Calories vs. Nutrients: Which Matters More for Your Health?

Calories Nutrients

We’re often told to watch what we eat and to be aware of calorie counts. But does the number of calories really matter more than the nutritional value of the food you consume? The answer is – it depends.

Understanding Calories and Nutrients

When it comes to calories, this is the measure of energy your body gets from food and drink. Most foods provide calories in the form of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. On the other hand, nutrients include vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats that work together to keep us healthy. Both calories and nutrients are important to our well-being, though in different ways.

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Which is More Important for Your Health?

When it comes to your health, the general rule is to get more of your calories from nutritious sources and limit the amount of processed foods and sugary drinks. That doesn’t mean you have to completely give up unhealthy treats, but you should make sure they don’t make up the majority of your diet.

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Health Benefits of Eating Nutritious Foods

If your meals are dominated by nutritious foods, you are more likely to stay healthy. Nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants are all essential for your health. Eating more nutritious foods can boost your immune system, protect your heart and reduce the risk of some chronic illnesses.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Calories are still important if you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight. Foods high in calories can cause you to gain weight, while foods low in calories can help with weight loss. However, not all calories are created equal. Foods that contain fewer calories but are high in nutrients are often the best choice when it comes to planning healthy meals.

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The Bottom Line

Calories and nutrients both factor into your overall health. Eating a balanced diet consisting of nutritious foods will help you maintain a healthy weight and enjoy a variety of health benefits. Eating far less processed, sugary, and high-calorie food items is a good way to keep your body healthy.