What’s more important? The number of calories you eat or the type of calories you eat?
Last Updated: 03/31/2020 at 12:15am
Lisa Meighan, MSc Psychology
Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.
Top Rated Answers
I'm not a nutritionist but I'd say both are important. It's important to eat a certain amount of calories per day to keep all your body functions working, but there are also lots of other things your body needs: Carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, mineral nutrients and so on. Best is, in my opinion, to eat balanced and not restricting any kinds of food (if your vegan/vegetarian, make sure you don't lack anything like iron, etc., I had that lately). See it's sure not healthy to eat 2,500 cal per day only consisting of cookies but it's also not healthy to eat 2,500 cal per day only consisting of vegetables. So, to answer your question, both are important but in lexicographic ordering: type than amount. Hope, I could help :)
Type of calories, by far. While you should definitely try to set some sort of boundary for how many calories you can have a day, it's better to have more good calories than low calorie, bad foods. There are certain nutrients that help growth and development, as well as organs like the immune system. Eating 3 big, but healthy, meals (assuming exercise is also involved) is better than only having 1 meal with yes less calories, but unhealthy foods. The type is more important than the amount, but there should still be a few boundaries for how much or how few you can have, usually based on your current weight and activity level.
The type of calories you eat is more important in my opinion as some calories are better for you than others
Types of calories, this is because they provide different types of energy. Like slow releasing (carbs - bread, pasta) and fast releasing (sugar - chocolate, crisps) and if they are not used within the time, they turn into fat.
I'm going to start off by saying that no individual should focus on the amount or type of calories they consume. Focusing on calorie amount and value will only increase an individual's risk to develop an eating disorder or disordered eating. If you are concerned of what you are eating the main thing is to ensure you are eating a balanced diet but making sure you do not focus on what you are eating as this can become an addiction pretty quickly. So as long as your body is healthy by means of feeling good then please don't feel the need to focus on what you are consuming.
I would say, overall, and generalizing a bit here, that the type of calories- or the quality- would be more important to the goal of a healthy and balanced diet. If you're eating the recommended amount (whatever that is for yourself as an individual) but it's all from foods without much in the way of nutritional benefits, you won't really be getting the fuel from food that you'd need to feel your best physically and mentally. It's important to look at the full picture and not just focus on the number- you need to take a look deeper and see what that number is made up of.
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