A well-devised nutritional plan not only includes choosing the right food items in your platter but also includes considering the number of calories you consume and when you consume it. Knowing the source of your calories is also an essential part of optimal nutritional habits.
But before we learn the crucial role of calories in our nutrition, let us understand the basics of it…
What is a calorie?
A calorie is an energy unit and calories in nutrition refer to the energy humans acquire through food and drink, as well as the energy they expend during physical activity.
The average man requires 2,700 calories per day, while the average woman requires 2,200 calories per day. Not everyone requires the same amount of calories per day. People's metabolisms consume energy at varying rates, and some people lead more active lives than others.
The daily calorie intake that is suggested is determined by several factors, including:
- Overall health
- Physical activity
The Major Components of your calories:
The source from which the calories are acquired is just as significant as the calories themselves. Knowing the nutrients in the calories you consume will undoubtedly help you achieve long-term health. Carbohydrates, protein, and fats are the three main types of nutrients you consume the most and which give you the majority of your energy.
Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is the body's primary energy source and there are two main types of carbs.
Simple carbs are simple to convert down into energy or glucose by your body. Complex carbohydrates take longer to break down in your body. They're made up of long strands of sugar molecules that have been strung together and have a savory flavor.
Protein helps your body grow, mend, and maintain lean body mass by allowing it to grow, create, and repair tissues (your muscle mass). Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of the molecule.
Non-essential and essential amino acids are the two categories of amino acids. Non-essential amino acids do not need to be consumed in the diet because your body can produce them. Essential amino acids are acquired through diet. Essential amino acids can be consumed and be converted into non-essential amino acids in specific instances.
Fat aids in the storage of energy, the cushioning of organs, the production of certain hormones, the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and the integrity of cell membranes. Trans fat, saturated fat, and unsaturated fat are the three forms of fat.
Most trans-fat is created by hydrogenating or adding hydrogen molecules to unsaturated fats, and so it should be avoided in the diet.
Saturated fat is caused by double bonds in the hydrogen molecule. It has been shown to raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease when consumed in significant amounts.
Unsaturated fat contains at least one double bond, which causes the molecule to bend. Because they are more difficult to stack, they are frequently found in a liquid state at room temperature.
The calorific values of the three most important nutrients in the diet are:
4 kcal- 1 g of carbohydrates contains
4 kcal- 1 g of protein contains
9 kcal- 1 g of fat contains
A large raw egg, for example, provides the following nutrients and calories:
1) 23.11 g Fat; 207.99 kcal = 23.11 g x 9 kcal
2) 30.52 g Protein; 122.08 kcal = 30.52 x 4 kcal
3) 1.75 g carbohydrate; 7 kcal = 1.75 x 4 kcal
A raw egg has 347 calories in total. Fat gives 208 kcal, protein offers 122 kcal, and carbohydrates provide 7 kcal.
Balancing the ‘‘Big 3’’ Macros:
The Big 3 macronutrients, when consumed in the appropriate proportions, can help you lose weight, enhance your health, and feel better overall. They are required in greater quantities than other nutrients hence they are named "Macros".
How hungry or full you feel, your metabolic rate, cognitive activity, and hormonal response can all be impacted by the food we consume and its macronutrient composition. While 100 calories of broccoli and 100 calories of doughnuts both contain the same amount of energy, they have a very distinct impact on the body and dietary choices.
The USDA recommends the following proportion of macronutrients:
Carbohydrate: 45-65% of the diet.
Protein: 10-35% of the diet.
Fat: 20-35% of the diet.
*Please note that the above macronutrient intake is a general USDA recommendation and the macronutrient intake for each individual is different based on factors like gender, age, bodyweight, and, etc.
To sum it up
A conscious effort in planning your meals and what goes into them will allow you to reap the maximum nutritional benefit. You can also follow a healthy cycle for eating your well-planned meals which is also a crucial part of the nutrition game plan but more of that in the upcoming blogs.
We hope this piece of information gives you enough value for adapting good nutritional habits. We would also appreciate it if you could visit our Facebook page as we have more valuable content & exciting offers to share.
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