Calories are not equal

crevtion
crevtion Posts: 72 Member
edited November 2016 in Food and Nutrition
This is something I am confused about. I hear that the total calories you consume matter more than the food itself because the body doesn't recognize that a donut is 'bad' and salad is good, but rather the nutrients it will get from it. This makes sense.

However it is almost hard to accept that 50 calories of bran will be the same as 50 calories of a donut.

I dont know if anyone understands what I am asking. Basically sometimes I don't even bother logging 50 calories worth of seeds etc that I add to oatmeal, whereas if this was 50 calories of the oats themselves I would log it. I guess what I am saying is it sounds absurd that the calories from things like seeds, although big in numbers, could have the same effect on the body as calories in, i dont know, cheese?

Someone educate me haha
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Replies

  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,568 Member
    In terms of weight loss, the seeds and oatmeal will have the same effect on your body, which is why they should all be logged. Nutrition-wise, of course they're different.
  • crevtion
    crevtion Posts: 72 Member
    That does sound fair enough. A bit sad but very fair
  • avskk
    avskk Posts: 1,789 Member
    edited November 2016
    Calories are equal. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Nutrients vary by food.

    Calories are what affect weight. Nutrients are what affect health. If you're looking to lose weight, you need an accurate log of the calories you eat, no matter what food they come from.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    crevtion wrote: »
    This is something I am confused about. I hear that the total calories you consume matter more than the food itself because the body doesn't recognize that a donut is 'bad' and salad is good, but rather the nutrients it will get from it. This makes sense.

    Okay, good, because this is correct.
    However it is almost hard to accept that 50 calories of bran will be the same as 50 calories of a donut.

    Why? 50 calories of bran will be larger and more filling than 50 calories of donut, normally. Also, they will have different nutrients. (Bran's calories might be understated due to the fiber too, dunno. Clearer comparison might be 50 calories of broccoli or 50 calories of apple vs. 50 cal of donut.)
    I dont know if anyone understands what I am asking. Basically sometimes I don't even bother logging 50 calories worth of seeds etc that I add to oatmeal, whereas if this was 50 calories of the oats themselves I would log it.

    If this works for you, great, but it makes no sense. Seeds are more calorie dense, so it's actually easier to eat more calories than you realize than with some other foods. There's going to be some error in logging and many people have a larger deficit than they need or ignore activity, so it might not matter, at least for now, but both count.
    I guess what I am saying is it sounds absurd that the calories from things like seeds, although big in numbers, could have the same effect on the body as calories in, i dont know, cheese?

    Why?

    I mean, I wish nuts were free calories, but they are not.

    One of my favorite lunches is a vegan salad that's actually higher cal than my more usual salad with chicken since it has avocado and then various seeds (including pumpkin seed, yum) that bump up the calories. Worth it, and IMO healthy, but ignoring the calories because it's all veg and seeds and only counting the tofu that's also on it would be foolish.
  • AnvilHead
    AnvilHead Posts: 18,357 Member
    Fasten your seat belts, because these threads come up often and every.single.one of them goes into the toilet and gets filled with a bunch of pseudoscientific derp.

    Speaking purely in terms of weight loss, calories are all that matter. If you take in less calories than you expend, you will lose weight. Period.

    Speaking in broader terms of nutrition, satiety, adherence, exercise performance, body composition, general health and wellness, calories are not all that matter. Micro- and macronutrients are important.

    Context and dosage also need consideration. 50 calories of donut in a well balanced diet doesn't hurt anything, any more than 50 calories of kale in a crappy diet miraculously makes everything all right. Don't think in black and white terms - consider the overall diet, not the individual foods.

    Here's one of many threads on the exact same topic that has already hit the toilet and had most of the ridiculous arguments hashed out: http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10474816/cico-is-not-the-whole-equation/p1
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,427 Member
    Weight managment is about calories. A calorie is a calorie for that purpose and should be logged equally.
    Different types of food might give you more nutrition or make you feel more satisfied. 50 calories of broccoli will probably do more for you than 50 calories of chips but neither will make you gain or lose more body weight than the other.
  • yakerman
    yakerman Posts: 4 Member
    I don't think all calories are equal. I was eating very healthy and working out. I would have ever morning 2 spoons of flax seed oil which is 240 calories and full of fat plus in afternoon I would add 2 spoons of coconut oil to my green tea which is 260 calories and also tons of fat. Needless to say I was losing so much weight people said I was too skinny. In addition I was signing up for life insurance and my numbers came back so well I got $200 off a year on my premium. My advise is to do what works for u. I don't think a slice of pizza for 240 calories is same as 2 spoons of flax seed oil. Maybe scientifically but not how you body uses it. Just my opinion.
  • cityruss
    cityruss Posts: 2,493 Member
    Round and round and round we go.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,498 Member
    edited November 2016
    yakerman wrote: »
    I don't think all calories are equal. I was eating very healthy and working out. I would have ever morning 2 spoons of flax seed oil which is 240 calories and full of fat plus in afternoon I would add 2 spoons of coconut oil to my green tea which is 260 calories and also tons of fat. Needless to say I was losing so much weight people said I was too skinny. In addition I was signing up for life insurance and my numbers came back so well I got $200 off a year on my premium. My advise is to do what works for u. I don't think a slice of pizza for 240 calories is same as 2 spoons of flax seed oil. Maybe scientifically but not how you body uses it. Just my opinion.

