What is a kilojoule

By admin
22 May 2013

A kilojoule is a unit representing the energy value of food and the amount of energy the body burns.

A kilojoule is a unit representing the energy value of food and the amount of energy the body burns, dietician Tracy Ugarchund says. The body uses energy for physical activity and maintaining basic metabolic processes such as digestion and breathing. If you take in more kilojoules than your body requires for everyday processes and physical activity it is stored as fat, Tracy says. Some foods and drinks contain more kilojoules than others. For example the energy value per gram of fat is 37 kJ; alcohol is 29 kJ; carbohydrates are 16 kJ; protein is 17 kJ; fibre is 13 kJ and water is 0 kJ

Energy calculator

The Health & Lifestyle Consultancy in Johannesburg uses a simple formula to estimate energy requirements:

1 Find out your ideal body weight by working out your body mass index (BMI) – weight divided by height Squared. There are online and cellphone apps that make it easy.

2 Daily kJ = ideal body weight (based on BMI) or current weight x 105 for weight maintenance without exercise.

3 Daily kJ = ideal body weight (based on BMI) or current weight x 126 for weight maintenance with exercise

Want to lose weight?

Reduce your energy intake by about 2 000 kJ a day to lose between 0,5 and 1 kg a week. Not all foods’ kilojoules behave the same way though. Some, such as processed carbohydrates, might stimulate production of insulin, resulting in a body that more readily deposits fat and less readily burns it – so steer away from processed foods such as cakes, chips and breads.

Calories vs Kilojoules

They’re the same thing, just different measuring systems much like miles and kilometres. One calorie equals 4,2 kJ.= So if a product contains 50 calories, it contains 210 kJ (50 x 4,2).

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