"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

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

Archive