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Empty Calories

High intakes of empty calories leads to overfed yet undernourished bodies! (1)

Empty calories are calories from food that only provide energy/calories and little or no nutrition from vitamins, minerals, protein, essential fatty acids, or fiber (1,2).

Foods that are high in sugar, solid fats, or alcohol content are sources of empty calories (3).

Snacking has caused men and women to consume 2-4 times the amount of calories they should from solid fats and added sugars (4).

Empty Calorie foods

Sugary drinks like fruit juice, energy drinks, soda, and blended coffee

-Better choices: water with fruit pieces, Hydration Health drinks, seltzer water, and coffee made with alternative sweeteners like Stevia or Xylitol

Condiments like ketchup, BBQ and salad dressings

-Better choices: mustard, vinaigrettes, hummus, salsa, and

reduced sodium soy sauce

Refined carbohydrates like those in cookies, cakes, candies, jellies, ready to eat cereals, and pizzas.

-Better choices: 72% dark

chocolate with dried fruit and nuts or fresh fruit instead of sweets. Have your sweets in MODERATION and try to always fill up with half a plate of veggies

-Decreasing processed foods is the best way to reduce added sugar because processed foods often contain 8x the amount of sugar than from whole foods (1).

Alcohol

-Better choices: drink LESS

and drink DARKER. Darker drinks contain antioxidants

Processed meats like bacon, salami, hotdogs

-Better choices are poultry, fish, and lean cuts from red meat.

55% of the people in the USA are not reaching adequate levels of magnesium, 40% are not getting enough Vitamin A, and 30% are not getting enough Vitamin C (4).

Added sugars make up over 15% of American's total calories (1).

The AHA found that high intakes of added sugar contribute to overweight and obesity lower intakes of essential nutrients, increased triglyceride levels, HTN, and inflammation- all risk factors for Cardiovascular disease (3)




1. Martínez Steele E, Baraldi LG, Louzada MLDC, et al. Ultra-processed foods and added sugars in the US diet: evidence from a nationally representative cross-sectional study. BMJ Open 2016;6:e009892. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009892

2. Reedy J, Krebs-Smith SM. Dietary sources of energy, solid fats, and added sugars among children and adolescents in the United States. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110(10):1477‐1484. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2010.07.010

3. Getz L. Sweet Defeat. Today’s Dietitian. Vol 12 No.2P. 30. 2/2010. https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/020810p30.shtml

4. Moshfegh. Monitoring the U.S. Population’s Diet the Third Step- The National “What We Eat in America” Survey. United State Department of Agriculture, Ag Research Service. March 2012.

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