There are no “good” or “bad” calories, but the foods they contain can affect your body in their own way. This is why 100 calories in an apple is not the same as 100 calories in a cake.
Calories are a unit of energy that your body uses to survive. Your body does not really care where these calories come from – it uses the energy stored in them to keep you alive. However, foods or drinks with the same calorie content provide you with different nutrients that support your immune system, balance your hormones and keep you in shape even more.
Abby Langer, a licensed dietitian based in Toronto, said there is a difference in how our bodies digest certain types of calories, which are then used to produce energy, writes Cnet.
“In general, the body tends to absorb calories from something like a donut much faster than calories from something like an avocado,” Langer said. In general, the harder your body absorbs food, the less calories it actually takes in.
Because our bodies process calories differently, nutritionist Abby Langer is not a fan of calorie computers or monitors how many calories you eat.
Remember that everyone has long known that the recommended daily calorie intake is a very approximate value. It depends on age, gender and (partly genetically determined) metabolism, which in turn includes the metabolic rate, as well as the ratio of fat to muscle and how active a person was on a given day.
Why does the body digest calories differently?
Different foods provide different types of substances to the body. Each food contains its own unique profile of macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and micronutrients – vitamins, minerals, etc. Everything your body needs in the right proportions to survive.
Dr. Niket Sonpal, a New York-based gastroenterologist, explained that our digestive tract and body actually absorb energy in the form of these macronutrients.
“They have their own characteristics,” said Dr. Sonpal. For example, calories from carbohydrates are digested faster, proteins are digested more slowly, and fats are digested even more.
Remember how satisfied and full you will be after a breakfast with eggs and cheese, not a bowl of muesli. Of course, you can assume that since a bowl of cereal has, say, only 200 calories, and more than omelette and cheese, then a breakfast cereal is “healthier”. But the point is, your body will burn carbohydrates in cereals faster than proteins and fats in eggs. This means that the feeling of hunger will appear earlier, causing the desire to eat something else to get calories.
This is why carbohydrates high in fiber, such as wholemeal bread or brown or wild rice, slow down digestion even more than plain white bread and rice, making you feel fuller.
In addition, all of these macronutrients differ in how they affect your body long after digestion. For example, said Dr. Sonpal, olive oil, which is unsaturated with fat, does not accumulate in the lining of blood vessels. Unlike animal fats.
There is also some research already emerging on how other types of fats we consider “bad” may contain essential fatty acids and other nutrients that are essential for our health.
“The biochemical process for breaking down fats is essentially the same,” Sonpal said. “But what the body does with fats and what inflammation they cause in other parts of the body is different.”
What to do instead of counting calories
Calorie counting can distract us from the satisfaction we get from food, which is an integral part of a healthy diet and which people often overlook.
Changing consumer behavior when measuring calories does not always lead to a healthy lifestyle. For example, if you want to snack but count calories, you will eat whatever you think fits your calorie limit for the day. For example, just six crackers or a “nutritious” muesli bar. But if you allow yourself a few slices of cheese that you really wanted, it will fill you up for much longer. And the feeling of hunger would not bother you so much, despite the fact that you would not have exceeded the calories, in fact.
The biggest misconception is if you focus only on the number of calories and not on the source of those calories and the nutritional value. You run the risk of eating a lot of food that will leave you hungry at the end of the day, even when you seem to have exceeded your calorie limit.
Persistent feelings of hunger or dissatisfaction can also increase the risk of overeating. This is also not the best way to influence your psyche.
To be honest, you do not know how many calories you eat.
The number of calories listed on websites in various tables, even on the packaging of products, in fact, may have nothing to do with reality.
For starters this is a great way to get word out that your label has a margin of error of 20%. So if you think you are eating a 200 calorie bar, it may actually be 240 calories.
In addition, studies in 2012 and 2016 by the USDA found that the actual caloric content of whole raw almonds was 19% lower than that of roasted almonds. But the packaging usually indicates the calorie content of the raw material.
Research on almond calories shows that obsession with labeled calories does not help you lose weight or keep you toned. It is better to channel your energy into choosing foods that provide you with both nutrition and satisfaction.
Earlier the Telegraph wrote: How many calories should we consume per day? There is no single answer to this question, experts say. This depends on a number of variables, including, for example, your gender, age and weight.