Get the 411 on empty calories and how you can avoid them!
By: Betsy Stevens NCCPT | Click here to find me on Facebook
What are empty calories?
A common question I get from people interested in weight loss is, “What does it mean when someone says that a food has a lot of empty calories?” Below I have answered that question and a few others in specific detail so that you can be as informed as possible when it comes to empty calories. Take a look!
Empty calories are consumables that can be in either a solid or liquid form and provide nothing positive calorie wise for the body. MyPlate.gov defines empty calories as: “The calories from solid fats and added sugars in foods and beverages.” They are in most of the foods that we find at gas stations, bakeries and fast food joints.
What foods/drinks contain them?
Foods that didn’t come directly from nature’s grocery store are the ones you can go ahead and consider to be empty calorie suppliers. Pastries, potato chips, doughnuts, sodas, bagels, popcorn, French fries and specialty coffee drinks are just some of the “foods” that can be grouped into the empty calorie family. They are also the most commonly consumed.
Will they hurt or benefit me?
Technically, it depends on how you want to look at it. No you won’t fall down dead the minute you put a calorically empty food in your mouth. But, in the long run you definitely stand a greater chance of doing just that. These empty calorie foods are filled with preservatives, artificial sugars and other high risk additives. These “bonus” additions to empty calorie foods have the potential to lead you down the path of heart disease, stroke, brain aneurisms, and autistic symptoms for your unborn children and much, much more. They also will lead you to feel as if you are constantly hungry because they contain chemicals that trick your brain into never feeling satisfied. Therefore, you are constantly eating and never feel full.
As you can see, there isn’t much bragging that can be done for the empty calorie foods. They don’t give us sustainable energy, they aren’t going to help us lose weight and they won’t satisfy us. Do yourself a favor and stick to the foods that have been provided to you straight from the earth itself. Your brain, your body and your family will thank you for it- I promise!
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