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Counting Calories

August 3, 2009

calorieWhen it comes to diet and nutrition, we all know that calories are one of the best indicators for success or failure. The system by which our bodies utilize foods is incredibly complex, but it does not take a nutritionist or a lab to know what quality food is.

Kilocalories (calories) are defined as the amount of energy or heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius. What this really means is that when we consume more calories than we burn, they get converted to fat. The opposite is also true; burning more calories than consumed results in the use of stored fat for energy.

Calories come from many different sources. It is important to have a basic understanding of the amount of calories that come from the different types of foods.

  1. Carbohydrates,  4 calories per gram.
  2. Protein, 4 calories per gram.
  3. Fat, 9 calories per gram.
  4. Alcohol, 7 calories per gram.

With this information we can get a rough determination of calories consumed. The amount of recommended calories is different for each person. Weight, age, gender and activity levels are all factors that play a role in the amount of calories needed daily. For more information on recommended caloric intake and dietary guidelines, please visit this USDA website.

Photo from Flickr.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 18, 2009 3:13 am

    Found your blog while browsing Google. Bookmarked. Looking forward to more nutrition tips.

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