The Calorie Content of Common Foods

Food is any material eaten in order to provide nutrition to an organisms. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungus origin, and has certain essential nutrients, like proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, and minerals. The human body requires a well balanced amount of food for normal growth and development. The food that is consumed is then converted into glucose by the pancreas, which releases insulin to break down sugars available in food into energy. Sugar is then stored for future use as energy.

There are two types of sugars: simple and complex. Simple sugars, which include glucose, galactose, lactose, and fructose can be absorbed into the bloodstream without producing a reaction and will not cause a drop in blood sugar. Complex sugars, however, must be metabolized via the liver, which breaks them down into simple sugars using enzymes. When these sugars are used in the cells without breaking down by the liver, they are converted into fat and deposited in the body as fat if they are not used for energy. The simple sugars found in fruits and vegetables are thought to be a good source of energy, while the complex sugars are believed to have more healthful benefits when they are used in conjunction with real foods rich in antioxidants.

A serving of food has the calories necessary to give a person an adequate amount of energy. The number of calories a serving of food contains depends on what it is made from, the type of food, and the method of preparation. Foods that are made from mostly natural ingredients and contain little or no refined sugar are considered to be low calorie foods. Foods that are high in calories but are poorly prepared and are difficult to eat on a daily basis, like fast food and packaged foods, are considered to be high calorie foods. The recommended amount of daily intake of these foods is about a serving per pound of body weight.

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