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Contact: Angie Boyd-Chambers, (615) 284-7462, angie.boydchambers@sth.org

What's in a good calorie?

Your daily caloric intake number is an important number to know in order to keep your body functioning at its optimum level. Too few or too many calories inhibit a healthy lifestyle. But just hitting the right calorie count doesn’t cut it. There is a significant difference in filling up on 100 calories of cake versus 100 calories of vegetables. At the end of the day, you want to look for nutrients, not just items that have an appealing taste.   

Here are some ideas to help you make wise decisions to get more out of the calories you’re consuming:

  • Carbohydrates: Look for foods rich in complex carbs versus simple carbs (corn syrup and sugar). Complex carbs look like potatoes, brown rice and legumes and give your body a boost in vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Replacing a white bread (simple carb) for a whole wheat bread (complex carb) will give you the same caloric intake, but also provide you with better nutrients.
  • Fiber: Fiber itself doesn’t add to the net calorie count, but it does take up room in your stomach, contributing to a feeling of fullness and promoting better digestive health. Look for items rich in fiber and you’ll boost your metabolic activity.
  • Fats: In looking at nutrition labels, you want to select foods that are heavier in unsaturated fat versus saturated. These fats can still rack up the calories, so eat only a serving’s worth, but it’s also important to note that these fats are essential for a healthy dose of energy.   

Find your daily caloric intake number and more health statistics at http://nashvillegoesred.org/

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