A calorie is a measurement of energy, therefore it makes sense that we need to balance energy in, which is food and drink with energy out which is activity/exercise. This is a fact, however, it has become a dangerous rule. The reason being this is simple and most people understand it. The complication comes because different types of foods are processed in the body in very different ways.
So why is the energy balance rule a dangerous tool?
Let’s say you had a choice of eating a packet of sweets totalling 300 calories or the alternative of a wholemeal wrap with hummus and salad also containing 300 calories.
Sweet effects on your body…
A sugary snack or drink causes a spike in your blood sugar. The high insulin level leads to a surge of hormones, increasing inflammation, fat storage (tummy) and high blood pressure. All these effects also cause you to lose the ability to feel full, appetite to increase and quite soon leaving you wanting more sugar.
Then you have the effects of fructose, as it goes straight to the liver to be metabolised (as does alcohol). It is then converted to fat (hence the fat around the middle and the rise in fatty liver disease). Add to this, that most of these products contain no fibre or nutrients to help the body. This is why many experts call them anti-nutrients,
The problem is that if you consume a high amount of anti-nutrients, eating a beautiful piece of fruit will not appeal it will seem bland and boring. The unnatural sweetness has further effects on the taste buds – although you can certainly reverse these by making changes.
The healthy effects…
Here you have a range of different nutrients, vitamins and minerals that will benefit your body, prevent illness, contribute to healthy skin, antioxidation (anti ageing). Also the more fibre a food contains, the fewer calories used or those that are, are slowly absorbed. Very little insulin spike would take place and a full tummy feeling is triggered from brain signals.
Consuming vegetables reduce inflammation in the body and will support the liver and other organs in the body.
Hopefully, I have explained simply why a calorie from one food is not the same as another as far as our bodies are concerned. If you have any questions, or I can help in any way please get in touch.
lots of love and health,