Empty Calories

Calories are a unit of energy. When we talk about diet, calories refer to the energy that a person gets from what he eats and drinks.

This time the story is that energy value is not the only thing to pay attention to when choosing products to bring to the table. Because quantity does not always go hand in hand with quality and health benefits.

Calculate your metabolism

The human body needs kilocalories (kcal) – without nutrients, the body cannot provide vital life processes. But too many daily calories are not good, because they will build up fat reserves.

Each person needs a different amount of energy because of factors such as age, gender and level of physical activity. The averages range from around 2,000 calories a day for a woman and 2,500 for a man.

However, in cases of increased body weight or in women with health problems during pregnancy, the medical practitioner may, after assessing the individual situation, determine the amount of energy and nutrients, as well as doses of vitamins and minerals.

Calculate your metabolism

How to determine how much energy we need? One option is to calculate the basal metabolic rate and then multiply it by the physical activity factor.

Basic metabolic formula: 1 kcal per 1 kg mass in 1 hour. Example: if you weigh 65 kilograms, then your approximate basic metabolism is 1560 kcal per day (65×24).

For those who do sedentary work and sports daily a few times a week in light or moderate intensity, the coefficient of physical activity is around 1.2 – 1.3, while the more physical work and more intense physical activity, the higher the coefficient.

Not only the number of calories is important but also the specific nutrients that are their source. Here we also get to the empty calories.

Lots of energy, low nutrition value

As reported on Medicalnewstoday.com, empty calories are the ones that provide energy, but they have very little nutrition.

Such foods contain virtually no fiber, amino acids, antioxidants, minerals or vitamins. We mainly find empty calories in products that contain solid fats and added sugars.

Although solid fats (fats that contain a large proportion of saturated fatty acids, are solid at room temperature and have a higher melting point) are present in quite several foods, they are added during industrial processing and preparation.

Added sugars are sweeteners that are added to food and beverages during industrial processing to obtain a more pleasant taste.

Both of the above ingredients are true “calorie bombs” that, if consumed inappropriately, can contribute to obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Which foods and beverages account for the highest amount of empty calories?

We find solid fats and added sugars in foods and products such as

  • ice cream;
  • pastries;
  • cookies;
  • cakes;
  • sausages;
  • cheese;
  • pizza;
  • juices;
  • lemonades;
  • and energy drinks.

We also mentioned alcohol as a source of empty calories, for example, one serving of beer can add an extra 153 calories to dinner.

There are several alternatives to avoid excessive consumption of empty calories.

You can prefer products with lower fat content, refuse to include semi-finished products and so-called “fast food” in the menu, choose freshly squeezed juice and water instead of sweetened drinks. The body will appreciate it!

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