Saturday, May 28, 2011

Food and Calories - Do You Really Know How Much Calories You are Consuming?

A large percentage of people in the U.S. are concerned about their present weight and have been doing all they can to address this issue. However,they do not have sufficient knowledge about food and calories. They believe they are doing everything that's right, yet they still do not have a slight clue as to the number of calories each of the major food group contains per gram. Having neither this information nor the assistance of a trained person, makes it even more difficult or rather impossible for them to calculate the total amount of calories they have been consuming each meal.

The three main food groups are Fat, Protein and Carbohydrate. Fat contain 9 calories per gram; Protein and Carbohydrate each contains 4 calories per gram. Because some people often tend to have a glass or two of alcoholic beverages during or after meal or even at some other point during the day,it is also important for them to know that each gram of alcohol contains 7 calories. Please be careful - looking at just the total grams that each group of food contains can be a bit misleading!

Calculating Calories
Total Calories
An individual eats a meal containing 140g(grams)of carbohydrate,80g of fat and 50 grams of protein. To calculate the total calories consumed from this meal, the individual may instead calculates the total grams of food consumed which is 270(i.e.140+80+50). Please note that he/she only has only accounted for the total amount of grams or weight of this meal, but have not calculated the overall amount of calories the body has obtained from this meal.

In the case above,560 (i.e.140x4)calories are from carbohydrates,720 (80x9)calories from fat,and 200 (i.e.50x4)calories from protein. This adds up to a total of 1480 calories (i.e.560+720+200). This is the correct method to manually calculate the total overall amount of calories obtained from this hypothetical meal above.

Total Percentage Calories
Using this same scenario above,the total percentage of this meal in the form of fat is(80/270x100)grams. For simplification,this is the total grams of fat divided by the total overall grams of protein,fat and carbohydrates all combined, multiply by one hundred, which is equal to

What percentage of this total gram of food is in the form of protein? (50/270x100)which is equal to 18.5%.

The percentage of carbohydrate is(140/270x100),which is equal to

As you can see the entire meal represents 100%. Fat is 29.6%; Protein is 18.5% and carbohydrate which accounts for 51.9% - is a little over half of the entire
meal.(29.6% + 18.5% + 51.9%)= 100%
When it comes to food and calories,it's important that we know the total amount of calories per gram each food item contains,and also the dietary guidelines for Americans. Without this knowledge we are faced with the risk of becoming overweight, underweight or unhealthy.