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What is a calorie

What is a calorie

This word is commonly associated with food, you can hear people telling how they count calories and there is specific amount of them in a food. Calories are used commonly in food and drink labels, often stated the amount of calories per serving or 100grams of the food or drink. Calories however, are not a food measurement only. Calories are unit that can be used in different areas.

Definition of a calorie

The basic definition of a calorie is that it is a unit of energy. It represents the amount of heat that is required to raise the temperature of specific quantity of water by one degree. In the Si system the unit for energy is joule. We can convert calorie to 4.184J.

Difference between cal and kilocalorie

There is commonly found difference in writing calorie and actual amount. There are two types of labels for calorie that we can see on different food labels. A calorie which it the gram calorie (cal) is the amount of heat needed to rise temperature of one gram water by one degree Celsius. And the commonly used on packages kcal or kilocalorie is 1000 calories or defined as the amount of heat needed to raise one kilogram of water by 1 degrees Celsius. Since foods are packed with calories, it is practically better to use the kcal unit. For example, if we take 100gr chocolate, and let’s say it has 630kcal if we want to use the standard unit we have to write it as 630 000cal. And if we want to calculate 90grams of chocolate, 50grams of topping, 1kg ot bananas the numbers would get really big. So for easier usage and understanding, a kcal is used so we can calculate the number rather quickly.

Where is it used

Calories are most commonly known by people that are training or learning about nutrition. As foods contain macronutrients which when digested release energy into the human body, we use calories to denote how much energy a certain quantity of a food will release. As the more energy a food has, the more energy our body will receive and at certain point our body begins to store the energy, in a dense matter which we call fat.

Calories are also ised in different areas, since they do not simply represent heat that comes from foods.