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A Calorie Is a Calorie


A Calorie Is a Calorie?

In a recent article from the Los Angeles Times called "Types of calories count," writer Eryn Brown explains how specific studies have been conducted to test the idea of whether a calorie is a calorie. It seems that, when trying to keep the weight off, a traditional low-fat diet makes the metabolism more stagnant than a high-protein one. Scientists conducted a study in which 13 men and 8 women took part in a five-year controlled feeding study. Participants followed a 12-week weight-loss regimen, then a four-week weight-stabilization plan, followed by three different diets for four weeks at a time. These diets include a low-fat diet (60% carbs, 20% fat, and 30% protein), a low glycemic index diet (40% carbs, 10% fat, and 20% protein), and a very low carbohydrate diet (10% carbs, 60% fat, and 30% protein). The subjects burned more than 300 additional calories on average when on the low-carb diet, compared to the low-fat diet.

Dr. David Ludwig - director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Children's Hospital Boston explains, "From a metabolic perspective, all calories are not alike. The quality of calories going in affects the quantity of the calories going out." I think this is a good statement to think about before putting food in your mouth. I have talked about before how the cost of food compares when trying to eat healthy. Well, the same goes for calories. Sure, your Reese's cup may have only a few more calories than a handful of roasted almonds, but the difference is in the breakdown of calories. Almonds are full of protein, which will give you energy later, whereas your Reese's is full of sugar and empty calories that will only leave you hungry again soon after. So, my suggestion to all of you is, no matter how good it may taste, think about the nutritional value chowing down! It may taste like heaven for a couple of minutes, but the calories may not be worth it an hour later.

by Cookie M., Contributor

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