Proliferation in a variety of foods has given innumerable chances to mankind to take up a healthy diet in order to maintain a healthy body and a strong mind. Consumption of required amount of calories give energy to the human body but more than required makes the body gain weight. Calories are a means for operating a human body like heart beating, breathing through lungs and calories are burned by performing daily activities, doing daily exercise etc. Calorie consumption differs for every individual and calories are obtained by consumption of nutrient foods.
Functions of calories:
Calories are the source of energy for the human body and the total energy required by a human body is determined by the following three factors.
- Basal Energy: Minimum energy required by the body during resting state or fasting and this energy is used for body functions like cellular metabolism, controlling body temperature, gland activity, circulation, and Required basal energy levels differ based on various conditions of the human body such as fever, cold, climate change, body composition, age, pregnancy, and gender.
- Physical activity requirement: The amount of energy required is based on the type of work or activity such as duration and intensity. More physical activity requires more amount of calories.
- The dynamic action of foods: Energy required for intake of food and also the energy required for processes such as absorption, digestion, and metabolism of food.
Sources of Calories:
Calories come from nutrient foods and out of six nutrient classes, only three provides calories. Below are the sources of calories
- Fats – a gram of fat contains 9 calories
- Carbohydrates – a gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories
- Proteins – one gram of protein contain 4 calories.
Calorie intake chart:
Calorie intake depends on gender, age and also physical activities. Example for a moderately active person of different age groups calorie intake per day is given below
- Children of 1-3 age: 1000 to 1400 cal
- Male & female of age group 4-8: 1400 to 1600 cal
- Age 9-13: Male – 1800 to 2200 cal & Female – 1600 to 2000 cal
- Age 14-18 : Male – 2400 to 2800 cal & Female – 2000 cal
- Age 19-30: Male – 2600 to 2800 cal & Female – 2000 to 2200 cal
- Age 31-50: Male – 2400 to 2600 cal & Female – 2000 cal
- Age 51+: Male – 2200 to 2400 cal & Female – 1800 cal
Calorie-rich foods include milk, rice, nuts, red meats, potatoes, oily and salmon fish, dried fruits, grain bread, healthy cereals, and a whole egg.
In conclusion, it is advised to take the required amount of calories to maintain a healthy body, taking less and taking more will affect human bodies like loss or gain of weight, loss of muscles, and many health problems.
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