Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    27
  • comments
    16
  • views
    2,715

Units of Energy

Sign in to follow this  
Bogart

207 views

You've probably noticed that on the side of your cereal box or milk carton, there's a big table of nutrition facts. In this table, it shows the quantities of vitamins, fat or sodium, but most importantly, it shows how many Calories the food has per serving. You've heard about Calories before, and know that you gain weight if you consume a lot of it, but probably don't know exactly where the measurement comes from.

A dietary Calorie is always spelled with a capital "C" while a physics calorie is always spelled with a lowercase "c". It is very important to not get these mixed up, because as confusing as it may be, you can eat so many more calories and stay healthy than you would if you ate the same amount in Calories.

Specifically, 1,000 physics calories, or "gram calories", is equal to 1 dietary Calorie, or "kilocalorie."

It's not like you'll encounter calories nearly as much as you'll encounter Calories, especially since everything related to diets and health are measured in Calories. Either way, it's still interesting to know where they come from.

1 physics calorie is the amount of energy it takes to heat up 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius. Not surprisingly, 1 dietary Calorie is the amount of energy it takes to heat up 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius. It makes a lot of sense that food is measured in Calories, since otherwise you'd look at the nutrition facts of a single Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and realize that it's 105,000 calories. You probably wouldn't eat that much candy if you saw that, so they crunched the numbers down to make it a little less overwhelming. Food companies do like to trick you, however: they make the "serving size" really small so that their food doesn't appear as bad as it actually is. Next time you're buying cereal, even if you're like me and don't care about the dietary facts, just look at the nutrition table and see how small the serving sizes are. I've seen a box say that 1/2 of a cup of cereal is a serving for 1 person. Think about that the next time you eat 4 bowls of cereal in a row.

Sign in to follow this  


0 Comments


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Terms of Use

The pages of APlusPhysics.com, Physics in Action podcasts, and other online media at this site are made available as a service to physics students, instructors, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use materials either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so. Linking to information on this site is allowed and encouraged, but content from APlusPhysics may not be made available elsewhere on the Internet without the author's written permission.

Copyright Notice

APlusPhysics.com, Silly Beagle Productions and Physics In Action materials are copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) with the exception of Physics In Action podcast episodes is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. Requests for permission to use such material on other projects may be submitted in writing to info@aplusphysics.com. Licensing of the content of APlusPhysics.com for other uses may be considered in the future.

×
×
  • Create New...