You hear the term all the time empty calories and you know you should avoid them. I just want to hammer the point home a little more and dig a little deeper into the nutritional hole that is an empty calorie. Empty calories are foods that contain a lot of calories, but they offer very low nutritional value. Generally they lack micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, as well as the all-important fiber. Junk food is another way to say empty calories. At our house we also refer to them as "sugar bombs" and "fried bombs."
Sodas, beer, jellybeans and french fries are some popular examples of empty calories. Leave those high cal, low nutrient foods behind and look for nutritionally dense foods.
Here is a helpful comparison:
- Three ounce serving of skinless, roasted chicken breast contains 142 calories and 26 grams of protein
- Six Chicken McNuggets (3.4 ounces) contains 252 calories and 15 grams of protein
It seems obvious, but to hammer the point home even a little more, you should opt for skinless, roasted chicken. You get more protein with fewer calories.