Module 1

Biocultural perspective
– Anthropological approach that examines the interactions between human biology and culture.

Food system
– The totality of activities, social institutions, , material inputs and outputs, and cultural beliefs within a cultural group that are involved in the production, distribution, and consumption of food.

Adaptation process
– The process of coping and adjucting to meet material needs

Genetic adaptation
– A change that is passed from one generation to another through the biological inheritance of a gene (or set of genes).

Physiological adaptation
– A morphological or other biological adjustment that occurs during the life of an individual and is not inherited.

Sociocultural adaptation
– An adjustment that involves behavioral and technological adjustments.

Module 2

Nutrient – Chemical substances in food that nourish the body by providing energy, building materials, and factors to regulate needed chemical reactions in the body. The body either can’t make these nutrients or can’t make them fast enough for its needs.

Essential Nutrient – In nutritional terms, a substance that, when left out of a diet, leads to signs of poor health. The body either can’t produce this nutrient or can’t produce them fast enough to meet its needs. Then, if added back to a diet before permanent damage occurs, the affected aspects of health are restored.

Carbohydrate – A compound containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms; most are known as sugars, starches, and dietary fibers.

Glycoprotein – A protein containing a carbohydrate group.

Glycolipid – A lipid (fat) containing a carbohydrate group.

Sugar – Simple carbohydrate form with a chemical composition. Most sugars form ringed structures when in a solution.

Monosaccharides – A class of simple sugars, such as glucose, that can be absorbed into the body without further chemical alteration.

Disaccharides – Class of sugars formed by the chemical bonding of two monosaccharides.

Polysaccharide – Carbohydrate containing many glucose units, up to 3000 or more; also known as complex carbohydrates.

Glucose – A six-carbon carbohydrate found in blood, and in table sugar bound to fructose; also known as dextrose, it is one of the simple sugars.

Fructose – A monosaccharide with six carbons that form a five-membered or six-membered ring with oxygen in the ring; found in fruits and honey.

Galactose – A six-carbon monosaccharide; an isomer of glucose.

Amylase – Starch-digesting enzyme from the salivary glands or pancreas.

Amylose – A digestible straight-chain polysaccharide made of glucose units; component of starch in foods.

Lactose – A sugar composed of glucose linked to another sugar called galactose.

Starch – A carbohydrate made of multiple units of glucose attached together in a form the body can digest; also known as complex carbohydrate.

Dietary Fiber – Substances in plant foods that are not digested by the processes that take place in the stomach or small intestine. These add bulk to feces.

Insoluble Fiber – Fibers that mostly do not dissolve in water and are not metabolized by bacteria in the large intestine. These include cellulose, some hemicelluloses, and lignins.

Soluble Fiber – Fibers that either dissolve or swell in water and are metabolized (fermented) by bacteria or large intestine. These include pectins, gums, and mucilages.

Cellulose – A straight-chain polysaccharide of glucose molecules that is undigestible because of the presence of beta bonds; part of insoluble fiber.

Hemicellulose – A dietary fiber containing xylose, galactose, glucose, and other monosaccharides bonded together.

Lignin – Insoluble fiber made up of a multi-ringed alcohol (noncarbohydrate) structure.

Pectin – Dietary fiber containing chains chains of galacturonic acid and other monosaccharides; characteristically found between plant cell walls.

Mucilage – Dietary fiber consisting of chains of galactose, mannose, and other monosaccharides; characteristically found in seaweed.

Lipids – A compound composed of much carbon and hydrogen, little oxygen, and sometimes other elements. Lipids dissolve in ether or benzene and include triglycerides, cholesterol, and phospholipids.

Fatty Acids – A chain of carbons linked together and surrounded by hydrogen atoms. These hydrocarbons are found in lipids and contain a carboxyl (acid group) at one end and a methyl group at the other.

Saturated Fat – Fat containing no double bonds in the carbon chains of their fatty acids. Most animal fats fall into this category.

Monosaturated Fat/Polyunsaturated Fat – Fat whose fatty acids have more than one double bond. Most plant oils fall into this category.

Essential Fat – Fatty acids the body cannot synthesize and must obtain in the diet.

Lipo-Proteins – A compound found in the bloodstream containing a core of lipids with a shell of protein, phospholipid, and cholesterol.

Deficiency Diseases – Illness produced by the lack of some essential nutrient.

