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What is calorie a measure of?

What is calorie a measure of? There are some foods I like high in calorie but all natural----there are some diets that will make you count calories and some others that will just make you avoid certain food groups... does calories really matter?

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  1. Calories measure how fat you're gonna get since you can't even do a little basic Google research before posting an query on this board! : )

    2 Replies
    1. re: Blumie

      Agreed!

      And yes, Calories DO matter, they are a unit of measurement for Energy. Your body uses a certain amount of Energy for all your activities and anything in excess of that is stored. What form is the storage - fat. So yes, eating 50 bananas a day will make you gain weight (ignoring all the other issues it will probably cause)

      Does this belong on the Manhattan board?

      1. re: Blumie

        Perhaps carla needs some help: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=what%27s+a+calor...

        (Courtesy of some chowhound lovelies.)

      2. Old definition- What nature puts in food to make it taste good.

        Food Science: The amount of heat to raise the temp of 1Kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius.

        5 Replies
        1. re: phantomdoc

          Not to be pedantic but as an engineer:

          The "calorie" (small "c" is important) is the energy required to raise the temp of 1 gram of water 1 Celsius degree. The "kilocalorie" ("Calorie" - the capital "C" is important) is the amount required to raise 1 kilogram of water 1 Celsius degree. (Note: The amount of energy required depends on the starting temp of the water and its composition - amount of gas, etc. dissolved in the water.) There are various definitions, depending on the starting point, but 4.185 joules is a good average number. Now, don't you feel better?

          1. re: KevinB

            Yep I feel better - but there are still about 3500 calories to a pound - and that just hurts.

            1. re: alwayscooking

              A pound of what? I bet a pound of butter has way more calories than a pound of broccoli (for example).

              1. re: Emmmily

                A pound on my hips - the left is broccoli and the right is cheese.

                1. re: alwayscooking

                  Don't forget the chocolate tummy and pasta love handles. It's tough to be a 'hound. :-)

        2. In other words:
          A unit of energy-producing potential equal to the amount of heat that is contained in food and released upon oxidation by the body.

          This query should be posted on the General Chowhounding Topics board.....

          1. Yes, calories matter. If calories in are more than calories burned, you will get fat

            1. The simple answer is the amount of energy contained in food (other countries label calories as kiloJoules on packaging). If you don't expend that energy, it has to go somewhere, so the body stores it as fat to be burned later.