United States. In those Chinese counties in which people eat higher levels of fat and cholesterol, rates of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases are substantially higher (as compared to the low-fat counties). The study also found links between salt consumption and hypertension.
Cholesterol: (1) serum or blood cholesterol: a fat-soluble waxy substance (specifically the crystalline steroid alcohol C27H45OH) in the blood that is often deposited in artery walls. Cholesterol is used to produce bile acids and certain hormones and to construct cell membranes. Excess blood cholesterol is a result of a high-fat, high cholesterol diet or of genetic factors. (2) dietary cholesterol: a naturally occurring waxy substance (C27H45OH, see above) found in animal fats and oils.
Cirrhosis: extensive scarring and destruction of the cells in the liver, often due to excessive alcohol intake.
“Civilized” diet: in Western societies, a diet high in fat, cholesterol, and protein. A lifelong intake of this diet often results in one or more of the “diseases of affluence”: stroke, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (which leads to coronary heart disease, claudication, impotence in men, and other conditions), type II diabetes, and cancer.
Claudication: attacks of limping, lameness, or pain in the legs, often due to diseased arteries caused by atherosclerosis.
Cocaine: a stimulant produced from the leaves of the coca bush. An illegal, addictive drug, cocaine produces feelings of euphoria and high energy by altering the regulation of neurotransmitters in the brain.
Collateral circulation: small side capillaries that carry blood around a site of blockage in an artery.
Complex carbohydrate: also known as starch. The type of carbohydrate used for energy. Complex carbohydrates are in cereals, grains, fruits, and vegetables. A diet high in complex carbohydrates is a key nutritional guideline of the 10% solution.
Coronary artery disease: narrowing of arteries that encircle the heart resulting in inadequate blood supply to the heart muscle.
Coronary flow reserve: the measure of blood flow to the heart.
Coronary heart disease: a disease of the heart and its surrounding arteries.
Coronary insufficiency: see coronary artery disease.
Coronary thrombosis: a blockage of one or more of the coronary arteries due to a blood clot in the presence of advanced atherosclerosis.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA): a complex molecule in cells that contains genetic information necessary for cell replication.
Diabetes mellitus: a chronic disease in which the body is unable to convert carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy due to inadequate use or production of insulin. The two types of diabetes are Type I diabetes mellitus and Type II Diabetes mellitus.
Dietary fiber: The indigestible part of plant cells. Fiber helps to regulate digestion and cleanse waste products from the intestines.
Diuretic: an agent that increases secretion of urine.
Embolic stroke: a type of stroke caused by a circulating blood clot getting stuck in the plaque of a coronary artery (which is the result of advanced atherosclerosis), causing blockage of that artery.
Emphysema: a lung disease characterized by rapid, shallow breathing and deterioration of the lungs. Emphysema is usually caused by long-term smoking.
Endorphins: natural, morphine like tranquillizers released in the brain during aerobic exercise. Endorphins block stress and pain sensations and may produce a positive mood.
Enzyme: a protein capable of generating or accelerating change in another substance. Enzymes aid in digesting food.
Epidemiology: the study of the frequency and control of diseases in populations.
Essential fatty acid: a fatty acid that cannot be produced by the body and therefore is required in the diet. Linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid, may be found in a variety of vegetables.
Estrogen: a female sex hormone that regulates menstrual cycles.
Excretion: the removal of waste products from the body.
Exercise stress test: a test that evaluates the heart’s response to exercise. During the test, a person’s heartbeat is monitored while he or she exercises on a treadmill, stair climber, or stationary bicycle until the training heart rate is reached.
Fat: (1) body fat: a tissue that provides insulation and a reserve supply of energy. Body fat also aids in the construction of cell membranes and the regulation of menstrual cycles. (2) dietary fat one of six nutrients needed to sustain human life. Dietary fats help transport certain vitamins through the digestive system. Dietary fat is found in meats, certain vegetables, and dairy products. An excessive level of dietary fat is regarded as a primary factor in the development of coronary heart and artery disease, cancer, and other illnesses.
Fight-or-flight response: in certain animals, a reaction necessary for survival. When confronted with danger, the animal prepares to either fight or flee. As a result of this evolutionary heritage, the fight-or-flight response in humans today is a physiological reaction to stressful situations.
Food craving: an urge to eat certain foods, especially foods with high salt, sugar, or fat content. Often, cravings for sugar are a result of a diet high in both fat and sugar.
Framingham Study: A renowned study that has spawned many journal articles over the years. The Framingham Study has been tracing approximately five thousand individuals(in Framingham, Massachusetts) since 1948 to determine the risk factors for coronary heart disease and has yielded landmark evidence establishing the link between dietary fat consumption, lipid cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, and diabetes and the risk of coronary heart disease.
Gallstones: a stonelike mass that forms in the gallbladder and is composed mainly of cholesterol crystals.
Glaucoma: an eye disease characterized by built-up pressure of fluid in the eyeball.
Glucose: (1) blood glucose: the amount of sugar in one’s blood. Glucose is the main energy source for the body. (2) a simple sugar in certain carbohydrates such as fruit.
