"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

All calories are not created equal

Lisa Cutforth - Monday, June 17, 2013

Many of my clients have heard me arc up at "low calorie diets".  Here's why.

All calories are not created equal and a calorie does not give reference to the nutritional value of a food other than how much energy it "yields" in a laboratory, nor does it tell us how the body will use it. 

Just because two meals have the same amount of calories does not mean:

- They will fill you up equally

- They will satisfy you in the same way

- They will meet the same needs (nutrition, satiety or other)

- They are equally healthy

- They will be as effective at helping you lose or control your weight

- Or that they will be broken down, used or stored in the same way by the body.

The body deals with different foods differently, and an emphasis on nutrient dense (or high nutrient) (and probably "whole food") is more important than an emphasis on "low calorie", for health AND FOR WEIGHT LOSS.

A study done on two groups of people found that the people who ate more junk food, had lower nutrient levels in their blood despite eating more actual food and more calories than the other group.  So they had bigger appetites, ate more food and were less nourished than the group who ate healthier food (and were satisfied eating less).

Another study by Harvard confirmed that weight loss is not just about the amount of calories we consume but also about the type of food the calories come from:

"In a 2012 Harvard study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 21 over- weight and obese young adults tried three different test diets—a low-fat diet, a very low-carb/high-protein diet, and a low-glycemic index diet—for four weeks at a time.

Each diet consisted of the same number of calories but differed in their protein, fat, and carbohy- drate content. In the low-glycemic index diet, participants ate carbohydrates that are digested and broken down slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels (e.g. low-processed foods such as fiber-rich whole grains, nuts, or beans).

The result? Researchers found that the low-glycemic index diet actually speeds up metabolism and helps burn calories, making you lose weight faster, suggesting that all calories are not equal.

According to to an author of the study, David Ludwig, M.D., a professor in nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, “from a metabolic perspective, all calories are not alike, [and] the quality of the calories going in affects the number of calories going out.”

In other words,"Low Calorie" on it's own is not where the "magic" is. "Low calorie diet" can be ambiguous and misleading.  Calorie restriction is an effective weight control method (and in fact can also increase longevity), when done in the context of good nutrition principles. Calorie restriction should not be done ignorantly or at the expense of good nutrition, or it can actually compromise health and sabotage weight loss.

Source: Healthy Solutions to Lose Weight and Keep It Off, http://www.health.harvard.edu/

 


Recent Posts


Tags

music performance have fun in the kitchen Alan Pease life choices recipes for allergies sugar and add fruit and vegetable shortage recipe mobile phones and brain cancer, Dr Teo I've Got Life herbal toothpaste Lisa's Diary fruit life lessons diet diary of a nutritionist benefits to keeping a diet diary weight nutritious cooking sexy salads homocysteine cheap fruit and vegetables, what's in season in autumn in australia healthy cooking demonstration allergies skip meals relationship with food new year's resolutions reducing coffee weight loss nutritionist in brisbane immune system great second hand books increasing energy natural alternatives to drugs how to get more of exercise drugfree alternatives breast cancer awareness ways to improve prostate health heart foundation tick explained the power to choose low calorie meal plan making time to relax taking a break addicted to chocolate make stress work for you weightloss what is a good breakfast quick eating solutions are frozen veggies any good nutritionist comfort eating health one step at a time dance soft drink and behaviour problems salad seasonal quick and tasty recipes detox memory health with 10 % effort image life best exercise healthy cooking parties four questions you must ask your doctor before taking medication what is movember fresh start fresh Add new tag sugar and adhd empty your mind fatigue muffins high cholesterol is chocolate bad for me recipies natural toothpaste fussy eaters Cancer alzheimers which is better for you butter or margarine Egg allergy quick recipes do i have to drink milk; where do i get calcium from; non dairy calcium sources hunger and stress getting fit sensitivity to milk reasons to eat foods in season healthy fast food, healthy take away healthy cooking party is sugar bad benefits of strength training, why you should strength train obesity how to check your breasts maintain a healthy weight, underweight should I eat organic veggies corporate wellness quizz comfort foods sexy salad love food delicious avoiding a choice energy what is healthy food healthy wine, healthy beer, healthy alcohol options soccer, role of team sports in longevity, role of exercise and community in longevity christmas assertiveness Lactose intolerance stress, keys to managing stress, benefits of stress healthy shopping list Nina Simone diet diary health for busy people childrens lunch boxes to know and not do is not yet to know go for 2 and 5 food allergies happiness course support your body Laughter and stress celebrate life 10 % principle leaky gut, gut health, symptoms of leaky gut food sensitivities have more energy taking responsibility comfort pig calorie controlled diet mood strength breakfast control blood pressure pop-eye and spinach ask my doctor success and you nutritionists diet diary how to be happy 7 steps to detox keep focused health pioneers healthy shopping 7 Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol and Protect Your Heart cooking class in brisbane lunch foods in season, seasonal recipes sustainable living, rural development, organic gardening, rampumps, biogas prostate cancer are grains healthy breast cancer prevention wrong type of exercise, exercise and results low cholesterol Nutritional Therapist dancing how to avoid doing the right thing and getting the wrong results motivation Happiness time management and healthy living cooking with allergies gluten intolerance nutritious simple 7 day detox plan gift relax indigestion how to say no nutrition feels good cholesterol lowering diet soft drink and behavior problems focus happiness workshop fun breast cancer awareness video hot guys anxiety fun overindulge how to avoid injury during exercise skipping meals ability to respond low calorie diet muscle wasting organic vegetables brain health immune boosting tips how to love exercise I don't get hungry benefits of sleeping food intolerances Sensational Dr Randy Pausch on Oprah heart disease trans fats health libido dangers of multitasking while you eat love, loneliness the tummy beast real food improve your memory

Archive