Today we learned that ObamaCare, that we already know is filled with intrusive and oppressive regulations designed to allow the federal government to regulate and control every corner our of personal lives and personal decisions, also includes regulations that require calorie count labels and information on all food products served by restaurants and store chains that have 20 or more locations.
As an individual you should decide whether you think there is any value in knowing or counting the calories in the food products you consume. I also have commentary on that, coming up. But first, we can agree on one basic concept. Whether to count calories is a personal choice and the government has business telling business they are required to label these products with calorie counts, nor to tell individuals they must count calories.
But in addition to that, counting calories is worthless. That's right, I say counting calories is worthless. Stop counting calories. Before you decide I belong with the “9/11 truthers” and the “birthers” please open your mind and read the rest of this commentary.
First, to understand the issue of counting calories, and why it's worthless, we need to understand what a calorie is. Some of us remember the experiment we did in school where were learned exactly what a calorie is and how it is measured. I understand that experiment is no longer done in government schools because we don't really want the average person to understand concepts like this. Having this knowledge and understanding means we have people like me to point out the “authorities” are wrong on issues like counting calories.
Wikipedia very precisely and accurately defines what calories are, scientifically:
The name calorie is used for two units of energy:
large calorie, kilocalorie, kilogram calorie, dietary calorie, nutritionist's calorie or food calorie (symbol: kcal or Cal), equal to 1000 small calories.
The experiment I remember conducting in high school involvement measuring the increase in temperature in a volume of water as a result of burning a peanut. The calculation of how much that water increased in temperature by the volume of water allowed the calculation of how many calories are in that peanut. But this is not a valid measure of how much energy our bodies get from that peanut because our bodies don't burn the peanut via a flame as is done in that experiment. This is further illustrated by thinking of this: burn an ounce of gasoline instead of the peanut to measure how many calories are in the ounce of gasoline. It will no doubt have a high number of calories because gasoline burns easily. If I drink that ounce of gasoline, aside from getting sick, my body will derive zero calories from that ounce of gasoline. That's because the human body does not derive energy from calories. Not everything that creates heat by burning it, will provide energy for the human body. Likewise, burning wood in your fireplace creates a lot of heat to heat your house, but try eating a piece of wood and see how much energy that gives your body. None.
What do we count if we don't count calories, and we want to count what the body really gets energy from so we can reduce our consumption of it in an effort to diet and lose weight? It's easy, we should count not calories, but the very things our body actually get energy from: grams of carbohydrates and fat. Calories are counted for carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and fibers. But fiber and protein don't put weight on us and those should not be counted. Carbohydrates and fats do cause us to gain weight and those are what should be counted.
Again, stop counting calories.
Read the story about the ObamaCare calorie count regulations.
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