Glucose intolerance: the inability of the body to efficiently convert carbohydrates into energy. An elevated blood glucose level indicates glucose intolerance.
Glycogen: the form of glucose that is stored in the liver and muscles and used for energy.
Gout: a painful condition in which uric acid deposits buildup in and around the joints: also characterized at times by an excessive amount of uric acid in the blood.
High blood pressure: an excessively high level of pressure of blood against artery walls.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL): also known as the “good” cholesterol. High density lipoproteins are lipoproteins that carry cholesterol back to the liver. HDLs also aid the liver in disposing of excess cholesterol. Aerobic exercise increases HDL levels.
Hydrogenation: a chemical process that converts liquid fats to solid fats.
Hypercholesterolemia: an excessively high level of cholesterol in the blood.
Hypertension: see high blood pressure.
Hypoglycemia: an excessively low level of glucose in the blood.
Ideal body weight: the optimal weight for one’s height, age, sex, and body build.
Impotence: inability of the male to have an erection. Impotence may have a physiological or psychological basis. A common cause of impotence is a high level of atherosclerosis in the arteries feeding the penis.
Insulin: a hormone, secreted by the pancreas, that controls the level of glucose in the blood. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, or the body is unable to effectively utilize the insulin produced.
Intracerebral hemorrhage: see cerebral hemorrhage.
Iron: (1) one of the main components of red blood cells. (2) a mineral found in red meats; egg yolk; green, leafy vegetables; dried beans and peas; and potatoes.
Juvenile-onset diabetes: see Type I diabetes mellitus.
Ketosis: incomplete metabolism of fatty acids. Ketosis occurs in diabetic patients or when not enough carbohydrates are eaten.
Kidney stone: stones in kidneys. Kidney stones often occur because of a metabolic disorder or from too much calcium in the blood.
Lesion: a sore or wound in human tissue, usually from disease or injury.
Linoleic acid: an essential fatty acid needed to produce fat in the body.
Lipids: forms of fats and waxes in the blood. Lipids include various forms of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Lipoprotein: a fatty protein. Lipoproteins transport lipids (specifically fats and cholesterol) through the bloodstream.
Low-density Lipoproteins(LDL): also known as the “bad” cholesterol. Low-density lipoproteins are lipoproteins that circulate cholesterol throughout the blood and promote the deposit of cholesterol on artery walls. A diet high in fat, particularly saturated fat will often result in a high level of LDLs.
Meditation: a technique in which a relaxed state of mind and body is induced by focused breathing or the repetition of a mantra (a phrase or word selected by the person meditating).
Meprobamate: a white powder used in sedatives and antianxiety medications.
Metabolism: the sum of chemical changes in the body, involving energy-consuming and energy-producing processes.
Mineral: one of six types of nutrients needed to sustain life. Among other roles, minerals help keep the nervous and cardio respiratory systems functioning. The two types of miners are macrominerals (such as sodium and potassium), needed in large amounts, and trace minerals (such as zinc), needed in small amounts. Minerals are found in meat and dairy products, vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, seafood, and salt.
Monounsaturated fat: a form of fat found in olive and peanut oil, peanuts, almonds, and avocados. Monounsaturated fat does not raise LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels as much as saturated fat and does not depress HDL (“good” cholesterol) levels as much as polyunsaturated fat.
MR FIT Study: the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention trial followed 15,000 men at high risk for heart disease for 7 years. The study showed that the conventional medical recommendations (i.e., reducing fat to 30 percent of calories, reducing cholesterol intake to 300 mg per day) reduced the number of coronary deaths and events by more than 30 percent.
Myocardial infarction: also known as a heart attack. The death of cells in an area of the heart due to blockage of coronary arteries.
Neurotransmitter: released by nerves. Substances that transmit impulses throughout the central nervous system.
Nicotine: an addictive substance found in all forms of tobacco, including cigarettes.
Nitrates and nitrites: chemicals used as curing agents, coloring, and flavoring in meats. Nitrates and nitrites are also present in human saliva and in drinking water contaminated by farmland fertilizers. Although the nitrates and nitrites in saliva are not harmful, those in drinking water and meats have been linked to stomach cancer.
Nutrient: a nourishing substance. The six types of nutrients are water, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Nutrition: the study of dietary requirements for people.
Obesity: excessive body weight. A person is obese when he or she is 20 percent over his or her ideal body weight.
Occlusion: any blockage in blood flow from an organ or tissue.
Omega-3 fatty acids: a type of fatty acid, commonly found in fish and fish oils. Omega-3 fatty acids consumed in moderate quantities are thought to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease in some individuals.
Osteoporosis: a condition in which bones become brittle and fracture easily, commonly, as a result of calcium loss associated with aging.
Overweight: excessive body weight. A person is overweight when he or she is over his or her ideal body weight.
Pathogens: a microorganism that produces disease.
Placebo: an inert substance given to patients or subjects in place of medication. Placebos are usually administered in research studies as a control in order to compare and evaluate the effect of the real medication or treatment under study.