Anemia – Generally refers to a decreased oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. This can be caused by many factors, such as iron deficiency or blood loss.

Heart Disease/Atherosclerosis – A disease usually caused by the deposition of fatty material in the blood vessels that serve the heart, often called hardening of the arteries. These deposits restrict blood flow through through the heart, which in turn can lead to heart damage and death. Also termed coronary heart disease (CHD), as the vessels of the heart are the primary site of disease; part of cardiovascular disease. A buildup of fatty material (plaque) in the arteries, including those surrounding the heart.


Cancer – A condition characterized by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.

Goiter – An enlargement of the thyroid gland, which can be caused by a lack of iodide in the diet.

Diabetes – A disease characterized by high blood glucose (hyperglycemia), resulting from insufficient insulin action in the body. Although this disease is commonly referred to as “diabetes”, its technical name is diabetes mellitus.

Xerophthalmia – A condition marked by dryness of the cornea and eye membranes that results from vitamin A deficiency and can lead to blindness. The specific cause is a lack of mucus production by the eye, which then leaves it more vulnerable to surface dirt and bacterial infections.

Caries – Tooth decay.

Vitamin – Compound needed in very small amounts in the diet to help regulate and support chemical reactions in the body. Absence from the diet much result in a disease that timely replacement of the vitamin will cure.

Fat Soluble Vitamin – Vitamins that dissolve in such substances as ether and benzene, but not readily in water. These vitamins are A, D, E, and K.

Water Soluble Vitamin – Vitamins that dissolve in water. These vitamins are the B-vitamins and vitamin C.

Module 3: Digestive System

Absorption – nutrients pass through wall of stomach or intestines.

Anus – The last portion of the gastro-intestinal tract. It serves as the outlet for the GI tract.

Chemical breakdown – the release of sugars, amino acids and fatty acids by digestive enzymes.

Chyme – The “soupy” mixture of food, mucus, hydrochloric acid, and pepsin prepared by the stomach.

Digestion – mechanical and chemical change; breaks down food for absorption.

Elimination – get rid of waste

Esophagus – The tube connecting the mouth with the stomach.

Gallbladder The organ attached to the underside of the liver and in which bile is stored and secreted.

Ingestion – taking in of food; direct link to outside environment

Liver – Large organ in the abdominal cavity; performs many vital functions that maintain blood composition balance.

Mechanical breakdown – grinding, mashing, and mixing of food by teeth, stomach and intestinal contractions produces small particles.

Pancreas – Endocrine organ that secrets digestive enzymes, such as insulin, into the small intestine.

Pharynx – The throat. It serves as a common passageway for food, air and liquids.

Rectum – The terminal portion of the large intestine.

Saliva – The fluid added to food in the mouth.Saliva contains salts, mucus, antibacterial agents and salivary amylase.

Salivary amylase – A starch digesting enzyme in saliva.

Salivary glands – Three pairs of glands that release saliva into the mouth.

Small intestine – The main site of digestion and absorption in the digestive system.

Stomach – The organ, which and distend, that receives food and liquid. It produces gastric juices that aid in digestion.

Taste buds – Sense organs of taste. Sensory cells clustered in pores on the side of the tongue’s papillae.

Villi – Finger-like projections of the wall of the small intestine.

Module 4

Module 5: Primate Diet and Digestion

Primate – The group of mammals including prosimians, monkeys, apes, and humans.

Anthropoidea – Suborder of primates that includes monkeys, apes and humans.

Omnivore – An organism that consumes foods from both plant and animal sources.

Folivore – An organism that primarily consumes leaves.

Frugivore – An organism that primarily consumes fruit.

Insectivore – An organism that primarily consumes insects.

Herbivore – An organism that eats mostly or entirely plants.

Carnivore – An organism that consumes mostly or entirely meat.

Procumbent Incisor

Angiosperms – A plant that has seeds that are enclosed in an ovary.



Trypsin Inhibitors

Fore-Gut Fermenters


Hind-Gut Fermenters

Volatile Fatty Acids (VFA’s)

Taste Buds – Sense organs of taste; clusters of sensory cells in pores on sides of tongue’s papillae.

Umani – A brothy, meaty, savory flavor in some foods. Monosodium glutamate enhances this flavor when added to foods.

Scurvy – The deficiency disease that results after a few weeks to months of consuming a diet that lacks vitamin C; pinpoint hemorrhages on the skin are an early sign.