Calories are associated with drink and food by most people, but anything that contains energy has calories. According to scientists, calories mean a unit of energy or heat that could come from various sources. In a nutritional sense, fats, proteins, carbs, sugar are all important sources of calories needed for body functions. Brains, muscles and every cell in the body need the energy to function in its optimal state. If a person doesn’t get enough nutrients, there are negative consequences like not having the power, concentrating, or losing lean mass.
According to the government in the U.S., the average woman needs 2200 calories per day, and the average man needs 2700 calories per day. Each day not everybody needs the same number of calories. Energy is burnt at different rates because people have different metabolism, and some have more active lifestyles than others. The recommended intake of calories per day depends on overall general health, physical activity demands, sex, weight, height, body shape. For adults, 45 to 65 percent of calories should come from carbs, 20 to 25 percent should come from fat, and 10 to 35 percent should come from protein. Children need more calories. Only 25% of calories should come from added sugar.
The human body needs calories to survive. Without energy, cells in the body would die, the heart and lungs would stop, and the organ would not function. From food and drink, people get this energy. According to health experts, if people consume only the amount of calories required per day, they will live a healthy life. Health problems can be caused by low or high consumption of calories. The energy in the food can be found out by the number of calories it contains. Not only are calories necessary, but the source from which the calories are taken is also important. 1g of carbs contains four significant calories, 1g of protein includes four large calories, and 1g of fats contains nine significant calories.
According to a report published in CDC in 2013, 11.3% of calories consumed comes from fast food in the U.S. Healthcare professional says this to high. Older people get fewer calories from fast food. The time at which people eats influences how effectively the body uses calories.
Types of calories –
- A small calorie – to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1º Celsius is the amount of energy required.
- A large calorie – to raise 1 kilogram of water by 1º C is the amount of energy needed.
High and low-calorie food –
According to health experts, food that is considered high-calorie has a high amount of calories relative to its serving size. Oil, butter, fried food, sugary sweets are high-calorie foods. Such foods are always associated with junk food, but some food can be healthy as well. Healthy foods high in calories are avocado, nuts, olive oil, whole grains, dark chocolate, and raisin. Foods that are low in calories as compared to their serving size have fewer amount of calories.
Empty calories –
Empty calories contain few to no nutrients. They provide entry but very little nutritional value. The parts of the food with empty calories contain no vitamins, dietary minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and amino acids. They often come added sugar and sold fat. Solid fat solidifies at room temperature. They are added to food even though they can occur naturally. Both are said to make drink and food more enjoyable, add many calories, and be the leading cause of obesity. Empty calories are found in many typical American foods.
Empty calories in the diet can be contributed by alcohol. Solid fats and added sugar are found in cakes, cookies, pastries, donuts, ice cream. Only solid fat is found in pizza, cheese, sausages, hot dogs, bacon, fat ribs. Only added sugar is found in fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, soda. Sugary drinks are the primary source of empty calories for people in the U.S. More than half of all people in the U.S. have at least one sugary drink each day.
Weight loss and calories –
It is essential to consume sufficient calories, but reducing calories can help to reduced weight. Through physical activities, calories are expanded. Calories and body weight have a relation between them. The CDC refers to the balance of calories burned and calories consumed as caloric balance. If a person is balanced, then the calories consumed are balanced by the calories burnt. This means bodyweight will be maintained.
If a person maintains body weight, they are into caloric balance which they are eating almost the same amount of calories that they are burning. If a person has excess calories, more calories are consumed than burnt, which will cause weight gain. When people try to lose weight, they tend to have a caloric deficit. Sufficient calories need to be consumed by a person with a caloric deficit to function and stay healthy. During the weight loss process, adequate calories help to maintain muscle mass and make weight loss sustainable. Consuming sufficient calories during the weight-loss process is also essential to maintaining a healthy metabolic rate.
Foods that are low in calories –
Apple: It is one of the popular food in the U.S. and is highly nutritious. Fifty-seven calories and 3 grams of dietary fiber are there in one cup of sliced apple. The body has to burn energy to digest apples.
Arugula: It has a peppery flavor and dark green in color. It contains vitamin K, folate, calcium, potassium. Only three calories are there in half a cup of arugula.
Asparagus: It comes in purple, white, green color and is a flowering vegetable. Only 27 calories are there in one cup of asparagus. It is rich in folate and vitamin K.
Beets: They are root vegetables. Beets contain only 59 calories per cup. It helps in lowering blood pressure.
Broccoli: It is one of the nutritious vegetables. One cup of broccoli has only 31 calories. It helps to fight cancer.
Cabbage: It is a vegetable with purple or green leaves. It has low-calorie content and per cup contains only 22 calories.
Carrots: They can be red, yellow, purple, and white. Only 53 calories are there in a one-cup serving of carrots. It is suitable for eye health.
Food with high calories –
Whole Wheat: Foods containing whole grains are high in calories and have necessary nutrients and minerals.
Red Meat: Beef and pork products are high in calories. If a person is planning is gain weight, then eating these can be helpful. For example, one serving of a pork chop has 211 calories.
Beans: It has high calories with carbs and less fat. For example, one serving of pinto beans contains 193 calories.
Healthy fat: Not all fats are bad. Healthy fat is high in calories.
Avocado: It is an excellent source of fiber, healthy fats, minerals, vitamins. Half an avocado contains 160 calories.
Butter: It is high in calorie content and mainly composed of fat. One tablespoon of butter has about 100 calories.
Cheese: It is a dairy product derived from milk. American cheese one slice contains 31 calories.