Good or Bad , what are Empty Calories?
Foods that contain Solid fats and added sugars add calories but few or no nutrients are called empty calories. Solid fats are fats which are solid at room temperature, like butter, animal fat, and Some solid fats which are found naturally in foods are processed or added .Some solid fats and added sugars makes the food more tasty. The foods and beverages that provide the emptiest calories are Cakes, cookies, pastries, Sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and artificial fruit drinks, Cheese, pizza and ice cream. These foods and beverages contain lot of empty calories, but many of them are found in forms with less or no solid fat or added sugars.
A small amount of empty calories is little better, but most people eat far more than is healthy so for them It is important to limit empty calories to the amount that fits your calorie and nutrient needs. Intake of empty calories can be lowered by changing eating habits.
Fruits, vegetables and dairy products are great sources of carbohydrates. Some simple carbohydrate foods provide very little nutrition to the body, and these are known as empty carbs. Foods made from corn syrup, honey, sugar and molasses which are used to produce Ethanol or alcoholic drinks such as Beer, wine, and other spirits may be simple carbohydrates, but add extra calories with a low amount of nutrients.
Foods such as sweets, sodas and other sweetened beverages contains high amount of sugar and do not provide other nutrients like fiber or protein which helps in slow sugar absorption. Too much sugar intake can increase risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and possibly other chronic diseases
Whole grains or fruits are rich source of carbohydrates or sugar still not considered empty calorie foods since they also contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The fiber in fruits helps delay the sugar absorption from the intestinal tract which helps control blood sugar. However, foods like candy, soda, energy drinks, sweetened juices or processed baked goods do not have fiber in them. Therefore, the sugar in these foods gets absorbed all at once from the intestinal tract.
Fruits and grains have antioxidants in them which can help lower inflammation in the body. Empty calorie foods do not have antioxidant properties this could actually increase inflammation in the body. Increased inflammation can increase risk for developing chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease or certain cancers. Empty calorie foods can be high in saturated and trans fats, which are considered “unhealthy” fats. So maximum try to avoid foods which are of empty calorie which doesn’t give you a proper balanced and nutritious diet.
The food items with empty calories in them therefore should be consumed sparingly. The list follows as:
- Soda – 100% empty calories
- Fruit drinks – 100% empty calories
- Beer – 100% empty calories
- Whisky and other spirits -100%
- Cheddar cheese – 68% empty calories
- Pizza- 80% empty calories
- Bakery products such as Khari, toast and hard bun : 50% to 75%
- Frozen yogurt – 55% empty calories
- Ice cream – 80% empty calories
- Fried chicken – 70% empty calories
- Chocolate chip cookies – 75% empty calories
- Chocolate cake – 80% empty calories
- Fruit flavored low-fat yogurt – 50% empty calories
- Butter – 92% empty calories
- Margarine – 89% empty calories
- Cream cheese – 90% empty calories
- Glazed doughnut – 68% empty calories