Do you know the number of calories in your favorite fruit juice or your favorite street food? When people talk about the calories in food, what do they mean? A calorie is a unit of measurement, but it doesn’t measure height or weight. It is a measurement, just like a teaspoon or an inch. A calorie is a unit of energy. When you hear that food contains 300 calories, it’s a way of describing how much energy your body could get from eating or drinking it. Kilocalories, abbreviated as kcals, and kilojoules, abbreviated as kJ, are two standard units used to express the number of calories in foods. A calorie is also known as a kilocalorie, so 300 calories will be represented as 300 kcal.
Let’s take this analogy: your body and calories are just like the bank and your money. The bank here represents your body, and the calories you get from the food you eat represent the money you deposit in the bank. Just as the money you deposit at the bank has various denominations, so do your calories. Each gram of carbohydrate and protein yields 4 calories per gram. Each gram of fat yields 9 calories, and each gram of alcohol contains 7 calories. The more calories a food has, the more energy it can provide your body.
There are calorie intake recommendations for both men and women to maintain a healthy body weight; an adult male will need 2,500 kcal (10,500 kJ) per day to maintain this weight. An adult female requires approximately 2,000 kcal (8,400 kJ) per day. The various foods and drinks you take during the day sum this up.
Have you ever read your food label to know the number of calories the food contains? When you read your food label, it will normally tell you how many calories are in 100g or 100 ml of the food or drink. Many labels will also include the number of calories in one serving of food and the number of servings that particular product contains. However, keep in mind that the manufacturer’s definition of one serving may differ from yours, so the piece you serve yourself may have more calories. The calorie information can be used to determine how a specific food fits into your daily calorie consumption, helping you to compare the calorie content of other goods.
Calories are not harmful to your health. Your body requires calories to function properly. Remember we’ve established earlier what calories are, always think about the bank and money when you think about calories, without money the bank won’t function, it’s just a building! Without calories well, you know now. When we mention calories, some people think we are talking about fat but that’s not true. In our next post, we are going to be talking about why people think like this so we clear that confusion.