A calorie is a calorie is a calorie? I think not!

I don’t believe the assertion that “A calorie is a calorie is a calorie.”  I believe that lots of animal fats keep the pancreas from producing insulin, and that simple carbohydrates (sugar, soda, most breads, white rice) set us up to want to eat more 90 min later.  Protein is more satisfying and limits hunger 90 min later.

Now, this article from the BBC (thanks for noting, Dr. Sharma! – he writes a great, though somewhat technical blog) suggests that:

This is because the texture of the food, its fibre content, and how it is cooked can all affect the amount of energy the body is able to get from food, he says.

The more protein or fibre in a food, for example, the harder the body has to work to process it.

So when we are weighing up which ready meal to buy in the supermarket, we need to think about more than just the calories contained in food before we eat it – we need to consider how our body digests and processes it too.

I wouldn’t be surprised that super-processed fast foods are designed for maximal calorie extraction by the body.  Instead, I suggest lots of green veggies, low-glycemic carbs (brown rice, sweet potatoes), and fish or plants as sources of protein and healthy fats.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

One Comment:

  1. I do NOT recommend the foods in the picture!

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