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In referring to the energy content of foods it is customary to use the “large calorie,” which is equal to 1 kilocalorie (kcal). Every bodily process, including the building up of cells, motion of the muscles, and the maintenance of body temperature, requires energy, which the body derives from the food it consumes. Digestive processes reduce food to usable “fuel,” which the body “burns” in the complex chemical reactions that sustain life. The amount of energy required for these chemical processes varies. Factors such as weight, age, activity, and metabolic rate determine a person's daily calorie requirement. Nutrition experts have computed daily calorie requirements in terms of age and other factors. These tabulations serve only as guides; they cannot, of course, embrace all individual variations.
From its daily intake of energy foods, the body uses only the amount it needs for energy purposes. The remainder is stored as fat. If the average adult consumes more calories than the daily requirement, he or she will gain weight. However, if consumption is less than recommended daily requirements, the body will supplement its energy sources by drawing upon stores of fat and the person will lose weight.
cal·o·rie(kal'ō-rē), As used in nutrition and dietetics, this word ordinarily means kilogram calorie (kilocalorie).
See also: British thermal unit.
Nutrition Food calories equal to 1,000 calories—i.e., 1 food calorie = 1 kilocalorie
calorieChemistry A unit of measurement defined as 4.184 absolute joules–the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water from 15º to 16ºC Nutrition Food calories equal to 1,000 calories–ie, 1 food calorie = 1 kilocalorie. See Empty calorie, Exchange list, Meal plan.
See also: British thermal unit
calorieThe amount of heat needed to raise 1 g of water by 1 C. For nutritional purposes the Calorie (or kilocalorie) is the amount of heat needed to raise 1000 grams of water by 1 C. The modern unit is the joule. 1 calorie is a little over 4 joules.
caloriethe heat required to raise 1 g (1 cm3) of water through 1 °C (i.e. from 14.5 °C to 15.5 °C). A Calorie (with a capital C) is used sometimes to denote a kilocalorie. The calorie was formerly used as a unit of energy content or output, but is now largely superseded by the SI unit joule (4.19 J = 1 cal).
cal·o·rie(kal'ŏr-ē) As used in nutrition and dietetics, this word ordinarily means kilogram calorie (kilocalorie).
Patient discussion about calorie
Q. In which sports do you burn the most calories? I heard that in a spinning session you can burn up to 1000 calories and that Bikram yoga is also very good for burning lots of calories. Do you know of other sports?
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Q. Low calorie desserts - any suggestions? I’m having my in-laws for a dinner next week, and since my husband has started a diet lately I’m looking for a low-calorie desserts to end the low-fat meal I’m preparing. Any idea?
Q. Is it true that alcohol has lots of calories? if so, then how can it be that people who are alcoholics are not all very fat?