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Conscious or unconsciously, our daily diet is full of foods rich in empty calories that, far from providing essential nutrients and satiating, accumulate in the body in the form of fat and predispose us to diabetes, overweight and other diseases. We tell you what they are, how they hurt you and why other ingredients can replace them.
What are the empty calories?
Let’s start by understanding that it’s empty calories.
“Although, in principle, it is a term that is usually used to refer to foods that provide calories, it is actually products that provide few or no nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fiber)”, says Chiara Corradetti, a Clinique La Prairie nutritionist.
To understand this, beyond providing energy, this type of food does not present any other interesting nutritional benefit.
Empty calories are those that contain foods that do not provide anything nutritionally speaking. Click to tweetWhy is it wrong to consume empty calories?
Common consumption of empty calories promotes malnutrition, hormonal imbalances and increases the risk of metabolic diseases: diabetes, overweight and obesity.
“We must take into account that human beings not only need energy (calories), but also a wide variety of essential nutrients to ensure the proper functioning of our organism and prevent diseases and premature aging. Some of these are: vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates,” the expert explains.
An excess of empty calories results in obesity, diabetes and other metabolism diseases. Click to tweet empty calories, where are they?
In general terms they are found in foods that contain simple, refined, rapid absorption hydrates and a high GI (glycemic index) that costs a lot of burning and produces insulin peaks in blood.
In some cases, these empty calories are evident and leftover known to all, although we have not yet put them ‘the perch’. I’m sure you’re familiar with how much you read the list and ingredients that contain them. For example:
♪ The rabbles.
♪ Industrial hardware.
♪ Potato fries.
♪ Alcohol and sugary drinks.
These are the ones we recognize more easily, but then there are others who have them in a hidden way, so for us it is not so manifest that they contain empty calories. We talk about industrial white bread, industrial cookies, flavor yogurts, cereal bars, sauces and commercial fruit juices, among others.
There are foods with empty calories that are obvious, such as fries, but others have camouflaged, such as savor yogurts. Click to tweetIn this article we will focus on the foods with empty calories that we consume most often:
The sugar provides glucose and fructose, that is, carbohydrates of easy assimilation. But you don’t have to demonize sugar.
Sugar is essential to provide energy, but we must recognize what is healthier and does not contain empty calories. Click to tweet “Glucose is essential to life, but we must get it from other natural sources, such as fruits, vegetables, tubers or oats. That is to say, nutritionally much more interesting, albeit less attractive and addictive, because they contain nutrients that are beneficial to the organism, such as vitamins, minerals or fiber”, says Chiara Corradetti.
What is not so essential is fructose, especially when it is of industrial origin: “although our organism is able to use it, it does it in small quantities, but when we exceed that amount, its excess is easily accumulated in the form of fat”, warns the nutritionist of Clinique La Prairie.
How does it hurt us? “Continuous consumption of sugar is related to: effects at the brain level, such as loss of memory or difficulty concentrating; hormonal deregulation, which may affect fertility; alteration of hunger-slackness sensations; and at the gastrointestinal level, alteration of the intestinal microbiota,” the expert enumerates.
The soft drinks
They are mainly made with sugars. And no matter what the 0 % or light variety is, because these are also sweetened: in fact, “the consumption of sweetened soda is related to an increase in visceral and abdominal fat,” the nutritionist says.
In addition, they are a trick product because we can be aware that we are consuming calories of more through food, but not so much through the drink.
“The drinks are not usually taken into account and may be generating excess calories in our diet. Specifically, soft drinks contribute to overweight and obesity without being aware of it and, in addition, they provide little satiety,” Coradetti warns.
Consuming more empty calories from the account is very simple with sugary drinks. Watch out! Click to tweet Sport drinks
Eye! In itself, sports drinks are not considered empty calorie products themselves. But here comes the stumbling block: it depends on who consumes them, since it is not the same as how they act in a sportsman as a sedentary person.
“That is, those who perform a certain intensity training and with a duration of more than an hour can benefit from their consumption. How? These repose the electrolytes that are diminished during sports practice and are able to provide energy so that the athlete can continue with the intensity of the training,” says the nutritionist.
However, the problem comes when it is consumed by people who do not perform physical activity or when it is not intense and/or durable, since, when taking them, they are acquiring unsatisfactory calories, sugars and nutrients that your body does not need.
Sports drinks are not made for sedentary people, who if they take them they will only find empty calories. Click to tweetThe industrial locker
They are generally a waste of bad virtues. They barely provide nutrients and, however, “contains excess sugar, refined flours (easy digestion carbon hydrostats) and industrial or unhealthy fats,” says Clinique La Prairie’s expert.
Come on, they’re a full-fledged calorie bomb. It’s a calorie combo with low nutritional density.
There are many studies that have related their consumption to the development of some metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome and obesity.
