Nutrition Myths


There are two definitions of the calorie: (1, 2, 3, 4)

Nutritional definition: a calorie is a unit of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1°C (33.8°F). It is referred as large Calorie with capital C (Cal), or kilocalorie (kcal). One Cal is equal to 4.184 kilojoules. This website refers to the nutritional definition of calories. Calories (energy) from food are used for growth, development and functioning of our bodies.
Chemical definition: a calorie is a unit of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1°C (33.8°F) at a pressure of 1 atmosphere. It is also referred to as small calorie (cal).
The relationship between the two definitions is: 4.184 kilojoules = 4,184 joules = 1 Calorie = 1 kilocalorie = 1,000 calories

By adding up the amounts of energy producing components (carbohydrate, protein, fat and alcohol) it is possible to measure the energy in food.

The following table presents the energy per gram of various food components. (5, 3)

Energy componentsCalkJSpecial notes
Alcohol729Energy-dense. Alcohol is not really a nutrient as it is not essential for survival. However, it is a substance required for calculating energy.
Carbohydrates (Net)416Total carbohydrates – Dietary Fiber.
Protein417Relatively inefficient source of energy and is better utilized for growth and support of body functions.
Dietary fiber28The most accurate figure due to the latest research. (read more..)

Related Posts

How many calories are in fiber? Scientists have shown that an accurate measure for dietary fiber is 2 calories per gram of energy. This was adopted by most countries as a standard, except the U.S that still assigns 4 calories per gram of energy.
Obesity in adults – Global Statistics In 2014, 39% of the global population were considered overweight and 13% obese. Of the developed countries, United States had the highest percentages and Japan the lowest.
Does fiber help you lose weight? A high fiber diet contributes to weight loss by: replacing high energy foods; increasing satiety through chewing; creating a bulk with water; slowing down the absorption of nutrients, fat and carbohydrate and reducing in...
Does skipping breakfast help you lose weight? Skipping breakfast will make you crave high calorie food and throughout the day you will compensate for it by choosing food that will most likely contribute to insulin resistance and therefore weight gain.
Does green coffee bean extract help in weight loss? There is no sufficient evidence showing that green coffee bean extract has weight loss effects. Most studies were sponsored by the companies producing it and therefore are biased.

Get updates

Receive regular updates on nutrition myths, facts and curiosities. All based on the latest scientific evidence.