Why do experts consider calorie counting an outdated and dangerous method?

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It’s that time of year when some of us make resolutions that we intend to implement in the New Year.

Losing weight to improve your physique is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions.

To achieve this goal, we usually resort to reducing the amount of food we eat and exercising.

Since the energy in food is measured in calories (calories), many of us assume that if we count and reduce the calories we eat, we will achieve the weight loss goal we aspire to.

But is it the best way, or is it time to reconsider

Not only are some experts saying calorie counting is obsolete, but it’s also dangerous, so why?

MAhI the priceH thermalH and Man origin term?

Man eating a burger

A calorie is a unit of energy, generally used to express the nutritional value of a food.

The term comes from the Latin word “calor”, which means “heat”, and has been used for over a century.

Professor Giles Yu, professor of molecular neuroscience in endocrinology at the University of Cambridge, told the BBC: “Nicolas Clement defined a calorie as the amount of heat needed to heat a liter of water by one degree Celsius at sea ​​level”.

The French scientist Clément was the first to use the word in the lectures he gave on heat engines at the beginning of the 19th century.

The current dictionary definition of the word states that one calorie is equal to the heat energy required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius, and one kilocalorie is equal to one thousand calories.

what effect This discovery is all over the world?

Hands holding different types of food

The scientific ability to measure the calorie content of food was an important turning point.

Nick Kalathar, Professor of History and International Relations at Indiana University in Bloomington, USA, says: “Suddenly we have moved from a world where it is believed that the diet of a person is directly related to their ethnic origin, the climate in which they live, their social class, and of course whether they are male or female, and any different food system cannot be compared to another system, but from Suddenly, this comparison has become possible.

Our assumptions about food have changed dramatically. People are beginning to think of food as a sum of many components, such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, micronutrients, etc.

“The body has come to be seen as an engine whose fuel is food, which has led to a shift in people’s perception of food,” says Kalathar.

Calories even began to influence public policy in the 20th century.

During the 1920s and 1930s, the Japanese Navy established food standards for its officers similar to European food standards. Meat, especially pork and chicken, was added to the diet of sailors and its benefits were promoted to the Japanese people in general. It is claimed that the Japanese cuisine that many of us enjoy today evolved through these changes.

For decades, the United States has used the calorie counting method to determine how much food to send to countries suffering from drought, and the League of Nations, which was formed as a result of the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I established world dietary standards in 1935, which stipulate that an adult must consume 2,500 calories per day.

Now the recommended daily calories are 2,500 calories for men and 2,000 calories for women.

Why some experts say Account Calories are obsolete?

Woman sits with healthy food in thought bubbles around her

Some experts say counting calories is outdated.

Even though different foods contain the same energy value, they may not contain the same nutritional benefits. For example, a glass of milk contains approximately 184 calories, while a glass of beer of the same size contains 137 calories.

Scientist Giles Yu points out that “we don’t actually eat calories, we eat food, and then the body has to work to extract calories from it. Whether we eat a carrot, a donut or a steak, the body makes varying degrees of effort to extract calories, depending on the type of food you eat.

The data labels we see in food stores tell us how many calories the food contains, but they give no indication of how many our bodies will be able to absorb.

Yu adds, “For every 100 calories we consume as protein, the body only absorbs 70 calories. Thus, 30% of protein calories will be burned by the body while absorbing calories from this food.

“Fat contains intense energy and serves as an effective store. For every 100 calories we consume as fat, we get about 98 to 100 calories.

To put it simply: if you eat 100 calories of french fries, your body will absorb many more calories than if you eat 100 calories of carrots.

Yu says counting calories for weight loss makes no sense unless you take into account the type of food you eat. And the complexity doesn’t stop there.

The amount of energy each of us takes in from food is affected by a large number of individual variables, such as age, number of hours of sleep, number of bacteria in the intestines, hormone levels , how to chew food, etc.

During processing of processed foods, protein and fiber are removed, while fat, sugar and salt are added, making these foods high in calories but low in nutritional value.

“Calories give you quantity, but they don’t tell you about nutritional value,” Yu says. It doesn’t tell you how much fat, sugar, carbs, fiber or vitamins you have. That’s my problem with the calories. It’s a blunt tool,” he said, adding that counting calories can actually encourage unhealthy choices.

Does this imply Account Are calories dangerous?

Tape measure wrapped around a fork

“This obsession with calories is hurting people,” warns Adrienne Rose Bitar, a specialist in American food history and culture at Cornell University in New York, adding that obsessing over calories and following calorie-reduction programs calories can lead to certain problems.

Bitar says, “Unlike an alcoholic who can stop drinking, you can’t stop eating. Many eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia start with an innocent calorie counting program.

She adds that some diet programs advise people on how to tolerate dangerously low-calorie diets.

What is the alternative?

Man holding a fish and a lemon

Away from the food industry, energy is not measured in calories or calories, but rather in a unit of energy known as a joule. Some food companies give a measure of a food’s nutritional value in kilojoules.

But calories have become so entrenched in the popular imagination that even those who don’t know what they are know that overconsumption is bad for your health.

Some experts, including Bridget Benelam of the British Dietetic Association, advise us not to give up counting calories. She says that despite the drawbacks of this method, it has effective value.

“Obesity is probably the biggest health issue we face right now,” says Benelam. It is therefore important to understand the factors that lead to overweight or obesity.

For some people who want to lose weight, Benelam says counting calories can be very helpful when developing a weight loss plan.

“It’s important to understand what people eat and where those calories come from. So, for example, when we’re looking at whether people are eating too much saturated fat, we’re calculating that based on how many calories they get from saturated fat. Therefore, from a scientific point of view, it is important to measure and understand these things.

In the UK, the National Health Care Authority advises people to balance the energy the body uses and the energy it burns, and not to worry too much if they eat too much from time to time, and advises the following: “You just have to consume less energy in the following days.

This article is based themIt has two global service programs: Food Chain and The Forum.


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