Are There Really Good Calories & Bad Calories?

Today’s topic? Calories. Good calories bad calories, all calories.

Is there even such a think as a good or bad calorie? Or is a calorie just a calorie?

Though the way most people look at and think about them has shifted, calories (and the counting of them!) are still a hot topic that I get questions on all of the time.

How many calories should I be eating to lose 5 lbs in 2 weeks?

I eat this many calories, why can I still not fit into my jeans?

How many calories are in my favorite chicken parmesan dish?

I ate this bag of chips, how many calories are in it?

Food is not calories alone. If it was, we would all be able to eat a certain amount chocolate cake and be perfectly healthy. And we know this is clearly not the case.

All foods are not created equal. They are complex mixtures of a wide variety of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fibers, and additives.

Though I like to tell people to not focus so much on calories, I am still a dietitian after all, and calories do exist and can be used as a frame of reference in a healthy way.

However, they don’t have to be the focal point. Let me show you why. The good calories, the bad calories, and the ugly.


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The Nutritious Life Editors are a team of healthy lifestyle enthusiasts who not only subscribe to — and live! — the 8 Pillars of a Nutritious Life, but also have access to some of the savviest thought leaders in the health and wellness space — including our founder and resident dietitian, Keri Glassman. From the hottest trends in wellness to the latest medical science, we stay on top of it all in order to deliver the info YOU need to live your most nutritious life.

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