Bad Calories, Good Calories – Know The Difference!
The main trick to losing weight is calorie deficit. And that can be achieved through either fitness training to expend more calories than we normally would or via proper nutrition planning.
Calories Are Not Created Equal
However, not all types of calories are created equal. For instance, 1,000 calories of broccoli and 1,000 calories of soda have different effects on our bodies. To illustrate how this works, let’s take a look at how both types of food affects our body upon consumption.
What Happens When You Consume Soda?
Once the soda enters your body, your gut quickly absorbs the fiber-free sugars in the soda such as fructose and glucose, which spikes your blood sugar, starting a domino effect of high insulin and a cascade of hormonal responses that kicks bad biochemistry into gear. The high insulin increases storage of belly fat, inflammation, raises triglycerides and lowers HDL, raises blood pressure, lowers testosterone in men and contributes to infertility in women.
Your appetite is also increased because of insulin’s effect on your brain chemistry. Insulin blocks your appetite-control hormone, known as leptin. As a result, you become leptin-resistant, so the brain never gets the “I’m full” signal. Instead, it will fool you into thinking that you’re starving. As a result, you will be craving more food and consuming more than you need. In the long run, this can lead to obesity.
Now, you can see just how easily soda can create a biochemical chaos. In addition, it contains no fiber, vitamins, minerals, or nutrients to help you process the drink you are consuming. These are “empty” calories devoid of any nutritional value.
What Happens When You Consume Broccoli?
Now, let’s look at the stark difference with broccoli.
As with soda, these calories are made up primarily of carbohydrates. High-fibre, low-sugar carbohydrates such as broccoli are slowly digested. Therefore, it doesn’t lead to blood sugar and insulin spikes. Therein lies the difference.
Slow carbs like broccoli heal rather than harm. They contain so much fiber that very few of the calories would actually get absorbed. Those that did would get absorbed very slowly and there’d be no blood sugar or insulin spike, no fatty liver and no hormonal chaos.
Your stomach would send signals to your brain telling it that you are full. You’d also get many extra benefits that optimises your metabolism, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and boost detoxification.
Research & Case Studies
If you’re still unsure, maybe this study will convince you otherwise. In a study of 154 countries that looked at the correlation of calories, sugar, and diabetes; scientists found that adding 150 calories a day to the diet barely raised the risk of diabetes in the population. However, if the 150 calories came from soda, the risk of diabetes went up by 700 percent.
Focus On Macro-nutrients Rather Than Just Calorie Count
Note that there are calories that are addictive, others healing, some fattening and some metabolism-boosting. Therefore, the bottom line is, instead of just focusing on calories, eat your daily meal according to macro-nutrients.
Learn how the right balance of three major macro-nutrients such as Carbohydrates, Protein and Fats are able to help achieve your daily needs. After all, we are human-beings. We love and enjoy food. It is okay to have cheat days once in a while if it helps, because the ultimate goal is to ensure you are able to keep to sustainable meal plans in the long run.
*This article first appeared at blog.grindz.com.my. This is an edited and re-published version.
I underwent Lasik surgery in Malaysia and I was able to attend follow-up consultations because I currently live in New Zealand. However, upon returning to New Zealand, I managed to consult my doctor through TeleMe’s online video consultation platform and it went smoothly. I highly recommend TeleMe’s service to everyone !Jenny Cheng
Get help from one of these specialists about your weight and nutrition queries:
Mr. Jeffrey Lee
Dietician and Nutritionist
Mr. Jason Lee
Weight Management Specialist