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Are we eating the right calories?


Not according to the British Nutrition Foundation which is launching a concept called the “quality calorie”, to make people think more about the types of foods they eat. It says most adults consume more calories than necessary and counting calories is not enough. People need to look select the best nutritional calories, not empty calories.

Public Health England suggests:

400 at breakfast

600 at lunch

600 at dinner

leaving room for a couple of healthy drinks and snacks

30g handful of nuts contains about 174kcal, similar to a couple of chocolate digestives, but the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) says nuts are quality calories, making them a good snack, while the biscuits are not

An avocado contains lots of good nutrients even though it has more calorific value than many other fresh fruits and vegetables, making its calories “quality” too

A low calorie beer is not nutritious

A can of diet “zero” fizzy drink contains about 10kcal – the same as a small (30g) carrot. The carrot has the quality calories, while the fizzy drink doesn’t

Getting it right

Healthy diets should include:

  • lots of fruit and vegetables
  • some starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice
  • some protein from meat, fish, dairy or pulses
  • a bit of fat

Things to cut down on are:

  • sugary breakfast cereals
  • cakes
  • biscuits
  • pastries






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