General Question

KatawaGrey's avatar

Where do the other calories go?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21433points) July 13th, 2010

On food labels, you always see the calories divided up like, “200 calories, 50 calories from fat.” So, what are the other calories used for?

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13 Answers

bob_'s avatar

Everything has calories, so the rest of them go with the non-fat contents of the food (e.g., carbs).

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

All food has calories, not just the fats. Carbohydrates, proteins etc can be converted to calories, but the body does it differently. Fats are broken out separately on labels because of the negative effects they can have. You’re supposed to limit your fat intake, so the labeling is setup that way. Did that answer your question?

mattbrowne's avatar

Calories refers to energy in food which can be used by human beings. There’s actually more energy in it, for example cellulose, but unlike cows or sheep relying on particular microorganisms, we can’t use it.

JLeslie's avatar

Are you saying that when you read a label the breakdown does not add up to the total? I have never calculated it, but it is probably possible. Things in trace amounts don’t have to be listed. Like trace amounts of fat (not sure what the rule is might be less than 1 gram?) but there are still calories there. A gram of fat is 9 calories, so if there is a half gram, that would add 4.5 onto the total even though it is not listed below.

aniisback's avatar

Calories basically comes from different sources like carbohydrates,proteins,fats e.t.c. Out of these fats are the calorie sources that tend to get stored in the body. other types of calorie sources gets used straight away( that is they dont get stored). Thats why fat calories are given separate.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Hm… perhaps I should have been more clear. I meant like what parts of the body do the other calories go toward. Fat is either burned or stored in fat deposits around the body. Are the other calories used for muscle function? Joint function? Organ maintenance? All of the above?

Seek's avatar

That’s not how it works. 50 calories don’t go to fat, the 50 calories are made up of fat.

A gram of fat has (i think) 10 calories, while a gram of protein has (I think) four.

When you eat something, your body processes the material into energy. The term “calorie” is a measurement of the energy your body gains from the material it processes (a calorie is the amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1 liter of water 1 degree Centigrade). When your body takes in more calories than it requires to function, the body itself converts that energy to fat cells it can later burn if necessary.

JLeslie's avatar

@KatawaGrey Got it. The very basics are Protein is broken down into amino acids and used by the muscles and other systems. Any extra that is not being stored or actively used turns to fat. Carbs are stored as glycogen in the body. Carbs are used for energy, and the nervous system uses carbs quite a bit, some other systems also. When runners “hit the wall” that means they have depleted their glycogen. When you eat carbs, and the glycogen fills up to capacity, any extra that can’t be stored or is not being actively used goes to fat storage. And, fat goes to fat.

Basically what this means is no matter what you eat, if you eat too much of it, the extra calories will go to fat.

Now, if you don’t eat any carbs for instance, and you get depleted in glycogen, the body can pull from fat storage and utilize these calories to keep the body functioning, but it is much more difficult for your system, and not ideal.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@JLeslie: Thank you. I realize my wording was a bit clumsy I had no idea how to go about asking this question but I think you have sufficiently answered my question.

JLeslie's avatar

@KatawaGrey You’re welcome. I recommend you read a nutrition text book, like from a college class, if you are interested in learning more. Not what diet book authors are writing. Here is the wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutrition I didn’t read it, just glanced at it, but I think it will most likely expand on the points I made.

gemiwing's avatar

Fat also goes to your brain .

laureth's avatar

Calories are your fuel. Any living and thinking you do? Calories fuel it.

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