Identifying empty calories

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At some point or the other, you all must have been advised not to binge on empty calories. Packaged foods found in grocery stores are full of empty calories which means that such foods have a negligible amount of nutritional value but a high content of added or artificial sugar.

‘Empty’ literally means ‘containing nothing.’ These foods fill your body majorly with added sugars and solid fats (fats that remain solid even at room temperature; for instance, butter) and as a result, when consumed in excess, these empty calories contribute to unhealthy weight gain. This is especially true if you’re not burning enough calories through engaging in physical activities.

We tend to add up on a lot of empty calories from consumption of syrups which are added to processed foods. Such ingredients are added to foods to make them taste better, but they do not provide your body anything to thrive.

Moreover, eating too many calories lead to an increased craving for something sweet. In other words, foods high in calories have nothing to offer your body beyond calories that only create increased waistlines.

TYPES OF EMPTY CALORIES

Aerated Drinks

 

Every time you drink soda, soft drink or energy drink, you might get the pleasure for a while, but did you ever keep a track of the artificial sweeteners in such beverages? Consuming a lot of sugar content can result in numerous lifestyle disorders.

Solid Fats

 

Solid fats like beef fat, butter, cream, stick margarine, hydrogenated oils, are laden with an excess amount of added sugars with zero nutritional value. That’s why calories found in solid fats are often called ’empty calories’. These solid fats remain solid at room temperature

Sweetening Syrups

Are artificial sweeteners or syrups like maple syrup, agave nectar or high-fructose corn syrup healthier than table sugar? Well, they’re not. Moreover, table sugar is not healthy for your body as it is just to have nothing more than empty calories.’

Desserts

Empty-calorie foods including desserts like cake, fruit jam, candy bars, pastries, pies, ice-creams, muffins, and sweets are examples of extremely processed foods which contain added sugar and fat. You might find that avoiding these foods is hard, but they pose the potential threat to your health in several ways.

How Do These Empty Calories Affect Your Body?

Calories (Kcal) – is a unit to measure the amount of heat generated from the food after consumption. This heat fuels your body and aids in its proper functioning. It’s important to know that the daily calorie requirement differs from individual to individual depending upon age, sex, and physical activity level. More calories will be required if you lead a more active lifestyle than those who are less physically active because your body needs more energy to perform daily tasks. However, the bottom line is to fulfill your calorific needs from foods that are nutrient-dense.

Foods with empty calories can add to your overall calorie intake with negligible nutritional values. When aiming for weight gain, it’s common to see people attempt to drastically increase their daily calorie intake for faster results. And while it is necessary to increase calorie intake for weight gain, binging on empty calories will increase your cravings for sweets, making you overeat, thus leading to an insulin crash in your body. Once your body reaches the insulin crash mode, your metabolism starts burning more calories in an attempt to make you eat, preventing you from healthy weight gain. This, in turn, leads to unnecessary abdominal weight gain and multiple lifestyle issues like diabetes.

So, the next time when you have coffee, hold back on the amount of sugar. Another major contributor to empty calories after sugar syrups is added sugar. Generally, added sugar has a lower nutritional value than other calorie sources. Numerous companies add sugar to the foods to make their food products taste sweeter and make them more palatable. While these sweet foods are more enjoyable to eat, they give nothing to your body except empty calories. So, think again when you purchase something for your family and try to sincerely take up the health-conscious decision to avoid empty calories