Body Building Resources

Empty Calorie Food
By Jean Lam

Empty calorie food are food which have low or no nutritional value. Don't mistake the term "empty" for food which have no calories. On the contrary, these foods have a surplus of calories but most of them are devoid of valuable nutrients that your body needs. Without any doubt, they can provide your body with high levels of energy but they do nothing for your body as far as health is concerned. Also, the sudden energy boost that some empty calorie food give are not long lasting. Compare a person having candies and soft drinks for breakfast and another having oats with skim milk. Who will last longer as far as hunger is concerned? You already know the answer. It can be that these two people are getting the same amount of calories although they are having different types of foods but the calories are not of the same quality. The person eating candies and drinking soft drinks is accumulating lots of calories from sugars and fats whereas the other person is getting the same number of calories but the calories are more valuable. The calories are derived from vital nutrients like protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, calcium and minerals. Usually, foods which have low amounts of calories are nutrient-dense.

A major downside of empty calorie food is that they can result in adding unwanted inches of fats around your waistline and this will have only a negative impact for your health. Heard of obesity? For sure, empty calorie food are good for the mouth because they are tasty and pleasing but they can be troublesome for your stomach. Empty calorie food are usually high in saturated fats, fattening oils, olios(like margarine, butter and spreadings), sugars, salt and sodium which are the major culprit of a number of health issues like cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure and even cancer. Excessive obesity can increase the risk of certain types of cancers. So a protruding belly is not healthy. Usually a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition are the culprits.

If your goal is to get a body with healthy fat levels, then you should avoid or severely limit the intake of empty calorie foods. Your primary focus should be on foods which are rich in vital nutrients like protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, healthy fats notably omega-3 fats, calcium, vitamins and minerals which your body needs to function effectively and healthily.

You can find lots of empty calorie foods in supermarkets eg processed and refined foods which have usually been removed of their natural properties hence diminishing their nutritional values. Here is a list of some empty calorie foods and some healthy and nutrient-dense calorie foods.

Empty Calorie Foods

Chocolate bars
White bread
White rice
White pasta
Refined cereals
Soft drinks
Flavored drinks
Alcoholic beverages
Fast Food

Healthy and Nutrient-Dense Calorie Foods

Brown rice
Brown bread
Wholemeal bread
Wholewheat pasta
Rolled oats
Nuts(eg walnuts, cashew nuts) - Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Skinless chicken breast
Skinless turkey breast
White fish
Oily fish(eg salmon, trout, halibut, mackerel) - Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Olive oil - Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Cottage cheese
Egg whites
Sweet potato
Soybeans(eg bean curd or tofu, soya milk)
Skim milk
Kidney beans
Red lentils

About the author

Jean Lam is the webmaster of Body Building Resource which provides articles on weight training, nutrition and fitness, body building book and DVDs.

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