Diet and Health With Key to the Calories

Key to the Calories

Some one page the thin? They come back here.

Definition to learn:

CALORIE; symbol C.; a heat unit and food value unit; is that amount of heat necessary to raise one pound of water 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

There is a good deal of effort expended by many semieducated individuals to discredit the knowledge of calories, saying that it is a foolish food science, a fallacy, a fetish, and so forth

They reason, or rather say, that because there are no calories in some of the very vital elements of foods—the vitamines and the mineral salts—therefore it is not necessary to know about them. They further argue that their grandfathers never heard of calories and they got along all right.  That grandfather argument always enrages my mortal mind.

Now you know that a calorie is a unit of measuring heat and food. It is not heat, not food; simply a unit of measure. And as food is of supreme importance, certainly a knowledge of how it should be measured is also of supreme importance. You should know and also use the word calorie as frequently, or more frequently, than you use the words foot, yard, quart, gallon, and so forth, as measures of length and of liquids. Hereafter you are going to eat calories of food. Instead of saying one slice of bread, or a piece of pie, you will say 100 Calories of bread, 350 Calories of pie.

The following is the way the calorie is determined:

An apparatus known as the bomb calorimeter has two chambers, the inner, which contains the dry food to be burned, say a definite amount of sugar, and 
an outer, which is filled with water. The food is ignited with an electric connection and burned. This heat is transferred to the water. When one pound of water is raised 4 degrees Fahrenheit, the amount of heat used is arbitrarily chosen as the unit of heat, and is called the Calorie.

Food burned (oxydized) in the body has been proved to give off approximately the same amount of heat or energy as when burned in the calorimeter.

1 oz. Fat                                          =  275 C.
                                                     —about 255 in the body.
1 oz. Protein (dry)                           = 120 C.
                                                     —about 113 in the body.
1 oz. Carbohydrates (dry)               = 120 C.
                                                     —about 113 in the body.

Can you see now why fats are valuable? Why they make fat more than any other food? They give off more than two and one-fourth times as much heat, or energy, as the other foods. 

Notice that protein and carbohydrates have the same food value as to heat or energy, each 113 Calories to the dry ounce. However, they are not interchangeable; that is, carbohydrates will not take the place of protein for protein is absolutely necessary to build and repair tissue, and carbohydrates cannot do that. But fats and carbohydrates are interchangeable as fuel or energy foods.

Calories Needed per Day for Normal Individuals

This depends upon age, weight, and physical activities; the baby and the growing child needing many more calories per pound per day than the adult, who has to supply only his energy and repair needs. The aged require still less than the young adult. As to weight; I have told you why overweight individuals need so little. As to physical activities; the more active, obviously the more calories needed, for every movement consumes calories.

The Maine lumbermen, for instance, while working during the winter months, consume from 5000 to 8000 Calories 
per day. But they do a tremendous amount of physical work.

Mental work does not require added nourishment. This has been proved, and if an excess be taken over what is needed at rest (if considerable exercise is not taken while doing the mental work) the work is not so well done. 

                                                                 Per pound
                                                                       per day
Infants require                                          40-50 C.
Growing Children                                       30-40 C.
Adults (depending upon activity)          15-20 C.
Old age requires                                      15 or less C.

In Round Numbers for the Day

Child 2-6 1000 to 1600 C. per day

Child 6-12 1600 to 2500 C. per day
Youth 12-18 2500 to 3000 C. per day  

(Remember that in general the boy needs as much as his father, and the girl as much as her mother.)

MAN (per day):
At rest                                                                     1800 to 2000 C.
Sedentary                                                                2200 to 2800 C.
Working                                                                  3500 to 4000 C.

WOMAN (per day):
At rest                                                                                       1600 to 1800 C.
Sedentary occupations (bookkeeper, etc.)               2000 to 2200 C.
Occupations involving standing, walking, or 
manual labor (general housekeeping, etc.)             2200 to 2500 C.
Occupations requiring strength (laundress, etc.)    2500 to 3000 C.

Example of Finding Number of Calories Needed

1. Determine normal weight by rule.
2. Multiply normal weight by number of calories needed per pound per day.

For example, say you weigh 220 or 125 lbs., but by the rule for your height your weight should be 150 lbs.; then 150 would be the number you would use. 

By the rule I have given, adults require 15-20 Calories per pound per day, depending upon activity. For example, if you have no physical activities, then take the lowest figure, 15. 150x15—2250. Therefore your requirement, if your weight should be 150, is 2250 Calories per day.

Now, if you want to lose, cut down 500-1000 Calories per day from that. 

Five hundred Calories equal approximately 2 ounces of fat. Two ounces per day would be about 4 pounds per month, or 48 pounds per year. Cutting out 1000 Calories per day would equal a reduction of approximately 8 pounds per month, or 96 pounds per year. These pounds you can absolutely lose by having a knowledge of food values (calories) and regulating your intake accordingly. You can now see the importance of a knowledge of calories.

If you want to gain, add gradually 500-1000 Calories per day.


1. Define Calorie, and tell how determined.
2. How many C. in 1 oz. fat? of carbohydrates? of protein?
3. Why are fats so fattening?4. How many C. per day do you require? do mental workers?
5. Upon what do C. needed per day for normal individuals depend? Discuss.

Review and More Definitions

FOOD: That which taken into the body builds and repairs
tissue and yields energy in heat and muscular power.


1. Protein, 18% of body weight.
2. Fats, 16% of body weight.
3. Carbohydrates, 1% of body weight.
4. Mineral matter, 5% of body weight.
5. Vitamines.
6. Water, 60% of body weight.

PROTEIN: Builds tissue, repairs waste, yields energy, and
may help store fat. One-half, at least, of your protein
should be from the vegetable kingdom.

