Calorie content of foods varies. High calorie foods are avocado, baked beans, butter, cheese, eggs but they are still healthy to take. Dried fruits, flavored yogurt sugary sodas, and peanut butter are also food with high calorie content but they can play role in weight gain. Fast foods are also high calorie so, how many calories in food they are only responsible for weight gain issue but also impose several health risks like heart diseases etc. Low calorie foods include apple, beets, non-fat yogurt, carrots, oat meal and cucumbers.
We daily eat different types of foods but not all of them can be listed here. Before knowing calorie content of different foods, you must have knowledge about what calories are and how they affect our health. If you have enough knowledge about how much calories your body requires things will become easy for you. So, let’s start with basics.
What Are Calories?
Calorie is unit of energy. In term of nutrition we can say that calorie means energy we get from food or drink and then use it for doing daily physical activities. Every food packaging has labeled calorie value. Most of the people think that calories are only associated with foods and drink but anything that has energy has calories. Calories can be of two types:
Small Calorie (Cal)
The amount of energy required to raise the temperature by one degree Celsius of one gram of water is called calorie or small calorie.
Large Calorie (Kcal)
On the other hand, the energy required to raise the temperature by one degree Celsius of water of one kilogram. It is also called as kilocalorie.
1 Kcal = 1000 Cal
On food packages the calories content is mentioned, this value is actually referring to kilocalories. So, if a chocolate bar shows value of 300 calories, it means that actually it contains 300,000 calories.
Some Facts About Calories
Calories are necessary for humans. But consumption of calories should be done wisely, if you do not take them wisely then you may end up having serious health issues like weight gain or heart diseases. Different people require different amount of energy for doing daily work depending upon the size, age, activity level and sex. You may end up having empty calories if you have food with high energy but its nutritional value is low.
What Are Empty Calories?
Empty calories are those calories that provide you with energy but not nutrition. Parts of food that provide you with empty calories are usually contain no antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and dietary fiber. Empty calories are from added sugars or from solid fats.
Added sugars are sweeteners that are added to beverages and foods during processing. These sweeteners are filled with calories for example corn syrup. On the other hand, solid fats exist naturally in the food, but they are also added to the food during processing. Butter is a common example of solid fat.
These added sugars and solid fats are added for making food more enjoyable. But these things are added to make food tastier and more enjoyable. Some other sources of empty calories are donuts, pastries, cookies, ice cream, sausages, cheese, pizza, soda, energy drinks, fruit drinks etc.
How Calories Are Linked with Health?
Calories are necessary for survival of human body. If there is no energy, the heart would stop pumping blood, lungs would stop, and there would not be any chance of organ working. People take this energy from drinks and food. People will have healthy live if they only intake required amount of energy for a day. Too high or too low calorie consumption can lead to serious health problems. Number of calories a food contains tell how much energy they can provide. It does not mean that only calories are important but the substance from which we are taking calories is equally important.
Main Components of Food
A food mainly has three components carbohydrates, protein and fats. All of three components contribute different number of calories according to estimation calorie value is as follows:
- 1 gram of carbohydrate contains about 4 kcal
- One gram of protein contains about 4kcal
- 1 gram of fat contains 9kcal
When Someone Should Eat?
The time of day at which you eat food affects the usage of calories by the body. According to a research it has been estimated that it is best to take about 700 kcal in you breakfast. It lowers the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes. A heavy breakfast can help you in to control body weight.
High Calorie Foods
Calories source energy but they can be dangerous if you take them a lot. Here I will mention some foods that have high calorie content and are healthy to take or unhealthy to take. So you can take help from this article in this in this regard:
It is not like other fruits and is a bit different. Most of the fruits have high carbs but in case of avocado there are low carbs. It contains healthy fats. Oleic acid is the most abundant fat present in avocado. It is a monounsaturated fat responsible for reducing inflammation. Moreover, it also helps in lowering cholesterol level.
Other substances found in avocado are potassium, magnesium and fibers. It provides about 28% RDI for potassium responsible for lowering blood pressure, it also helps in reducing risk of stroke. It also contains an important antioxidant called lutein that is responsible for maintaining skin and eyes health. Folate, beta-carotene and vitamin A re also components of avocado.
Breakfasts with rich protein portion are best to fright against belly fats. Eggs are the best breakfast companions. According to a research studies it was concluded that people who eat eggs in breakfast are more likely to reduce belly fat and waist circumference as compared to those who have bagel breakfast.
