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Zero-calorie foods are all the rage these days, but are they REALLY zero calories?
And is it even possible for a food to HAVE zero calories?
Hey guys, Tara here for Dnews, and I’m sure a lot of you out there drink diet soda on occasion,
and if so, perhaps you’ve found yourself wondering
“How is it possible that this has zero calories?”
Or for that matter, how can any food have zero calories?
It’s an interesting question, and the truth is - they really can’t.
Aside from water, there is no truly zero calorie food or beverage.
And here’s why you probably didn’t know that.
First off, most foods labeled as having “zero calories” actually DO contain a small amount of calories.
But as long as it’s less than 5, then the FDA legally allows manufacturers to round down
meaning a food with 4.9 calories per serving, can still be listed as having zero calories.
Splenda, the “zero calorie sweetener,”
actually has 3.4 calories per packet. But for an even better example, let’s look at this product:
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray. It’s advertised as a non-fat,
zero-calorie food with a serving size of 5 sprays. But it’s actually not zero-calorie,
it contains 4 calories for every 5 sprays. And when you consider the fact that its main
ingredient, soybean oil, contains about 120 calories per tbsp
then that means the entire bottle has almost 900 calories
even though its advertising suggests that it is a zero calorie food.
So misleading labels are definitely part of the problem.
Another problem is the myth perpetuated around “negative calorie foods.”
These are things like celery or cucumbers, that contain very few calories
and it’s a common misconception that your body expends more energy digesting them than the amount of calories it takes in.
Unfortunately, there’s really no science to back that up.
Let’s go back to the example of celery. A single stalk of celery has 6 calories
and the “thermic effect” of celery, which is the percentage of its calories you burn by digesting it
is around 8%. 8% of 6 calories is about half of a calorie
which means that even after you account for digestion, your net calorie consumption is still 5 ½.
Obviously that’s negligible in the long run, but it proves an important point.
Foods with the highest thermic effect, are proteins, which still only have a thermic effect of around 20-35%.
Meaning there are no truly negative-calorie foods or beverages.
Except… for ice water. Ice water technically has zero calories, but your body has to expend
extra energy to bring it back up to your normal body temperature. For 8 oz of water,
that burns about 8 calories. So theoretically, if you were drinking 8 8oz glasses of ice
water a day, you’d be burning about 64 calories a day. For a year, that equates to 6 ½ pounds.
Now as far as weight loss is concerned, that's pretty minimal.
But of course the other benefits you get from drinking that much water definitely aren’t.
Now, what about foods that are heavy in mass, but claim to have zero or very low calories?
How do those work? Well, the idea is that those foods are made up of ingredients your body simply can’t break down.
If you were to think about it in very abstract terms,
you could almost like'n it to eating a piece of plastic. Your body can’t digest it,
so it simply passes through your system,
meaning you don’t consume or burn calories from eating it.
Now most of the time, foods that are like that, contain a lot of fiber, which is indigestible
by humans - although we still consume it, because it keeps our intestines flowing and healthy.
So if you were to eat a big, heavy hunk of food that was almost entirely fiber,
it would still have an extremely low calorie count
because your body can’t absorb any of it.
So you see, the idea of a zero calorie food is pretty much a misconception.
Almost all foods, even those labeled as “zero calorie” do contain a small amount of calories.
And the only true “negative calorie” food is iced water. Which isn’t even a food. It's a beverage.
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In the meantime, let us know in the comments what you think of this episode and if there
are any other misconceptions about food you’d like cleared up.
That’s it for me, but as always - thank you guys for watching!


【生活英文】零卡食物真的完全沒熱量嗎?怎麼可能! (How Can Something Have Zero Calories?)

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VoiceTube 發佈於 2015 年 10 月 28 日    Dennis Wang 翻譯    Sally Hsu 審核
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