October 19th, 2011 marksmith
The energy that we get from food is usually calculated in the form of “calories”. Food is made up of a number of different nutrients, and each of these nutrients contains a different amount of energy. The basic nutrients are protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and water, in addition to which food also contains other substances such as antioxidants. Not all of these substances contain energy – proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, and a few other substances such as ethanol, polyols, and organic acids do contain energy. However, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and of course water do not have any caloric value. Spices and substances such as caffeine also have no caloric value.
A certain amount of energy is needed by all human beings in order to be healthy and function normally, and this means that a certain number of calories must be consumed. In general, it is recommended that men consume 2500 kilocalories (1 kilocalorie is equal to 1000 calories) per day, and women consume 2000 kilocalories per day. These numbers are of course not absolute – every individual is different, and may need more or less calories, depending upon their metabolism, age, and levels of activity, including mental activity.
If your caloric intake is considerably more or less than what it should ideally be, then your health will suffer. Malnutrition and starvation rarely occur in the developed world, but they are not unheard of, and may occur as a result of conditions such as anorexia nervosa or depression, in this situation stress and depression help will be required. On the other hand, an excessive calorie intake is quite common in developed and even developing countries. This can sometimes be due to consumption of the wrong type of food and an excess of certain nutrients, but also an overall calorie consumption that is much higher than it needs to be.
If you are overweight and trying to lose weight, it is important to keep track of the calories you consume. What you consume is important, but you should also keep track of how much you consume. In general, if you are trying to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. Most commercially available, packaged foods today display a variety of nutrition facts, including the calories contained in the food. In addition, there are plenty of books and online resources that provide nutritional information on other foods that do not have packaging and nutrition details. Some websites even offer a calories counter that you can use to conveniently calculate your daily calorie intake.
Filed under: Nutrition Advice