Calories have a bad reputation when it comes to weight loss. But, calories are actually an important source of fuel that your body can’t live without.
“Your body needs calories for energy,” says Kimberly Lummus, MS, RD. “Calories are the force behind everything we do, including eating, sleeping, and breathing.”
But do you know how calories work, and how many you really need?
Here are five facts about calories…
Calories equal energy. Calories are how much energy your body gets from the food and beverages that it consumes. Most food sources are composed of some combination of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and each of these nutrients contains calories.
There’s no such thing as a “bad” calorie. Your body processes each calorie the same. But Lummus adds that some foods are far more nutritious than others, so you should try to limit “empty” calories, such as those in soda. “We should strive to make our calories the most nutrient-dense that we can, meaning that we are packing in a lot of nutrition,” says Lummus.