Energy from the food we eat gives us the ability to study, work, cook, breathe and essentially function at our best everyday.
Energy is known as kilojoules (kJ) or calories. Just like how a car needs petrol to move, we need kilojoules (or calories). One calorie is the equivalent of 4.2kJ. By reading the nutrition information panel on the back of packaged foods, you will know the amount of kilojoules within a serve or per 100g of that food.
The Atwater factors are the amount of kilojoules per gram of each macronutrient within our diet. These factors demonstrate that foods high in fat are the most energy dense whereas foods high in carbohydrates are the least energy dense.
Fat: 37kJ / gram
Alcohol: 29kJ / gram
Protein: 17kJ / gram
Carbohydrates: 16kJ/ gram
Some examples of foods containing fat*
Animal fat (for example, chicken skin, fat from meat)
All types of oil (for example, olive, coconut, sunflower, canola, safflower)
Cold meats (salami, prosciutto)
Sausages, butter, margarine, mayonnaise
Some examples of foods containing carbohydrates
Bread, rice, pasta, quinoa, cous cous
Some examples of foods containing both fat and carbohydrates
Milk, cheese, yoghurt
Chocolate, cakes, biscuits
If you are trying to decrease the amount of kilojoules in your day, reducing your intake of fatty foods and alcohol is a good start. However, a balanced and varied diet for excellent health and wellbeing requires good thought and a detailed plan. This will ensure you have an eating pattern for long-term success.
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* There are different types of fat in our diet. You may have heard of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Keep checking my website for a blog covering this information.