Treat with skepticism: We all count them, but few of us know what they are exactly – the calories. Luckily, a curious listener challenged 103FM’s expert dietitian, Dr. Maya Roseman, To answer such a question in the broadcast. What she thinks about calories, calorie-measuring apps and the recommended daily amount for consumption and burning.
So what is a calorie anyway? “It’s an energy unit and it’s in all sorts of places,” the dietitian began. “When we say calorie we do not mean one, but one kilogram of calories, meaning 1,000 calories. You do not know how much you burn exactly and you have no way of knowing it, even with the most sophisticated devices. Calories should be treated with great skepticism.”
On the method of measuring the small energy units Roseman has no doubt she has been carrying since her school days, where she realized that in order to measure calories in a particular food one has to burn it and measure the amount of heat coming out of it. Thus, she says, they find out what the caloric value of foods is: “There is a lot of room for mistakes here, because when you eat something then the body can not use all the food you brought and check (its value) according to how much heat is emitted. This is a serious mistake. How many calories are in it – I know it’s about. “
For those of us who want to be more frequently monitored about what is going in and out of our body, there are the calorie tracking apps that allow us to see what is happening at any given time. What does Roseman think of them? “You can use as many apps as you want, but they can’t be exact. The amount of calories burned in a sports activity depends on how many muscles there are in the body and how many diets have been done in the past.”
And in conclusion, and bottom line, how many calories should we burn, and is there an average? To which the dietitian replied: “There is no such thing, and there is no unequivocal answer. On average – what you eat is what you burn.”
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