Calories: It's not just numbers!

Calories are the energy contained in foods that help the body do everything from sleeping to running. The calories contained in the feed can come from carbs (starch), fats and proteins. The body can use calories as fuel for activities or storage for later use in the form of body fat.

1. What are calories?

  • Calories are a unit of energy and are used for measurement.
  • Calories in food are not only numbers, but also a unit that reflects the amount of energy in food. Your body needs energy (measured in calories) to provide fuel for all functions, daily activities.
  • Powering your body is often compared to how you power your car. When supplying gasoline to the car, your vehicle already has energy preserved in the container. But only gasoline is not enough to make the car move, the fuel must be burned in the engine to release energy from gasoline to be able to run.
  • Similarly, the food (fuel) that you eat has energy in the form of calories contained in proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Food needs to be digested and transformed to release energy to be used to power the body.
  • Calories are essential for life. Metabolic rate at rest (the number of calories your body uses per day for the most basic processes just to keep alive) accounts for about 75% of the calories your body uses every day. The remaining calories that you burn during the day are used to power your muscles, when moving and exercising. And a very small amount of calories are used for the digestion of food.

Diet for people who cut the entire stomach

Food that provides energy for human activities

2. How to calculate the calories of food?

The majority of calories in food are proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

  • A gram of protein contains 4 calories.
  • A gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories.
  • Fat is a more concentrated source of energy: Each gram of fat contains 9 calories of energy.

For example, if you look at the table of nutritional ingredients on a serving of chips there are 7 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of protein and a total of 140 calories. The formula will count as follows:

  • Fat has 9 calories/gram, 7 grams of fat x 9 = 63 calories.
  • Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram, 17 grams of carbohydrates x4 = 68 calories.
  • And 2 grams of protein have 8 calories.

Add up all calories (63, 68 and 8) and a total of 139 calories (nutritional information panel is allowed to round the number).


Each food will have a different caloric content

3. Calories per food

3.1 High-calorie foods

Foods considered high in calories: For example, oils, avocados and other fats, fried foods and sugary sweets are high-calorie foods.

Healthy foods high in calories include avocados (227 calories each), nuts (828 calories per cup of peanuts), olive oil (119 calories per tablespoon), dark chocolate (648 calories per bar).

Raisins are a high-calorie food that may surprise some; you can eat a cup of fresh grapes and get the same calories as 1/4 cup of raisins.

3.2 Low-calorie foods

Low-calorie foods are low in calories compared to their superficial size. Fruits and especially vegetables are usually relatively low in calories.


  • The necessary calories you should eat every day
  • Protein diet: What happens?
  • Omega-6 fatty acids: Uses, side effects, instructions for use

About: John Smith

b1ffdb54307529964874ff53a5c5de33?s=90&r=gI am the author of I had been working in Vinmec International General Hospital for over 10 years. I dedicate my passion on every post in this site.


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