What Is a Calorie?

The calorie is often used to measure the fattening qualities of foods.

But the calorie is not a measure of weight or of the sugar in foods or of the fat. It’s actually a measure of heat!

One calorie is the amount of heat needed to raise a. gram of water one degree Centigrade.

A large calorie is the amount of heat needed to raise a kilogram of water (about 2.2 pounds) one degree Centigrade. This large calorie is the one we mean when we say a certain food has 100 calories.

If that dish of food has 100 calories, then it contains enough energy to let the body perform 100 calories worth of work. How much work is that?

Just sitting at a table and playing cards for an hour will consume about 100 calories.

Walking burns off about 115 calories per hour, and dancing, about 300 calories per hour.

An hour of push-ups, sit-ups, and other exercises can use up as many as 850 calories.

The people in Ireland eat more calories per day than any other people in the world, 3,450 calories per day.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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