A large percentage of protein is contained in
            Eggs    Meat     Fowl Fish Nuts
            Milk    Cheese  Gluten of Wheat
            Legumes (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, etc.)

There is about one-fourth ounce protein in
           1 egg
           1 glass milk (skim, butter, or whole)
           1-1/2 oz. lean meat, or fish or fowl
           1 oz. (1-1/5 cu. in.) whole milk cheese
           2 slices of bread, 3-1/2 x 3-1/2 x 1/2
          (white, whole wheat, corn, etc.)
          3 heaping tablespoonfuls canned baked beans or lima beans
          17 peanuts
FATS: Yield energy and are stored as fat.

Animal Fat: Cream, Butter, Lard
Oils: Cottonseed, Olive Almonds, Peanuts, Walnuts Chocolate, etc.
CARBOHYDRATES: Yield energy and are stored as fat.
Sugars (candy, honey, syrup, sweet fruits)
Starches (breads, cereals, potatoes, corn, legumes, nuts)
Vegetable fibre, or cellulose

MINERAL MATTER: Shares in forming bones and teeth, and is necessary for proper functioning.
              Carbon Lime Sodium Potassium,
              Sulphur Iron Phosphorus Etc.

These elements are contained largely in the outer coatings of grains, fruits, and vegetables, and in animal foods and their products. Do not pare potatoes before cooking. Cook vegetables in a small amount of water, saving the water for soups and sauces.

WATER: The universal solvent, absolutely necessary for life.

Contained in purest form in all vegetables and fruits. The average person needs, in addition, from three to five pints taken as a drink. If not sure of the purity, boil. Do not drink while food is in the mouth.

VITAMINES: Health preservers. Vital substances necessary for growth. The chemistry of these products is at present not thoroughly understood, but their importance has been demonstrated by experiments (not torture) on animals. By this work we know that diseases like beri-beri, scurvy, rickets, and probably pellagra, are due to a lack of these vital elements in the food, and from that fact these are called "deficiency" diseases.

Of course I realize that nations can be saved from horrible diseases, and hundreds and thousands of babies saved from death, through this experimentation on a few guinea pigs and other animals; but what is the life of a baby compared with the happiness of a guinea pig? Down with animal experimentation! Let us do everything in our 
power to hamper scientific work of this kind. We are giving up our husbands, fathers, sons, perhaps to die, for the cause of humanity, but a guinea pig!


It has been found that the vitamines, like the minerals, are most abundant in the outer coverings and the germ of grains, and in fruits and vegetables. They are also present in fresh milk, butter, meat and eggs. Babies fed pasteurized or boiled milk should have fruit juices and vegetable purees early. Begin with one-half teaspoonful, well diluted, and gradually increase the feeding to an ounce or more between meals once or twice daily.

Most animal fats have the vitamines, but vegetable fats are deficient in them. That is the reason cod liver oil is better for some therapeutic uses than olive oil.

BALANCED DIET: Should contain

              10-15% Protein
                           (children may need more)
               25-30% Fat
               60-65% Carbohydrates
For example, suppose you are a fairly active woman and need 2500 calories per day. Then for a balanced diet you would need:

                          10% Protein, or 250 C.
                          25% Fat, or 625 C.
                          65% Carbohydrates 1625 C.
                                                           2500 C.
250 C. of P. = 2-1/5 oz. dry protein
(250 ÷ 113 = 2-1/5, approximately)
625 C. of F. = 2-1/2 oz. of fat
(625 ÷ 255 = 2-1/2, approximately)
1625 C. of CH. = 14-1/2 oz. dry carbohydrates
(1625 ÷ 113 = 14-1/2, approximately)

Two and one-fifth ounces dry protein equals the approximate amount of protein in 10 ounces lean meat, fish, or fowl, or 9 ounces cheese, or 9 eggs. (You should not take all of your proteins in any of these single forms.) Two and one-half ounces fat equals approximately 5 pats of butter. 

But listen! You don't have to bother with all this fussy stuff. Be careful not to over-or under-eat of the proteins, and your tastes will be a fair standard for the rest. You should remember that a balanced diet contains some of all these foods, in about the proportions given, and that, while watery vegetables and fruits contain very few calories, they contain very important mineral salts, vitamines, and cellulose. The latter is good for the daily scrub of the intestinal tract.

CONSTIPATION is many times caused by a too concentrated diet, or one containing too little roughage. It has also been discovered that some individuals who are troubled with faulty elimination digest this cellulose, and only the more resistant, like bran, is not absorbed. For those, the Japanese seaweed called agaragar in the laboratory, but more familiarly known as agar by the layman, is excellent. The most industrious digestive tract apparently can not digest that. It has the further property of absorbing a large amount of water, thus increasing its bulk.

Mineral oils (refined paraffine) also are not absorbable, and they act with benefit in some cases. About the worst thing to do, in general, is to take physics constantly. These are not physics, however; they act mechanically. Even the C.S. (common-sense?) individual can take these. The agar may be taken two or three heaping teaspoonfuls in a large glass of water before retiring, or in the morning before breakfast, or in lieu of 4 o'clock tea. Drink it down rapidly—for goodness' sake, don't try to chew it.

Mineral oil will make fine mayonnaise dressing. It has little or no food value, so the constipated overweight individual may indulge freely. For faulty elimination, then—

1. Correct diet.
2. Exercise—especially brisk walking.
3. Regularity of habit.
4. Possibly the addition of bran, agar, or mineral oils.
5. Sweet disposition. Mean people are always constipated.

Review1. Give classes of food, with examples of each.
2. What are vitamines? How importance discovered?
3. Where most abundant?
4. What is a balanced diet?
5. What should be done for faulty elimination?

 Diet and Health With Key to the Calories


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