    What? I do not understand this post at all.

    What does flax seed or coconut oil have to do with the price of tea in China? Or equality in calories? Or life insurance? Or pizza? Or fluffy unicorns?

    I'm not trying to be rude, could you explain what you mean by this? I'm losing the thread here.

    tumblr_loas5iT3Ty1qzynlco1_500.gif
  • Evamutt
    Evamutt Posts: 1,742 Member
    I know it's hard to believe but it's true! I've been loosing weight eating more bread & potatoes then before mfp
  • yakerman
    yakerman Posts: 4 Member
    What I'm saying is very simple. It's just my opinion from personal experience so if you disagree that's fine. Whatever works for you.

    I don't think all calories are equal. I don't care the science behind it. I'm talking from personal experience that worked for me. I was eating very healthy and working out. I would have 2 spoons of flax seed oil and 2 spoons of coconut oil. This is about 500 calories a day extra then my regularly meals and I still lost a lot of weight. I can't imagine if I had 500 calories a day of pizza and ice cream that I would have experienced the same results.
  • GottaBurnEmAll
    GottaBurnEmAll Posts: 7,722 Member
    edited November 2016
    If you're going to tile a floor and need a certain amount of tile in square feet, do you think the type of tile you pick makes a difference to the amount of square feet you need to cover?

    Different foods have different nutritional content, but 50 calories or either oatmeal or seeds is still 50 calories. There might be a minor difference due to varying thermic effect, but it's, as I said -- minor. The energy you get from the foods is pretty much the same.
  • fishshark
    fishshark Posts: 1,886 Member
    nutrition and weightloss are not one in the same.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,498 Member
    yakerman wrote: »
    What I'm saying is very simple. It's just my opinion from personal experience so if you disagree that's fine. Whatever works for you.

    I don't think all calories are equal. I don't care the science behind it. I'm talking from personal experience that worked for me. I was eating very healthy and working out. I would have 2 spoons of flax seed oil and 2 spoons of coconut oil. This is about 500 calories a day extra then my regularly meals and I still lost a lot of weight. I can't imagine if I had 500 calories a day of pizza and ice cream that I would have experienced the same results.

    Okay. Then we disagree. Thanks for the additional explanation.
  • cerise_noir
    cerise_noir Posts: 5,468 Member
    yakerman wrote: »
    I don't think all calories are equal. I was eating very healthy and working out. I would have ever morning 2 spoons of flax seed oil which is 240 calories and full of fat plus in afternoon I would add 2 spoons of coconut oil to my green tea which is 260 calories and also tons of fat. Needless to say I was losing so much weight people said I was too skinny. In addition I was signing up for life insurance and my numbers came back so well I got $200 off a year on my premium. My advise is to do what works for u. I don't think a slice of pizza for 240 calories is same as 2 spoons of flax seed oil. Maybe scientifically but not how you body uses it. Just my opinion.

    I'm really confused by this post, sorry.. @yakerman
    So, you don't think an inch is an inch, or a mile is a mile?
    Calories are a unit of measurement just like an inch or mile are. Calories do not equal nutrition.

    What does consuming fat have to do with any of this?
  • AnvilHead
    AnvilHead Posts: 18,357 Member
    yakerman wrote: »
    I don't think all calories are equal. I was eating very healthy and working out. I would have ever morning 2 spoons of flax seed oil which is 240 calories and full of fat plus in afternoon I would add 2 spoons of coconut oil to my green tea which is 260 calories and also tons of fat. Needless to say I was losing so much weight people said I was too skinny. In addition I was signing up for life insurance and my numbers came back so well I got $200 off a year on my premium. My advise is to do what works for u. I don't think a slice of pizza for 240 calories is same as 2 spoons of flax seed oil. Maybe scientifically but not how you body uses it. Just my opinion.

    I'm really confused by this post, sorry.. @yakerman
    So, you don't think an inch is an inch, or a mile is a mile?
    Calories are a unit of measurement just like an inch or mile are. Calories do not equal nutrition.

    What does consuming fat have to do with any of this?

    Keto. It's magic, don't you know.
  • yakerman
    yakerman Posts: 4 Member
    edited November 2016
    Are really all miles equal?? So if I walk one mile uphill and you walk one mile straight it's the same thing? If you drive highway miles and city miles your car burns same gas??

    Why don't you learn a little about the human body. Your body needs certain foods and nutrients and digests food based on a lot of complicated factors therefore not all calories are equal. Your obviously not eating enough healthy foods for your brain to fully function.

    [edited by MFP Mods]
  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,020 Member
    A calorie is a calorie but the food that the calorie arrives in affects my CO, and CI for that matter. Some foods have a higher thermogenic property so CO is raised. Some foods give people more energy so CO is raised. Some people will help a person's health so CO is raised.

    A calorie is a calorie, but how those calories are delivered are not created equal for me. YMMV