Many people have a difficult time defining what a calorie is, yet we all seem to be terrified of eating “too many” calories. A combination of media frenzy and food advertisements about “low calorie” meals and snacks, has left many consumers extremely confused. Even if the calorie count is listed on food labels and on menus in restaurants, the average American is not educated on how many calories they are supposed to consume in the first place. In fact, most American’s cannot even define what a calorie is or why it is important.
MORE importantly than the calorie count is the nutrient content of the foods that we are consuming. Even if you are buying the “100 calorie snack pack” for your children’s lunch, that is 100 calories of unhealthy nutrients. Those 100 calories could be full of vitamins and minerals that contribute to their health. To avoid getting caught in the marketing schemes of the food industry and the media, it is up to you to educate yourself about the basics of nutrition.
Unfortunately our country does not require basic nutrition/ health education in schools. As a result, it is the responsibility of each individual consumer to become educated on this subject that strongly affects our health. Do you know how many calories you are supposed to be consuming for a meal? How about a snack? These answers will be based on your body type, age, sex and energy output.
Here is a link to a great article that describes what a calorie is. Remember, don’t get too caught up in the calorie counting. Its about the nutrient content AND your exercise choices.