Calorie: Basics ought to be known

Calorie is a unit of energy. It applies to anything that possesses energy. For example one ton of coal contains an equivalent energy of 7,004,684,512 calories. While talking in terms of food and drinks, calories refer to the energy stored in the food/drink we eat in the form of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Energy gives our body the ability to do work. Without calories our body cells and the organs would not function.

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Consumption of food depends on one’s general health, physical activity requirements, height and weight. Our body needs calories for energy but at the same time intake of too many calories without much work to do would result in weight gain. One must not be always bothered about the amount of calories they consume but make sure to have a balanced diet at proper intervals. When we eat is as equally important as what we eat.

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One gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories, one gram of protein contains 4 calories and one gram of fat contains 9 calories. So how do these calories help generate energy? Our bodies burn these calories through metabolic processes. The enzymes break the carbohydrates into glucose and other sugars.  The fats are broken down into glycerol and fatty acids while the proteins get broken down into amino acids. These molecules are then transported through the bloodstream to the cells, where they are either absorbed for immediate use or sent on to the final stage of metabolism in which they are reacted with oxygen to release their stored energy. When we consume food with little or no nutritional value, they possess empty calories.

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When we take in more calories than necessary, it starts to accumulate as body fat. Good physical activities would help your body use up your unnecessary excess fat. Instead of calculating how many calories get added to your diet during every meal, one must make sure to have a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals and stay physically active. This would take care of the excess calorie if any in your body and keep you fit.

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