Researchers Examine Distinction between Calories and Ponder Which Are Better For Americans

There are easy ways to become obese, other than just consuming fatty foods. A person only needs to eat more than their body needs for energy. Those foods will be stored as fat in the body, resulting in obesity, or at the very least – being overweight. However, the potential for becoming obese is far greater when a person consumes sugary drinks. The calorie intake causes a dramatic increase in weight gain. There may even be a greater chance of harming your health.

Scientists have always provided warnings against the consumption of sugary products – But are there some calories that are better than others when consumed in moderation?

In 2017, more than two dozen researchers joined together to examine if all calories are equal to one another when considering the effects of cardiometabolic disease and obesity. The medical terminology for cardiometabolic disease covers a wide spectrum of chronic conditions; most importantly, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. A research team of 22 individuals, with vastly different backgrounds, studied the effects of calories for specific food groups. They gathered data on food items to distinguish how the calories affect the body, such as a single French fry, which has ten calories and compared it to an apple, which has the same ten calories. The two food items produce the same amount of energy in the body; however, researchers took a deep dive into learning how diet relates to cardiometabolic diseases and conducted more intense studies.

According to an article on, throughout the studies, researchers underscored that Americans are consuming more calories than necessary. In many regions in the United States, 69 percent of adults are considered overweight, while 40 percent of adults are considered medically obese. The calorie intake from saturated fat and beverages that are sugar-sweetened are far-greater connected to Americans being diagnosed with cardiometabolic diseases. The studies further indicated that regardless if a person gained weight while consuming the sugary foods, the end result was the same.

According to Dr. Kimber Stanhope, a nutritional researcher, and biologist from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, “This is an impressive group of scientists with vast experience in nutrition and metabolism agreeing with the conclusion that sugar-sweetened beverages increase cardiometabolic risk factors compared to equal amounts of starch.”

Additional research found when people consume polyunsaturated fats, which are present in selective nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils, there was a lower risk of cardiometabolic disease when compared to saturated fats, which is found in red meats. Researchers concluded that there is still a long way to go for determining all of the nutritional concerns regarding sugar; however, a healthy diet pattern with a minimum of processed foods along with healthy fats should be part of the daily diet plan of all Americans.

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