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#8814 - 10/23/00 01:10 PM About regimens...  
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shanks Offline
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shanks  Offline
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London, UK
This is probably more a general knowledge than a language knowledge question, but can anybody tell me what the phrase 'empty calories' is supposed to mean? And does it, at all, have any substantive meaning?

I ask this because, as far as I am aware, a calorie is a calorie - a capacity to do work, a unit of energy. If it is empty, what is it empty of? Not energy, for sure. If it is not empty, what is it that we expect to fill it? Water? Crystals? The Holy Spirirt?

Nonplussed-and-perplexed-about-'diets' in London


#8815 - 10/23/00 01:37 PM Re: About regimens...  
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xara Offline
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cary, nc, usa
>>can anybody tell me what the phrase 'empty calories' is supposed to mean

Simple sugars or fats that don't provide any nutritional value would be empty calories. Protiens or complex carbohydrates would be the prefered (full?) calories.

>> a calorie is a calorie

Yes, this is true. The issue is how your body uses the calorie. (store it or burn it)


#8816 - 10/23/00 01:40 PM Re: About regimens...  
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jmh Offline
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>empty calories

I wonder if it relates to either:
(i) Foods like celery which are said to use more calories in eating and digesting than they contain.
(ii) Foods like sweets which provide calories but do not make any other useful contribution to the diet, eg fibre, vitamins, protein.


#8817 - 10/23/00 09:39 PM Re: About regimens...  
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AnnaStrophic Offline
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Yes, as xara and Jo (ii) said. My favorite form of empty calories is beer.


#8818 - 10/24/00 05:38 AM Re: empty calories  
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wsieber Offline
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>do not make any other useful contribution to the diet, eg fibre, vitamins, protein.<
This is correct, one should add "mineral salts and trace elements". At the beginning though, the term had a more "vitalistic" pitch, referring generally to highly refined foodstuffs. It has gone a bit out of fashion, after the "fun aspect" of eating has come to the fore again, and children cram themselves with sweets...




#8819 - 10/24/00 10:45 AM Re: empty calories  
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Jackie Offline
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children cram themselves with sweets...

And adults cram themselves with beer, wine, and sausages,
especially when free...


#8820 - 10/24/00 06:18 PM Re: About regimens...  
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of troy Offline
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rego park
but AnnaStriphic, beer doesn't have empty calories--Its a reasonable good source of Vitamin B, and Niacin..
and while not iron rich, it has more iron than most many foods, so that a pub crawl could be a cure for anemia! it could, however, lead to the medical problems to use beer as your prime source of iron.




#8821 - 10/25/00 08:39 AM Re: About regimens...  
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RhubarbCommando Offline
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I believe that it is the vitamins and iron that are the basis of Guinesses old claim that it "is good for you." Certainly our family doctor on Northampton recommended Guiness as a painless antidote to mild anaemia.

I did wonder why he hadn't recommended Mild, but decided not to be Bitter about it. The main problem, we found, was that Guiness makes you so Stout that you need a Porter for your luggage, even when it isn't Lager than you used to be able to carry.


#8822 - 10/25/00 08:45 AM Re: empty calories  
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jmh Offline
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I understand that chocolate has many virtues. The dentist told me that it had fluoride and wasn't as bad for teeth as chewy sticky things. It lifts the spirits too.


#8823 - 10/25/00 08:53 AM Re: empty calories  
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RhubarbCommando Offline
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chocolate -- lifts the spirits too

Personally, I prefer the forearm and elbow for that job.


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