Nutrition: Are All Calories The Same?

Hi Everyone,
I wanted to continue on today talking about Nutrition in the  Simplest Form. Basically, there are six essential nutrients that the human   body requires to keep it nourished and healthy. These include Protein,   Carbohydrates, Fats, Vitamins, Minerals and Walter. The term “essential” is   used to describe these nutrients because they must be provided to the body in   order to sustain life and to prevent a deficient or diseased state. Of the   six nutrients listed, only three provide energy to the body, while the other   three help to release energy inside the cells. Typically, these two   categories of essential nutrients are referred to as the Macro-Nutrients (energy   providing nutrients needed by the body in larger amounts)and Micro-Nutrients (energy   releasing nutrients needed by the body in smaller amounts).

 The Macro-Nutrients, when metabolized provide energy and   heat, which are used to support all of the metabolic functions (heart   beat, digestion, muscle contraction, concentration and comprehension) of   the body and mind. The fuel potential of the energy nutrients is expressed   in calories Just as a meter is a measure of distance, a calorie   is a measure of energy and is defined as the amount of heat needed to raise   one milliliter of water one degree centigrade. Therefore foods that are high   in calories (dried fruits and nuts) are also high in energy, whereas foods   that are low in calories (strawberries, melons and vegetables) are low in   energy as well. Perhaps this is one reason why people who eat low-calorie   foods to lose weight have little to no energy to exercise in the course of   their day.

 You might wonder where calories are derived from. If you look   at this question from the standpoint that a calorie is defined as the total   amount of heat energy needed to raise one milliliter of water one degree   Celsius, then YES all calories when oxidized yield the same amount of heat   energy. Perhaps the question should be “are all calorie sources the   same?”

 Take for example the two individuals illustrated below. Each   individual has a recommended calorie intake of 520 calories per meal and both   eat the exact same foods within the meal. The difference however, is that   they each eat varying amounts of the food items listed and as a result end up   producing a very different endocrinological response. In other words, the   regulatory effect associated with the different amount and types of food   eaten can have a favorable or unfavorable influence on the metabolic process   and can last for three to six hours after a meal.

 Individual #1 (500 Calories per meal)

 6 oz Chicken breast: 186

7 oz Yams: 210

1 Tbs Peanut butter: 100

3 oz Broccoli 24

 Total: 520 


 Individual #1 (500 Calories per meal)

 8 oz Chicken breast: 248

2oz Yams: 60

2 Tbs Peanut butter: 200

1.5 oz Broccoli 12

 Total: 520 

 Now lets assume that the same two individuals perform   cardiovascular exercise for thirty minutes later that evening. As illustrated   below, Individual #1 exercises within his/her target heart rate while   Individual #2 exercises above his/her target heart rate. Although Individual   #2 likely burned more total calories than Individual #1 at the end of the   thirty minute session, they both theoretically burned the same amount of fat   calories.

 Some would argue that exercising at an intensity that is above   the recommended training sensitive zone (for fat burning) is more beneficial   because a higher number of calories are burned at the end of an equivalent   exercise duration. This is perhaps true, however, exercising at high   intensity, although may burn more calories, will more than likely train the   body to become more efficient at burning sugar than fat and may very well   promote hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) symptoms that can ensue for up to   twelve hours after the exercise session has ended. That is one of the reasons   I always recommend wearing a heart rate monitor when exercising.


Individual #1

Calories Burned: 1000

Fat Burned: 60% @600/cal

Sugar Burned: 40% @400/cal

 Individual #2

Calories Burned: 1500

Fat Burned: 40% @ 600/cal

Sugar Burned: 60% @900/cal

 For your own Individualized Nutrition and Exercise Program,   please visit us at

In good health,

William Smith, AKA Thunder of the American Gladiators


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