Although we would like to think that “Empty Calories” means no calories, it really means high-calorie foods with little or no nutritional value. They are typically from processed carbohydrates or fats. An empty calorie has the same energy content of any other calorie but lacks accompanying nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants.
One of the real obvious products that is considered an empty calorie “food” (if you can call it that) is soda. Consider one 20 oz. soda: 2.5 servings = 250 calories. Have one of those with lunch and dinner and maybe a few more with snacks and you are looking at 1000 calories. For some people that is more than half of their daily caloric requirement.
Other examples of empty calories food are:
- White rice
- Sweets, soft drinks, beverages with a low juice component, and other foods containing sugar
- Butter, lard, and other highly-saturated fats.
- High fat foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, fried chicken, pizza, potato chips, and French fries
- Candy and other sweetened packaged foods
- Alcoholic beverages
Are you guilty of eating these empty calorie foods? Which ones? If you were asked to give one of these up for the next six months, which one would it be and could you follow through with it?
By the way, the theory quoted in the picture above hasn’t really worked for me. 🙁