In today’s video, I’m going to explore some key terminology for your Level 3 Nutrition exam, we will explore what is a calorie, understand Kcals and the energy yield of key macronutrients.
Watch the 6-minute video, and test your knowledge with three mock questions, so you know you are ready for your exam
What is a Calorie?
A Calorie is a unit, or measurement of energy, just like you a measurement of height is in cm or feet and inches.
1Kcal is enough energy to raise 1Kg of water by 1 degree Celcius
Although our human body doesn’t need to explicitly heat multiple kilos of water, we need Kcals so we can have the energy to move, digest, think and complete our daily bodily processes.
Is Kcal a Calorie?
The unit Kcal is 1,000 calorie-units. However, when Calorie is spelled with a Capital “C” this denotes the same as on Kcal. Therefore the term Kcal and Calories are used interchangeably.
Kcal Guidelines for Daily Energy
Everyone has a different requirement of Kcals per day. This will vary depending on their:
- Body Composition
- Activity levels
However, there are government guidelines that recommend the average adult would require the following number of Kcal per day in order to provide energy for movement, daily physiological processes, and digestion.
Adult Female = 2000 Kcal per day
Adult Male = 2500 Kcal per day
Converting Kcals to KJ
When you look at a food label you will notice that the “energy” section of the food label lists both Kcal (Calories) and KJ (kilojoules). This is another unit or measurement of energy.
You can convert Kcals to KJ with the following calculation:
Kcal multiplied by 4.2 = Kilojoules
What is a Calorie in Macronutrients?
Every food that we consume has a caloric load, which means it supplies us with energy. However, the number of calories per gram is not the same across all food types.
We have three macronutrients that supply our energy:
Carbohydrates have 4Kcal per gram
Proteins also have 4Kcal per gram
Fats have 9Kcal per gram
Alongside this, calories can also be obtained from one more source, which isn’t considered a nutrient.
Alcohol provides 7Kcal per gram, however, the energy cannot be converted to glycogen and so makes it a poor source of energy
Test your Calorie knowledge with today’s mock questions:
[NOTE: The answers are below the 3rd questions]
Q1: What is a KCal?
A. 1000Kcal is enough energy to raise 1Kg of water by 1 degree Celcius
B. 1Kcal is enough energy to raise 1Kg of water by 1 degree Celcius
C. 1Kcal is enough energy to raise 1cm of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit
D. 1000Kcal is enough energy to raise 1cm of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit
Q2: Which Macronutrient provides 9Kcal per gram?
Q3: If a food item has 10g of carbohydrates and 10g of Protein, how many Calories in total?
Answers to the mock questions are :
Question 1= B, Question 2 = C, Question 3 = B
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Hayley “What is a Calorie” Bergman