Diet

Calories Infographic: An Introduction

Calories Infographic

This calories infographic gives a simple introduction to calories, macronutrients, and the importance of both.

Full Calories Infographic Below


Calories Infographic: an introduction to calories

Use the free calorie calculator or learn more in this article Calorie Calculator: Find Your Caloric Needs

Calorie Infographic Section: What are Calories?

Calories (or kilocalories) are the measurement of the energy that our bodies use for fuel. They power all of our bodies processes from sleeping to running. Our bodies burn calories constantly so we constantly need to replenish them to live and function.

“Our brains, our muscles — every cell in our body — require energy to function in its optimal state,” said Jennifer McDaniel, a registered nutritionist dietitian in Clayton, Missouri, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “So for one, we want to nourish our body right and our brain right. If we don’t get enough of those nutrients [that calories provide], there are negative consequences, whether its losing lean muscle mass, not being able to concentrate or not having the energy we need on a day-to-day basis.”

The amount of calories in food tells us the amount of energy that food will provide our body. They come from macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Calorie Infographic Section: Macronutrients

Carbohydrates

There are 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate consumed. Carbs are the main source of fuel for the body and they are readily used for energy. They are important for central nervous system, kidney, muscle, and intestinal health. Good sources of carbs are grains, fruits, milk, and yogurt.

Protein

Like carbs, there are 4 calories per gram of protein consumed. Protein is used for growth, tissue repair, immune function, preserving lean muscle, and producing hormones and enzymes. When carbs are not available, protein will also be used as an energy source for the body. Good sources of protein are animal products, nuts, and legumes.

Learn more about complete and incomplete protein here.

Fats

As the highest energy source macronutrient, fats contain 9 calories per gram. Fats are used for cell, nerve tissue, and hormone production as well as the absorption of fat soluble vitamins. They are the most concentrated form of energy. Good sources of healthy fats are olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish like salmon.

Determine Your Daily Caloric Needs

The formula for determining your daily caloric needs can be found on the calories infographic or on the calorie calculator page.

Feel free to use this infographic for your own purposes and give credit to Doug Grows! I hope you found it useful!

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