Are all calories good calories?

What is better... 100 calories from an apple or 100 calories from a Big Mac?

That might seem like a no-brainer “obviously a Big Mac is worse”…. 

“Fruit is good for you and cheeseburgers are bad for you”.... right? 

I'm here to tell you what the answer really is... and it is ….it depends!

Why is the nutrition world so full of conflicting and confusing advice? 

Part of the problem is that even a simple question can have what appears to be contradictory answers. 

Let's start with the basics…

A calorie is just a unit of energy that comes from specific nutrients in food ...

Proteins, fats, and carbs that give it a calorie count.

While those calories are needed for energy, in excess they get stored for later, as fat.

So let’s go back to the original question..

The answer is only confusing because the question is not clear.

What do you mean by “better” for you?

If you're like most people, you assume that it means healthy, but what if it means better for fat loss?  

Depending on what the goal is, that answer might be just a little bit different.  

The best example I can think of is when people ask if avocados are good for you or bad you? 

Avocados are a great source of fat, they are full of omega 3 fatty acids which correlate better health status and longevity but they are probably not the best option for someone who is trying to lose weight since adding fat is an easy way to hide “extra” calories in food. 

Believe it or not it is possible to have your back Big Mac and eat it too.  

Weight piles up when you constantly consume more calories than you expend. 

Even if you only eat junk food it is possible to lose weight. 

I don’t endorse that and obviously I recommend a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables... but it is possible. 

However, it is important to know that when consuming highly palatable processed foods our cravings and hunger might intensify, making it way more difficult to stay under those calorie limits to remain in what scientists call and negative energy balance.

In terms of health, there is definitely “good” and “better” but we should stop labeling foods good and bad.  

All food has the energy we need to survive, it's not as bad as drinking bleach.

Energy and a calorie surplus or taking in more calories than you burn will lead to weight gain whether it comes from an apple or a Big Mac. 

So focus on what you feel your body needs the most of that time 

… and hey if you have 100 calories to spare, explore your options. F

Find foods that you enjoy and that also help you reach your goals.

And remember a solid nutrition plan isn't about being “all or nothing”, it’s about always doing something!

Hope that makes sense. Catch you next time!


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