Well, the term "empty" calorie sounds nice, doesn't it? Perhaps you naively hope that it means the kind of calories that somehow don't have… calories. Yes but no! 

All foods contain calories. And all calories are either used by our bodies for immediate energy, stored as glycogen to be a future energy source, or turned into fat. There are foods that can be very low in calories. For example, some vegetables and fruits, but aside from water and artificial sweeteners, nothing we eat is completely calorie-free.

So if "empty" calories aren't calorie-free calories, what are they? This is exactly what we will find out in the following lines. 

What are "empty" calories?

We need the calories. They charge our body with energy. But there's actually more to what we eat than calories. Whole foods that make up a healthy diet provide our body not only with energy, but also bring benefits to our health.

Vegetables, for example, contain important vitamins, minerals and nutrients, fruits are rich in vitamins and fiber, and healthy fats help the body absorb vitamins. Lean meat and fish are great sources of protein, which are important for the processes of recovery, growth and development of the body. 

What about foods containing mostly "empty" calories? What are they the source of?

How about calories. And that's all. "Empty" calories provide the body with immediate energy, but cannot be used to build muscle mass, supply vitamins, promote satiety, or provide other nutritional benefits. And any empty calories that aren't used for energy are stored as fat.

And to summarize: if a food contains no nutrients or if the calories from sugar and fat outweigh the nutrients it containsat in it, it is considered a source of "empty" calories.

Here are some examples of such: 

  • Soft drinks, sports drinks, sweet tea, energy drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Fast food
  • Sweets

Why are "empty" calories considered harmful?

One of the big problems with "empty" calories is that we often, without realizing it, consume them in large quantities. "Empty" calories, especially sugars, are absorbed very quickly by the body, which means that they do not leave us full for a long time. Which leads to consuming more calories than our body needs. 

Overeating any kind of food – even healthy ones – can be unhealthy over time. But overeating foods that provide no health benefits certainly has consequences! In addition to obesity, excessive consumption of "empty" calories can lead to spikes in blood sugar and chronic health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

How to replace "empty" calories? 

We can replace sweet drinks with mineral or carbonated water. And inall processed foods with home cooked food. We know that in the hectic everyday life this can be a real challenge! We created the H-EAT food menus to free up time for the important things, while we provide you with food that is rich not only in calories needed for energy, but also in the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need!

Take a look our menus and choose the most suitable for you! If you are not sure, contact us and together we will build the most suitable diet for you.