Simply put, empty calories are derived from foods or drinks that appear to have no or very little nutritional value. Learning how to identify empty calories can help one make healthier food choices. Educating young people about the importance of limiting empty calories will help them live healthier lives in the future. It can also help them maintain their energy levels and reduce mood swings. Choosing to avoid or minimize empty calories is a basic step towards a better diet and lifestyle.
What is Empty Calories?
Foods with a high calorie content but minimal nutritional value contain empty calories. Processed meals and foods high in sugar are often thought of as ’empty calories’. This means that the body can use the food for energy, but only gets a fraction of the nutrients and minerals it needs to be strong and healthy. remaining calories are stored as fat.
Highly processed or refined meals are the most typical sources of empty calories. These meals often contain a lot of fat and sugar or other carbohydrates. Most quick meals, packaged snacks, and sweets such as desserts, cookies, ice cream, and candy are included. Sugar, solid fat and alcohol are the three most common types of empty calories.
Why are empty calories considered bad?
Eating too much of any kind of food can be bad over time, but eating too much without health benefits can have consequences. Couple that with the fact that empty calories, especially sweets, are processed quickly by your body, so you don’t feel full for long.
They can easily build up and push someone over their daily calorie limit. Excessive consumption of solid fat and added sugars in your diet can contribute to weight gain and other negative health effects. Overconsumption of empty calories can also cause blood sugar spikes and inflammatory problems, which can escalate to chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
How do you get the most out of your calories?
Choose foods that are rich in nutrients. Aim for foods rich in the following nutrients:
- Fiber: It is present in beans and peas. It can also be found in fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole grains.
- potassium: It is found in potatoes, bananas and a variety of other fruits, vegetables and dairy products.
- Calcium: It is found in milk and milk products (including yogurt and cheese). It can also be found in various leafy vegetables (leaf greens, broccoli, kale), beans, and peas, as well as some nuts.
- Vit-D: It can be found in egg yolks, saltwater fish and dairy products fortified with vitamin D.
- Magnesium: Nuts, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, shellfish and chocolate are all good sources.
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