"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

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

Archive