Does Every Calorie Count the Same?


Spoon Full of Sugar

The idea of counting calories became popular around the beginning of the 20th Century. Since then, scientists have continued to ponder the valuation of calories. Does every calorie count the same, or do some count more than others?

Nutrition and Calorie Sources

It may be true that a “calorie is a calorie” as indicated by PhD Lisa R. Young. However, nutritional value of food also matters. For instance, you need the vitamins in broccoli more than you need the sugar in hard candy. Therefore, you can consider the broccoli more worthwhile for the body than the candy, although everyone needs traces of sugar in their diet.

Concerning food you eat, it travels through different biochemical pathways. Some of the energy is used by the body, and some of the energy is lost as heat.

Types of Calories

Two main types of calories come from the simple sugars: glucose and fructose. Glucose is metabolized by all your bodily tissues, but fructose is only metabolized by the liver. These energy sources also have a different effect on our body.

For instance, fructose often leads to higher hunger hormone levels (ghrelin) than glucose. Fructose also seems to result in lower satiety levels than the glucose, and high amounts of fructose can result in insulin resistance. However, keep in mind that this refers to the additive fructose not the natural sugar found in fruit.

Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat Calories

Protein can fill you up more than carbohydrates, but protein requires more energy to metabolize than fat or carbs. The type of carbohydrates eaten also makes a difference. Whole grains seem to provide more satiety than refined breads. Thus, the feeling of fullness causes people to eat less.

Fat calories help people feel satisfied, too.  Of course people have to be careful not to consume them in excess. Generally speaking, trans fats should be avoided and the consumption of saturated fats should be limited.

Conclusion

Numerous studies suggest that whole foods (not junk foods) fill people up faster as well as provide more bodily nutrients than refined flour foods. Any substances consumed that have vitamins, protein and other essential nutrients seem to keep the weight off more so than donuts or other items made with an overload of sugar and bad carbohydrates. If you're serious about healthy weight loss, 2,000 calories is 2,000 calories but only the calories from real foods should be considered for a healthy menu plan.

 

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