What is Energy Density?

Food is our fulfilling fuel.

Are you wondering how to measure energy in food?

As I tell my four year old, we eat food to fuel our body. Not just pleasure. The whole point of eating it to fuel out body stay strong and healthy. Energy to our body is the same a fuel to a car. Learn more about macro and micro nutrients in the link below.

Energy density is the measure of the amount of energy in a food compared to its weight. This measurement is refereed to as a Kilojoule (kj). A kilojoule is the standard metric measurement of energy or calories in food. To find the energy content when you have calories, multiple the calorie figure by 4.2 to get the kilojoules.

Both kilojoules and kilocalories measure energy in food. Kilocalories (kcals) are a measurement of the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. Calories that we refer to when reviewing food is truly a kilocalorie. One kilocalorie is the same as one Calorie.

Why does this matter to me?

Depending on the food, energy density will variety. When food is higher in water and fiber, it will be lower in energy density. When food has more fat, it will be higher in energy density.

Whole foods are often high in fiber but can also be higher in fat. Although this is often good fat, it should be consumed sparingly if you are focusing on weight loss. Foods that are higher in energy but still healthy whole, healthy foods:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fruit such as avocado – yes this is an amazing superfood that is high if fat, fiber, protein (yes i said protein) and full of phytonutrients!

Even though the list above is referring to energy content, these are all healthy foods that should be consumed regularly.

Learn about macronutrients in the next article!

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