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Friday, January 09, 2009 Rachel, Community Member, asks

Q: Calories vs. Calories from Fat

What is the difference between calories and calories from fat? Why are they different numbers? Which should I follow to maintain and/or lose weight?

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Answers (1)
1/12/09 5:09pm

Hi Rachel,

 

All right, grab something from your kitchen.  I'm looking at a bag of Doritos.  On the label you see calories and calories from fat.  For the Doritos, calories equal 150 and calories from fat 70.  The "calories" stands for total calories in 1 serving from all sources - fat, carbohydrates, and protein.  The "calories from fat" stands for just the calories you're receiving from fat.  So, these Doritos contain 8 grams of fat.  You can calculate the calories from fat yourself by multiplying fat grams by 9.  Which, in this case, equals 72 calories.  That's pretty close to the 70 indicated by the "Calories from fat" section.

 

When it comes to weight loss, calories from all sources is the bottom line.  You want your total "calories in" (meals/snacks) to be less than total "calories out" (activity) to result in weight loss.  So, track "calories".  That being said, fat intake is important to monitor.  It affects your overall health and heart disease risk.  Total fat intake should be 30% of your total daily calories.  So, if you consume 2000 calories each day, no more than 600 calories should come from fat.  That is where the "calories from fat" on food labels can come in handy.

 

All the best,

 

Lisa Nelson, RD

Lose Weight the Healthy Way

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By Rachel, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/24/14, First Published: 01/09/09