A calorie is not always “a calorie”. By term – Yes.
But when you really break down the molecular structure. A calorie is not always the one consistent piece of nutritional data you should worry about.
Yes, you may have heard of counting calories and people may tell you that you should steer clear of foods because there is ‘X’ amount of calories in it although advocate foods that are of a lower calorie as beneficial because the number is not as high.
Calories differ greatly from one to the other, it’s the breakdown of proteins, fats & carbohydrates that you should be thinking about.
You may have only consumed so many calories, but calories of what ?
What did the majority of those calories consist of ? Protein ? Fat ? Carbs ?
That is what you should be gauging food consumption by.
Fat – 9 calories per gram
Protein – 4 calories per gram
Carbohydrates – 4 calories per gram
The thing is, If the foods that you have consumed have 500 calories throughout the meal although there is 50 grams of fat in that meal then you will have consumed 410 of those calories from fat alone. The fat that you may have consumed may also be rich in saturated fat which effectively over time in mass consumption will begin to cause a change of LDL cholesterol and begin to clog your arteries.
This is why a calorie is much more than a calorie.
Counting calories is great for generally watching your weight and manipulating your weight through energy expenditure. But if you want to stay generally healthy, then be aware of the quantity of macronutrients you are consuming.
Broaden your horizons and keep an eye on your macros.