Is a Calorie Just a Calorie?

Is a calorie from a candy bar the same as an banana?

If a candy bar is 120 calories, and a banana is 120 calories, then they're the same, right?

Is a calorie a calorie

Well yes, and no! In terms of energy, yes, but in terms of the biological process, they're different.

It’s true that calories might be the same regardless of the food choice, but the components are built up differently. Meaning, the protein, fats, carbohydrates, and fiber. Different foods may have different types of fat and carbohydrates. The glycemic index is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Foods that increase blood glucose levels are typically high- sugar foods, or refined foods stripped of fiber increase blood glucose levels.

So is 100 calories of broccoli different than 100 calorie candy bar?

In terms of calories, no, but in terms of biological impact on the body, yes!!! Broccoli is very low on the glycemic index, so insulin production will be must lower than if you ate a candy bar. When insulin is present, your body is in a fat storing mode and not a fat burning mode. Food impacts hormones differently, so again, in terms of calories, a calorie is a calories. However, when we focus on other components and biological impact on the body, the source of calories makes a huge difference.

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