Counting calories in food

The system for counting calories comes from chemist Wilbur Atwater. To find out how much energy we get from eating, he measured the nutritional value in food and subtracted the amount of energy left in people's bodily excretion.

His research resulted in the 4-9-4 rule: Each gram of protein, fat, and carbohydrate provides 4, 9, 4 calories of energy, respectively.

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Nutritionists are calling for calorie intake and nutrition information to be reviewed.

  • They say the present system does not differentiate between raw and cooked food. Processed food is easier to absorb, so it provides more calories.
  • USCA researchers found that pistachios' caloric value had been overstated by 5 percent on the nutrition label. Almonds were overstated by 32 percent.

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