myFM: Calories are NOT equal

by Lianne Phillipson March 10, 2021

myFM: Calories are NOT equal

First, what is a calorie?  A calorie is a unit of energy - as in, what it is giving to your body so it can function. And that’s not just going for a walk. That’s beating your heart, pumping blood around your body and all the processes like liver detoxification and even going for a pee!

To calculate calories, the Atwater system uses the average values of 4 Kcal/g for protein, 4 Kcal/g for carbohydrate, and 9 Kcal/g for fat. Alcohol is calculated at 7 Kcal/g.

So that looks like... The label on an energy bar that contains 10g of protein, 20g of carbohydrate and 9g of fat would read 201 kcals or Calories.

A whole avocado has about 250 calories and 23 grams total fat. Now, eating that whole avocado has far reaching benefits as it keeps you feeling full for longer because it takes longer to digest fat. Similar with protein rich foods. A Kit Kat has about the same calories but way different nutrition. There is no comparison really. Same with a can of pop that yields 150 calories that is somehow equal or the same as eating a cup and three quarters of blueberries, because that also adds up to 150 calories. 

Some other comparisons:

  • 12 ounces grape juice [not grape juice drink] or 125 grapes
  • About 6 fried shrimp or around 38 cocktail shrimp
  • 2/3 of a slice of apple pie or 2 1/2 apples
  • McDonald's Caesar Salad is349 calories and a cheeseburger 300 calories

According to Health Canada: Adults and youth (ages 13 and older) need an average of 2,000 calories a day, and children (ages 4 to 12) need an average of 1,500 calories a day. However, individual needs vary. The average adult requires approximately 2,000 to 2,400 calories per day.

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