2. Calories part I

Basic RGB

I think some people are afraid of the word ‘calories’. I have been talking to people about nutrition and the second the word ‘calories’ comes out of my mouth people don’t want to hear about it. I’m not entirely sure why, but I have a fair idea that it’s because people think calories and calorie counting is confusing and complicated. So, to kick off the first post of this informative series I want to start with the basics. When I start discussing more advanced topics hopefully these building blocks will allow you to understand everything (and if not, let me know so I can clear anything up!). This post is just going to cover what calories are, and get into more detail in the next post

What is a calorie? A calorie is a unit of measurement measurement. Think of how we measure weight though Grams… and you know how electrical energy is called Watts?  A Calorie is just another unit of measurement like those. What does it measure? Energy! Food energy

The body uses energy to function. Even if you were asleep in bed 24/7 you would still need calories. Your body needs energy to operate at the most basic level: breathing, pumping blood, repair… even THINKING requires calories! Walking, exercising, any kind of movement requaires calories. I could go on, but you get the point. Food = energy. Energy = bodily function (1) We eat a food, that food is then digested to be used as energy by the body

On food labels you will see “kcal” which stands for kilocalorie, which is just the more ‘physics’ term for calorie. “kJ” (kilojoules) is on labels too which which is just another measurement of food energy; but less commonly referred to as kcal easier to track

When you look at a food label, look at the number with ‘kcal’ following it (as shown). This is how many calories are in the food item that you’re eating. What does this mean for you? Find out in the next Tea Talks

Does that make sense to everyone? Is anything confusing? Please let me know so I can clear anything up. Next post will be about calorie intake and weight

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2687326/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15113737 

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