Monday, February 7, 2011

What are Calories?

We hear about it everyday, but what are calories? Calories are not bad, they are not harmful. Calories are our friends.

Our bodies need calories to work in the same way that cars need fuel. Calories are the energy found in food that is available to the body after consumption. Calories and Kilo-calories are the same thing.

Our bodies need only a certain amount of calories per day  in order to carry out its basic functions, but we may consume this amount of calories and much more for one day. Our bodies have no use for the extra calories we take in, and simply stores it as fat. The only way to get rid of this extra calories is through exercise . If we are not exercising the fat just stays there waiting to be used up.

You get calories from foods that contain the nutrients; carbohydrate, protein and fat. One gram of Carbohydrate or protein will provide the body with 4 kcal energy, while one gram of Fat provides us with 9 kcal.

All this actually means is that, you get more than twice the number of calories from 1 gram of fat  than from 1 gram of Carbohydrates or Protein. This means that we also need to look at where we are getting our calories from.

This is not all there is to know about Calories and I will continue with a more in depth look at the nutrients. But until then just know that, Calories are your friend.

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