You can add eggs to stir-frys, sautés and salads. You can also use them with whole grain toast and vegetables, and this is a healthy breakfast.
Most of the people do not like plain yogurt because they do not find it tasty. So they prefer flavored yogurt. But if you are eating flavored yogurt you are taking extra sugar which is not good for your health. A yogurt you are buying from supermarket gives you 35 grams of extra sugar. So it would be better for you to use low calorie fruits to add some sweetness to the plain yogurt instead of having flavored yogurt.
Peanut Butter (Reduced Fats)
Just like fat free cheese, reduced peanut butter also has low fat content but added sugars and fillers and calories are even more per serving. So, it would be better for you to go for natural version of peanuts with full fat content.
When we talk about food calories most of the time, we neglect beverages. Liquid calories go down even more easily. And sugary sodas have higher content of calories than any other food items. They have really bad effect on your health, you cannot even imagine. Its flavor may feel you great but it does not have any fiber or protein to make you feel satisfied.
People are addicted to fast foods. They prefer fast foods over home-made foods. One reason behind preferring these foods is that they are delicious in taste. Another reason is that life is very busy these days and people do not have time to cook food themselves. So, they prefer these fast foods. But fast foods are not healthy at all they are full of calories. And extra calories are stored in body as fats which may end up increasing weight. So, I would suggest you to avoid fast foods as much as yo0u can.
Low Calorie Foods
Low calorie foods are best to eat, they do not contribute in weight gain and are best for weight loss. So, here are some foods that are low in calories, you can enjoy them without any fear and can get maximum health benefits:
Apples are easy addition to diet as they are easily available and do not have any side effects. These have high fiber content and promote weight loss. If you want to get maximum health benefits eat apple without removing skin. It contains pectin which helps in maintaining good gut health.
According to recent research it is concluded that there is a connection between eating apples regularly and low risk of diabetes, certain cancers and cardiovascular disease. Apples are rich in quercetin which may have anti-cancer properties.
Oat meal is mostly taken in breakfast. But it is not only for breakfast. It has high content of soluble fiber. Oat meal the best kind of snack for people who are suffering from heart diseases and diabetes. It is also high in carbs. Soluble fibers in oat meal help in absorbing cholesterol and blood glucose.
This can keep you full for a longer time as it has high content of protein. A serving can contain from 12 to 24 grams of protein depending upon the kind of nonfat yogurt you choose to have. It is wise to choose nonfat yogurt to eat as it can help in lowering blood pressure. It is also a component of DASH diet.
Onions add flavor to the food but it not all they have. They are also rich in prebiotic fiber. Prebiotics help in feeding already present good bacteria in your gut. Prebiotic foods produce a compound called butyrate which improves insulin sensitivity. Butyrate can also increase the amount of fat your burn. Best thing you can do with them is to add them in omelets and salads and get desired benefits. Onions are very low in calorie providing you only 45 calories per serving.
Carrots are perfect for snacking. They are full of nutrients and low in calories. A single medium carrot contains only about 25 calories that are not dangerous for your health at all. They are best for eye and heart health. Moreover, they improve digestion process and aid in weight loss. One raw carrot, medium in size contains only five grams of sugar. This sugar is not really dangerous and you should not avoid this nutrition rich vegetable.
Beets are low in calories but have high water content. They have high content of dietary fibers and almost no fats. Thus, they help you detox and lose weight. Raw beets contain more vitamins, nutrients and minerals as compared to coked beets. Instead of cooking them completely, it would be better to roast them so that they may not end up losing all the beneficial nutrients. You can also make juice from beets, which is equally beneficial.
Broccoli is another healthy food which is less in calories and has high content of nutrients in vitamins. It is rich in vitamin C and K, and also a good source of folic acid. Broccoli is rich in fiber and is a god carb. It prevents constipation and helps in improving digestion of food. Also, it also maintains low blood sugar level. It can also help in weight loss.
Calories are necessary for human body. They provide required amount of energy to the body for doing daily tasks. If you are not getting enough calories your body starts working improperly. But if you take more than enough calories things will become tough for you. You may end up having some serious health issues like heart diseases and weight gain issues. This article helps you in understanding what calories are. You can also have information about what kind of food are low calories and high calories. Most high calories foods are considered unhealthy but if you take them wisely they are not unhealthy for you. But one thing is clear that fat foods are not healthy at all so you need to avoid them. So, give some of the mention foods a chance and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.