All Things Being Equal

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There is a huge misconception about this little thing called a calorie. Some of us count calories like counting sheep, and we really don’t know what a calorie is, we know we should keep track of them if we want to lose weight.  

A calorie is a unit of energy, the amount of energy that it takes to raise one kilogram of water one degree Celsius. You may ask how did they determine this? Well in past times calories were calculated by burning a sample of the food and then measuring the temperature of the surrounding water.

While many would like to believe that all calories are equal, the truth is they are not.  One hundred calories of carbs are not the same as 100 calories of fat, which is not the same as 100 calories of protein. The body processes each differently and understanding this process will help you as you begin to look at the foods you eat as well as the impact it has on your health.

  • For instance, proteins are found in muscle, bone, hair, and skin; it makes the enzymes that create chemical reactions in your body, as well as the hemoglobin that is responsible for carrying oxygen to your blood. Because proteins require much more energy to metabolize than your carbohydrates and fats, by the time 100 calories of protein are broken down by your body, only about 70 to 75 calories are available to use as energy.
  • As for carbohydrates they provide energy for your muscles and fuel for your central nervous system, they also assist with fat metabolism and are very important to the function of your brain. Carbs require less of the bodies energy to be broken down; therefore 100 calories of carbs leave you with about 92 calories to use as energy.
  • Moreover, of course, fats promote healthy hair and skin. Fats helps to maintain your bodies temperature and insulates your organs against shock, of all your macronutrients, fats require the least amount of energy to be metabolized, thus 100 calories of fats, once metabolized leaves you with about 98 calories to use as energy.

Food is vital to your survival, and each food group is essential to the metabolic function of your daily living, playing their roles to ensure that each metabolic transaction your body undergoes will yield the best possible outcome, why not do your part by making good food choices.