I think calorie-counting is a very valuable tool when you are first getting started on weight control and living a healthy life. But, there are calories and there are calories. You need to know the food value of the calories you are consuming. You don’t want to eat a lot of empty calories.
Put simply, empty calories are calories that come from foods or drinks that have little or no nutritional value.
There are many common sources of empty calories. People may choose to limit or eliminate these foods and drinks from their diets to stay healthy and within their ideal weight range.
Helping children limit empty calories can set them up for a healthy life in the future. It can also help stabilize their energy and decrease mood swings.
Avoiding or limiting empty calories is a simple step toward a healthier diet and lifestyle.
What are calories?
Calories are units of energy. Scientifically, a gram calorie (cal) is the amount of energy needed to raise 1 gram (g) of water by 1° C.
From a scientific perspective, what is typically called a “calorie” is actually a kilogram calorie (kCal). This is a unit of energy made up of thousands of “small calories” equal to the large calorie often used to measure the energy in food.
Calories are an essential part of the diet. The body needs to burn calories to do the simplest tasks, such as breathing or blinking. When physical exercise is thrown into the mix, even more calories are required to stay healthy and alert.
The amount of calories a person needs every day can vary widely. Most recommendations are based on a diet of 2,000 calories per day. However, this number may be higher or lower depending on the individual and their habits.
A registered dietitian can help determine a person’s ideal caloric intake based on activity level, age, sex, metabolism, and height.
What are empty calories?