Are 500 calories of veggies equal to 500 calories of ice cream?
What are Calories?
Calories are a measure of food energy. In fact there are many different definitions and measurements of calories, but the accepted definition we are looking for is – “the amount of heat it takes to raise 1 measured weight of water 1 degree Celsius. 1 gram of water would be a small calorie and 1 kilogram would be a large Calorie.
To determine how many calories are in a certain food, scientists used to set the food on fire and see how much it warmed a measured container of water. Now the calorie count is estimated from its carbohydrate, protein and fat content, with each gram of carbohydrate and protein being 7 calories and each gram of fat being 9 calories. The Calorie we see on our food labels is a large Calorie or the amount of heat it takes to raise one kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius.
Since none of us have a burner in our belly, our bodies have to convert energy by chemical reactions, mostly oxidation of the carbs, protein and fat we eat.
Calories in = Calories out?
Not so much. Take carbohydrates. For every 100 calories of carbs you eat, the body uses 5-10 calories just to digest them. The difference being 5 and 10 is the difference between complex and simple carbohydrates (remember the Glycemic Index?) It takes us less calories to break down fat in our body. But look at protein. The body needs 20 to 30 calories to process each 100 grams of the protein we eat.
How to Loss Weight?
It would appear that if we ate more protein and less carbs and fat that the body would do our work for us. Not as much as we’d like. Just because we put food in our mouths doesn’t mean our body digests it all. According to Men’s Health Mag ” It passes through your stomach and then reaches your small intestine, which slurps up all the nutrients it can through its spongy walls. But 5 to 10 percent of calories slide through unabsorbed. Fat digestion is relatively efficient—fat easily enters your intestinal walls. As for protein, animal sources are more digestible than plant sources, so a top sirloin’s protein will be better absorbed than tofu’s.”
“Different carbs are processed at different rates, too: Glucose and starch are rapidly absorbed, while fiber dawdles in the digestive tract. In fact, the insoluble fiber in some complex carbs, such as that in vegetables and whole grains, tends to block the absorption of other calories. “With a very high-fiber diet, say 60 grams a day, you might lose as much as 20 percent of the calories you consume,” says Wanda Howell, Ph.D., a professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Arizona.”
Exercise Burns Calories Right?
Sure, exercise is a great calorie burner, but you need calories to burn more calories. Exercise will burn no more than 30 percent of the calories you consume. Again your body is going to help you burn calories. 60 to 70 percent of the calories we burn are to fuel normal body function like breathing, tissue replacement, blood movement, etc. Then walking, turning your head, lifting your leg, etc, help tremendously. Take the stairs, not the elevator. You get the idea.
Don’t Eat Diet Foods
Diet foods are way more dangerous to our bodies than normal, healthy food. In diet foods, sugars are often replaced by chemicals like sucralose, aspartame or HFCS. Men’s Health says that a study at the University of Texas found that consuming as few as three diet sodas a week increases the chance of obesity by more than 40 percent. At Purdue in 2008 a study showed that rats that ate artificially sweetened yogurt eat more calories at subsequent meals. Eat the real deal and read the label.
To Answer My Original Question
Are 500 calories of veggies equal to 500 calories of ice cream? You should now be able to answer that question yourself.