Plaque: a deposit of hard organic material in the lining of blood vessels, typically composed of cholesterol and fibrous matter. A buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries is a primary symptom of coronary artery disease.
Polyunsaturated fat: a form of fat in food, usually a major constituent of oils from certain vegetables and seeds. While polyunsaturated fats appear to raise LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels less than saturated fat, they appear to depress HDL (“good” cholesterol) levels more than saturated fat and have been implicated as a promoter of cancer growth.
Potassium: a mineral essential for muscle function, balance of body fluids, and transmission of nerve impulses. Potassium is found in cereals, dried peas and beans, fresh vegetables and fruits, certain seeds, fresh fish, and certain meats.
Protein: one of six types of nutrients needed to sustain human life. Protein is used to build muscles, connective tissues, and cell walls. It is found in meat and dairy products; legumes such as kidney and lima beans; rice; and certain seeds, nuts, and vegetables.
Quantitative coronary angiography: a procedure that determines the degree of blockage in arteries. Radioactive dye is injected into the heart, and X rays are taken to locate blocked arteries.
Relaxation response: a physical state that is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response. The relaxation response results in reduced blood pressure and blood glucose levels, and lower breathing and heart rates.
Risk factor: any medical condition (such as high blood pressure) or life-style behavior (such as smoking) that indicates the increased risk of the development of a medical problem.
Saturated fat: a form of fat in meat, coconut and palm oils, and animal sources such as whole-milk dairy products. These fats raise blood cholesterol levels, particularly LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels.
Secretion: the formation and release of a substance in the body.
Set-point theory: the theory that each person has an individual thermostat governing how much food they want to eat and how much fat they will store from food intake. According to this theory, obese individuals may have difficulty losing weight because their set-point increases their hunger for food and stores more fat from food eaten.
Seven Countries Study: a study by Ancel Keys of sixteen population groups in seven countries over a span of ten years. It was the first study to compare the epidemiology of heart disease in different countries and provided rich evidence that fat in the diet was the primary cause of heart disease.
Simple carbohydrates: Also known as sugars. Simple carbohydrates are found in “natural” foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and “refined” or “processed” foods, such as cookies, candy, and cakes. Simple carbohydrates provide calories but no other nutritional value.
Sodium: a mineral that helps regulate the balance of water around cells in the body. Table salt is a form of sodium.
Stress: the body’s response to any demand or challenge. Among other effects, stress results in the flight-or-flight response and the secretion of adrenaline.
Stroke: brain damage due to a rupture or blockage of a blood vessel, depriving the brain of blood supply. See cerebral hemorrhage, embolic stroke, and thrombotic stroke.
Sugar: a simple carbohydrate found in animal and vegetable products.
Tar: a carcinogen in tobacco.
10% solution: a nutrition, exercise, and life-style program designed to improve quality and length of life. 10% refers to a guideline of this program that recommends limiting fat consumption to no more than 10 percent of daily caloric intake.
Thrombosis: the formation or presence of a blood clot in a blood vessel.
Thrombotic stroke: a type of stroke due to loss of blood flow to a portion of the brain that results when a coronary artery is blocked by a blood clot that forms on the plaque in that artery (the result of advanced atherosclerosis).
Training heart rate: Also known as target heart rate. The heart rate at which the body reaches 65 to 85 percent of its maximum capacity during strenuous exercise.
Triglyceride: a type of lipid carried in the bloodstream that may subsequently be used for energy.
Tumor: a growth of tissue that is progressive and often uncontrolled.
Type A personality: a hardworking, ambitious, and aggressive personality traditionally thought to be at greater risk for heart disease than other personality types. Contemporary studies show that having a Type A personality is only a risk factor for heart disease in regard to certain Type A characteristics, including frequent anger, chronic hostility, or inherent cynicism.
Type B personality: an easygoing, accepting, and complacent personality.
Type I diabetes mellitus: formerly known as juvenile-onset diabetes; also called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. This form of diabetes usually develops in people under age 25. It is characterized by the inability of the pancreas to produce sufficient insulin.
Type II diabetes mellitus: formerly known as adult-onset diabetes; also known as non-insulin- dependent diabetes mellitus. This is the most common form of diabetes, in which the pancreas is able to produce insulin but the body is unable to use it effectively. This form of diabetes occurs most often in adults over age 40 and may be controlled by diet, exercise, and attainment of optimal weight.
Uric acid: a waste product in urine.
Very low density lipoprotein (VLDL): a lipoprotein, related to triglycerides, that is linked to atherosclerosis.
Vitamin: one of the six types of nutrients needed to sustain human life. Vitamins help form blood cells, hormones, and genetic material. Vitamins are found in meat and dairy products, vegetables, fruits, cereals, and grains.
Weight plateau: during weight loss, a period of time in which weight stabilizes. Often temporary, weight plateaus are usually the result of one or more factors, including increased exercise, increased intake of complex carbohydrates, water retention, menstruation, or constipation.