We take in energy from food in order to maintain our daily activities, the functioning of our body mechanism and the level of consumption required for growth. Calorie is the unit of measurement for energy. The daily calorie intake varies according to one's gender, age, body weight, health condition and level of physical activity.
For a healthy male aged 60, body weight 65 kg and a low level of physical activity, the daily calorie intake would be 1,950 kcal. For a healthy female aged 60, body weight 55 kg and a low level of physical activity, the daily calorie intake would be 1,700 kcal.
If there is excessive calorie intake, it will lead to overweight and obesity, thereby increasing the risks of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and so on. If the amount of calorie intake is less than the daily requirement, over time this will lead to underweight and increased risks of anemia, irregular heartbeats, osteoporosis and bone fracture. Therefore, we must pay special attention to:
- How to avoid an excessive intake of calories
- How to make use of nutrition labels to choose healthier food
Factors such as different cooking methods, the duration of it being cooked, the quality of the ingredients, the portion, and what condiments are used will affect the calculation of the calories. When eating out, it would be more difficult to calculate accurately. Rather, we should pay attention to the nutritious values of the food itself. In everyday life, so long as we stick to the Healthy Eating Food Pyramid, maintain a balanced diet and keep at it over a long time, we can avoid an excessive intake of calories.
Please refer to the following website on energy and calories:
Calories and energy (Change4Health by the Department of Health)