A diet of empty calories

A diet of empty calories

Among the fitness freaks of Bangalore, a new concept is emerging — the concept of empty calories. 

Unlike other phenomena which are lapped up by the health-conscious, this is something that they are wary of.

As the term suggests, ‘empty calories’ refers to food items with calories that aren’t of much use to the body.

Be it fast food items like burgers and fries or beverages like beer, these fill one up and provide sufficient energy due to the fats and sugar content in them.

However, though they contain a lot of calories, they do not help the body in any way as they provide no vitamins or minerals.

In fact, many studies have signified that a diet of empty calories increases the risk of obesity and diabetes.

Dietician Veena Bhat says that foods with empty calories must be completely avoided. “Everything that we eat has calories.

But empty calories could be really harmful to the body so we must make sure that we are aware of empty calorie foods.

Beer is an example of a drink with empty calories. Though it has many calories, these are of no use to the body.

Most nutritionists advise one to practise a low calorie diet,” she explains.

Fitness conscious Bangaloreans are quite aware of the concept. Says Adrian, a student of St Joseph’s College of Commerce, “I try my best to maintain a balanced diet. I’m tempted to eat junk but I don’t. At the most I eat a Subway sandwich which is healthy. Though it’s tough to eat food with less calories because they are not tasty, I try my best.”

Pericho, a businessman, is yet another fitness freak who stays away from foods that have empty calories.

“I have a controlled diet that consists of fruits and vegetables. I have cut down on meat and dairy products and have rotis instead of rice. I am really careful about staying away from empty calorie foods like burgers and pizzas. I only have them once in a while,” he explains.

According to Dr Jagadish Chandra, who is a consultant physician at Sagar Hospital, the term ‘empty calories’ has originated just recently but he has always had patients suffering from the ill-effects of eating high calorie food.

“These have more carbohydrates and fats and less proteins and fibres. It’s mostly college students who consume these kind of food items just because they are tasty. Once they start working, they mostly get into desk jobs and have no time to exercise,” he says.

“Fatty foods damage your body and lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attack, joint pain and the list is endless,” he sums up.

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