About Calories

The number of calories in a food refers to the amount of energy stored in that food. Your body uses calories from food for walking, thinking, breathing, and other important functions.

The average person needs about 2000 Cal every day to maintain their weight, but the amount will depend on their age, sex, and physical activity level.

Males tend to need more calories than females, and people who exercise need more calories than people who don’t.

Current list the following calorie intakes for males and females of different ages:

Person

Calorie requirements

Sedentary children: 2–8 years

1,000–1,400

Active children: 2–8 years

1,000–2,000

Females: 9–13 years

1,400–2,200

Males: 9–13 years

1,600–2,600

Active females: 14–30 years

2,400

Sedentary females: 14–30 years

1,800–2,000

Active males: 14–30 years

2,800–3,200

Sedentary males: 14–30 years

2,000–2,600

Active people: 30 years and over

2,000–3,000

Sedentary people: 30 years and over

1,600–2,400

The source of your daily calories are also important. Foods that provide mainly calories and very little nutrition are known as "empty calories".

Examples of foods that provide empty calories include:

  • cakes, cookies, and donuts
  • processed meats
  • energy drinks and sodas
  • fruit drinks with added sugar
  • ice cream
  • chips and fries
  • pizza
  • sodas

However, it’s not only the type of food but the ingredients that make it nutritious.

A homemade pizza with a wholemeal base and plenty of fresh veggies on top may be a healthy choice. In contrast, premade pizzas and other highly processed food often contain empty calories.

To maintain good health, limit your consumption of empty calories and instead try to get your calories from foods that are rich in other nutrients.

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