You’ve probably heard about empty calories and how you should be avoiding them, but what are they anyway? How can a calorie be empty? They are energy after all, right? Well, that’s the thing; they do provide energy, but not much else, which doesn’t make them the best choice for a healthy and nutritious diet.
Everything we eat contains nutrition and calories, but sometimes things can be skewed towards one more than the other. For a healthy diet, it’s important to favor those foods that have more nutrition, rather than those high in calories. Foods that have more nutrients provide more of the goodness our bodies need to function well, rather than just giving energy, which eventually runs out.
If you’re just eating high energy foods, you may end up putting on weight as the excess energy you don’t use gets stored as fat. On the flipside, eating nutritious foods actually helps you to control your weight as well as increasing overall wellbeing.
Examples of empty foods
As a broad rule of thumb, the more processed a food is, the less quality nutrition you are likely to get when compared to raw, natural alternatives. These foods typically have added fats, salts and sugars and include things like potato chips, cookies, candy, soda, pastries and so on. Then there’s alcohol – beer, wines and spirits are notorious for the empty calories they have!
The thing is, these foods are usually cheaper and more readily available than their nutritious counterparts, but don’t let that make your standards slip. Going a little further, or paying a little bit more can make all the difference to the way you look and feel.
Natural, nutritious foods are the way to go!
It’s a no brainer! Foods such as vegetables, fruits and plant-based proteins are really good for you, and taste brilliant as well. They are lower in calories and provide a whole bunch of important vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A through to E, calcium, protein, potassium, iron, fibre and zinc. Not only do these help your body function but will also help keep you feeling fantastic and fuller for longer.
At the end of the day, we need calories – of course we do! It keeps us going! However, it’s the type of calorie that you eat which is the important part. Don’t have empties, instead opt for calories bursting with great natural nutrition instead!