What is the opposite of an “empty calorie”? And what is the difference between the two types of calories?



  1. 0 Votes

    There are, in fact, two different kinds of calorie. Typically one is capitalized and the other is not. In some countries, one is called the KiloCalorie and is abbreviated as KCal. The difference between those two calories is that the lower case one is actual calories, or heat calories. The other is food calories, which are usually the actual heat calories divided by 1000 (so the numbers don’t look quite as alarming when we look at a nutrition label!).

    However, there is no such unit as an “empty” calorie. The term typically refers to food that has a large number of calories without anything nutritionally beneficial. Thus, though the consumer is getting calories, they may not be getting what they need.

  2. 0 Votes

    When approaching your question I will only refer to the better known calorie that we use in reference to food. 

    An empty calorie is present in food with this: high calorie but low nutrition.  There really is no exact “opposite” of this.  However, a “good” calorie is something that has sufficient nutrtion.  A good example of this is an apple.  Most apples are 70-100 calories and they have several grams of fiber (with skin).  The fiber makes those calories worth it.  Alcohol, on the other hand, is very high calorie with no nutritional value.  The same goes for white flour versus whole wheat/whole grain flours.  White flour is mostly empty calories even though it has roughly the same amount as a whole grain flour.

  3. 0 Votes

    “Empty calories” usually refer to foods that are very low in (or empty of) nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and protein. Very starchy and sugary foods would be included in this category, like pop-tarts, cake, saltine crackers, potato chips, cookies, etc.

    The opposite of this would be nutrient-dense foods, like apples, for examples, which are only 100 calories each but pack 100% of your daily vitamin C needs. Other nutrient-dense foods include broccoli, carrots, spinach, black beans, almonds, etc.  

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