"Empty calories” are calories that don’t have many nutritional values (such as vitamins or minerals) and come from foods such as cakes, candy, ice cream, sodas and alcoholic drinks. The"empty calories” of poor nutrition are often stored in the body as fat.
The term “empty calories” was popularized in a January 24, 1952 syndicated newspaper column by Ida Jean Kain. The newspaper column mentioned the work of Cornell nutritionist Clive McCay, who possibly coined the term.
Wikipedia: Empty calorie
Empty calories, in casual dietary terminology, are a measurement of the energy present in high-energy foods with poor nutritional profiles, with most of the energy typically coming from processed carbohydrates, fats, or ethanol. Also known as a discretionary calorie, an “empty calorie” has the same energy content as any other calorie but lacks many accompanying nutrients such as vitamins, dietary minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, or dietary fiber. Although carbohydrates, fats and water are also nutrients, they are typically ignored for this analysis, with the exception of essential fatty acids.
Limiting empty calories is important to prevent weight gain, especially in sedentary individuals. This is essential when people try to lose weight so that they have an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals and avoid malnutrition. Dietitians recommend replacing empty-calorie foods with nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables.
The following foods are often considered to contain mostly empty calories and may lead to weight gain:
. Sweets, candy, ice cream, soft drinks, fruit-flavored beverages and jellies with a low percentage of fruit, and other foods containing added sugar
. Refined grains, such as white bread or white rice
. Margarine or shortening
. Butter, lard, dripping and other saturated fat
. Beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages
. High fat foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, fried chicken, pizza, donuts, and French fries
Wikipedia: Clive McCay
Clive Maine McCay (1898–1967) was a biochemist, nutritionist, gerontologist, and professor of Animal Husbandry at Cornell University from 1927-1963. His main interest was the influence of nutrition on aging. He is best known for his work in proving that caloric restriction increases the life span of rats, which is seen as seminal in triggering further research and experiments in the field of nutrition and longevity. As of 2011 scientists are still trying to find the connection between caloric restriction and longevity.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
empty calories n. calories derived from a food which provides few or no nutrients other than carbohydrate or fat, and is hence regarded as unhealthy or fattening; also sing. when used attrib.
1952 Washington Post 24 Jan. 5 b/4 There are empty calories and there are full calories.
1981 Vegetarian Times Mar. 13/1 It was found that higher scholastic achievement was related to‥a balanced diet and fewer empty-calorie foods.
Google News Archive
24 January 1952, Portsmouth (OH) Times, “How To Keep In Trim” by Ida Jean Kain, pg. 15, cols. 4-5:
Are you getting full calories...or empty calories? Perhaps these are new terms to you. Since calories represent the total energy value in food, many of us think of them as fattening or nonfattening.
Even though we cannot hold calories in our hands and look at them, there are empty calories and full calories. Both in excess, mind you, will boost your weight. But the full calories pack nutrients to boost your health as well. Empty calories carry no such gifts of vitamins and minerals—only fuel that the body stores up when unused.
Sources of empty calories, according to Dr. McCay, are alcohol, purified fats such as cooking fats, sugar and poor quality baked goods.
(Dr. Clive McCay, nutritionist at Cornell University—ed.)
Reduce and Stay Reduced
By Norman Jolliffe
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
Next, fat calories are mostly “empty” calories — calories that do not provide their share of essential amino acids, vitamins or minerals.
Food and You
By Edmund Sigurd Nasset
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble
It would be a mistake to eat only “empty” calories, such as are found in highly refined carbohydrates and fats.
Google News Archive
24 July 1970, Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, pg. A8, col. 1:
“Empty Calories” Cited In Cereals
WASHINGTON (AP)—A nutritional specialist told Senate investigators Thursday that nearly all the most heavuly advertised breakfast cereals contain only empty calories that can keep people fat but not healthy.
New York City • Food/Drink • (1) Comments • Saturday, September 03, 2011 • Permalink