Under this shell are a series of processed foods (fried potatoes, turrets, pancakes and salty bars, etc.) that are rich in sugars, little or nothing healthy fats, refined flours and salt.
“Newly, a set of calories that don’t take us out, but generate a sense of appetite within a few hours, and that also do not contain nutrients beneficial to health in a significant amount,” says Chiara Corradetti.
They also get the body to hold more fluids, toss us and toss us bags.
The snacks are the foods that most empty calories and unhealthy fats contain. Click to tweetThe treats
These products are basically composed of sugar, texture gels, dyes and aromatizers. That is, a set of compounds with little or no nutritional value, full of empty calories.
In addition, they are products full of additives that reduce our appetite for food that is necessary at the nutritional level, thus promoting overweight and malnutrition.
It is true that they make life easier, because thanks to them you can have a dish almost instantaneously, but “they contain added sugars and vegetable fats, and they encourage calorie consumption above our daily requirement, as they do not bring too much satiety,” warns Clinique La Prairie’s expert.
Moreover, its main components are often harmful to general health.
Although you have heard or read that you have to drink a glass of red wine a day for its benefits (contains antioxidants), the truth is that “the beneficial components that have some alcoholic beverages, such as wine or beer, are overcome by the negative effects of alcohol in our organism”, the nutritionist warns.
What? Because alcohol provides a lot of empty calories, even if we mix it with sugary drinks (something that is usually done when you ask for a combination). In addition, “fomenting dehydration (because it produces more urine), makes liver detoxification difficult, increases appetite for fat and sugary foods, and its priority when it comes to metabolizing makes it difficult to burn body fat,” the expert explains.
The result will not be expected: overweight, obesity and cellular damage.
Forget the good myths you’ve heard about alcohol: it contains many empty calories, including wine. Click for tweetZumos packaged
The problem of industrial juices is that what you’re drinking mainly is sugar, because during their processing process they remove all the fiber. It’s the same thing that happens when you make a juice at home with a centrifugal blender, you separate the juice from the pulp and then you throw it in the trash.
That’s why it’s preferable to do them with appliances that triture all the content as a whole (wrapping blender) and so you can benefit from their vitamins and their fiber, as well as being more satisfied.
If you are you looking for more in regards to JBH News look at the web-site. “The consumption of packed juices causes an increase in our daily empty calories that is practically imperceptible and, moreover, do not bring too much satiety. It is not the same thing to eat five oranges than five juices,” says Corradetti.
To avoid empty calories, do your natural juices instead of using them packed. Click for tweetFruta in syrup
This food does not usually get into the empty calorie mess box, as the fruit itself is a food with high nutritional density.
The health problem is syrup, which is concentrated sugar, which encourages it to be easy to eat more of the account, in addition to addiction for sugar and the problem of overweight.
Precoccinated foods why do they have empty calories and how they hurt us?
In general, these contain added sugar, refined flours, industrial or unhealthy fats and, in most cases, additives. That is, again, we can define them as a combo of calories with low nutritional density.
Alternatives to foods that have empty calories
It is clear that to avoid the consumption of empty calories we must, in general terms, renounce to eat processed foods. But the question is: why can we substitute other foods? The nutritionist of the Clinique la Prairie proposes:
♪ Instead of table sugar, take honey or natural Stevia.
♪ Instead of refreshments and drinks for athletes, drink water with gas and lemon, infusions or water flavored with cut fruit. And remember that, you have to consume between 1.5 and 2 liters a day. It’s the healthiest way to fight the thirst and purify the body, because if we keep the body in constant hydration we help you eliminate toxins.
♪ Say no to the industrial bakery or treats full of empty calories, and make your own homemade sweets based on natural and nutritionally beneficial products. For example, dates or strawberries with black chocolate 90% or oats.
♪ Change the snacks processed by pickles, olives, hummus with vegetable crudités, apple with requoise, and hard egg with salt and pepper.
♪ It substitutes industrial sauces for healthy dressings to give flavor to dishes such as vinegar, lemon, natural yogurt, herbs and spices or Dijon mustard. And there is a natural salsa recommended by the authors of the PREDIMED study (Prevention with Mediterranean Diet). It is the tomato sauce of our grandmothers: made with natural tomato, olive oil and onion (you can also add garlic and pork), to a slow fire to release licopene and antioxidants good for health.
♪ Change the juices packed with whole fruit pieces and be possible with your skin.
♪ Instead of fruit in syrup, take yogurt with fruit or cream of natural almonds with fruit.
It replaces empty calories by nutritional calories with fresh and natural foods. Click to tweetIf you liked this interesting information about empty calories, don’t stop sharing it on your social media! Your contacts will thank you.
Do you want to follow a healthy diet free of empty calories? Talk to us through our free Online Nutrition Service where we will give you all the tips and guidelines you need. We’ve already started, because I choose to take care of myself, and you?