Empty Calories and Digestion

What are Empty Calories?

Empty calories refer to the amount of energy present in certain high-energy foods, which have low nutritional value. In such foodstuffs, the energy mainly comes from the processed carbohydrates or fats and sometimes-even ethanol. Typically an empty calorie will contain the same amount of energy as ordinary calories but is poor in its nutritional benefit like lack of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, dietary fiber and antioxidants. Intakes of empty calories lead to weight gain and hence must be avoided by all those who want to lose weight. Some examples of foodstuffs with empty calorie content are soft drinks, jellies, ice cream, sweets, candy, margarine, white rice, white bread, butter, lard, alcoholic beverages, beer, wine and fatty junk food like hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs, fried chicken, and French fries.

Are all calories created equal?

The answer is no; all calories are not created equal. It is a common myth in the fitness world that weight loss or weight gain is simply a matter of how many calories have you consumed and how many have your burnt; i.e. a calorie is the same whether it is obtained from proteins, fat or carbohydrates. But this is not the case. For example; just consider two groups – Group A consumes 2000 calories from pizza, soft drinks, hot dogs and coffee while Group B consumes the same 2000 calories but from vegetables, fruits, chicken, fish and oatmeal. Now would you say Group B calories are better than Group A? This is because the nutritional value of the calories ingested by Group B is much higher than Group, A which makes it different.

Does the body process all calories the Sonus Complete same way? For example; 100 Cal pack vs. 120 Cal from a banana?

It was widely believed until now that all calories are processed and metabolized in the same manner in our body. But scientific research shows otherwise; our body reacts very differently to calories depending on its source and the way in which it is consumed. Calories from different sources like proteins, fat and carbohydrates are similar in their energy content but the body processes each of these in a different way. This is because the body has to spend different amounts of energy to process and metabolize the various nutrients and calories; more energy is spent to process proteins than carbohydrates and more energy to process carbohydrates than fat. Hence, 120 calories from a banana add fewer calories to your body than a 100 Cal pack.

Does the body digest calories the same at different times of the day?

It was believed that time has nothing to do with the way our body digests calories and hence you can eat at any time of the day without having to worry. But a recent study has revealed that there is indeed a wrong time to eat. Though there are conflicting reports, there is enough and more circumstantial evidence to prove that bad eating habits and wrong timings definitely affect the body in the way it processes and metabolizes calories. Though the digestive process of the body remains the same, it has been noted that eating late at night frequently leads to weight gain and other digestive problems when compared to people who had an early dinner. But none of this has been proven completely and so the question still remains debatable.

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