What are Empty Calories?

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what are empty calories


Empty calorie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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** Empty calorie **

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

*Empty calories*, in casual dietary terminology, are a measure of the
digestible energy present in high-energy foods with little nutritional
value, typically processed carbohydrates and ethanol (alcohol), and to some
extent fats. Also known as a discretionary calorie, an "empty calorie" has
the same energy content as any other calorie but lacks many accompanying
nutrients such as vitamins, dietary minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, or
dietary fiber. Although carbohydrates and fats are nutrients, they are
typically ignored for this analysis, with the exception of essential fatty
acids.

All people require certain essential nutrients, but caloric intake must be
balanced with activity to maintain a proper body weight. People who engage
in heavy physical activity need calories as fuel, which can be supplied by
empty calories in addition to foods with essential nutrients. Sedentary
individuals and those eating less to lose weight may suffer malnutrition if
they eat food supplying empty calories but not enough
nutrients.^[1]^[2]Dietitians and nutritionists prevent or treat illnesses
by designing eating programs and recommending dietary modifications
according to patients' needs.^[3] Eating a variety of nutritious foods
every day protects against chronic illness and helps to maintain a healthy
immune system.^[4]

The following foods are often considered^[5]^[6]^[7]^[8] to contain mostly
empty calories and may lead to weight gain:

· Cake, cookies, sweets, candy, ice cream, soft drinks, fruit-flavored
beverages and gelatin and other foods containing added sugars (including
High-fructose corn syrup,HFCS)
· Margarine or shortening, and other fats and oils (although some
consumption of fats is essential to health)
· Beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages

Gender Age (years) Total daily calorie needs Daily limit for empty calories
by group who engage in moderate


Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empty_calorie

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