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Question
Posted by: qu | 2008/07/11

calorie comparison

Hi there

I just have a quick question that i wonder about.....
If you eat for instance 800 calories of tomatoes compared to 800 calories of say....chocolate, surely you cannot say that those tomatoes are going to jeopardise your diet in such a way that you going to pick up weight?

I know that you would probably have to eat a lot of tomatoes, but my point is just...is a calorie a calorie, or does it depend on what those calories constitute?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Qu
This is indeed an interesting question. You are correct that a calorie is a calorie no matter where it comes from and that you would have to eat a mountain of tomatoes to ingest 800 cal (889 g in fact) compared to 35,6 g of milk chocolate, however researchers have studied the effect of what happens in the body when one obtains one's energy from carbohydrates or proteins or fats and there is a difference in the subsequent metabolism. Proteins are not easily used for energy purposes, but are rather used to repair and build body tissues so they don't tend to promote fat deposition. Carbohydrates are preferentially used as our best source of energy for physical activity so unless one overeats on them, they also don't promote fat production. Fats on the other hand are preferentially stored so they do promote fat deposition. You would probably find that the chances of putting on weight are higher with the chocolate with its high fat content, than with the masses of tomatoes you would need to eat.
Best regards
DietDoc

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