Meaning of Kcal (kilocalories)

What is Kcal (kilocalories):

kcal symbolizes a kilocalorie. A kilocalorie is a unit of thermal energy where 1 kilocalorie is equal to 4.1868 kilojoules (KJ), and likewise to 1000 calories (cal).

The kilocalorie (kcal) is often used as a synonym for calories (cal). In biology, both terms used to be equivalent. Also, in everyday usage, kilocalories is abbreviated as calories. To differentiate them, it is convenient to see if their symbol is kcal (for kilocalorie) or cal (for calorie).

The kilocalories (kcal) essential for humans are called basal metabolism. This indicates the minimum kilocalories that each resting body needs for organs and tissues to perform their basic functions to survive.

The amount of energy provided by food and the amount of energy burned through physical exertion are also measured with kilocalories (kcal).

Depending on factors such as the amount of enzymes or bacteria, for example, an individual can absorb fewer or more kilocalories by eating the same food.

In addition, foods that require more energy to be digested, such as whole grains and more fibrous vegetables, provide less energy value than the kilocalories they contain, since an amount is used for said process.

Kilocalories (kcal) and calories (cal) are energy units and do not indicate the additional nutritional contributions that the food may contain. Foods that take more energy to digest usually have protein, nutrients, and essential fats needed for a healthy body.

In this sense, a diet only in kilocalories or calories can lead to malnutrition.

kcal and lime

Kcal stands for kilocalories and cal for calories. 1 kcal is equal to 1000 cal. In most food nutrition tables show kilocalories.

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A boiled egg, for example, usually has 155 kcal; a corn tortilla has 218 kcal and a glass of whole milk has 150 kcal.

Basal metabolic rate is also based on kilocalories. Remember that basal metabolism is the minimum amount of kilocalories necessary for a human being at rest to survive.

The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates, based on weight, physical activity and average muscle mass, that the basal metabolism for a woman is 2000 kcal/day and for men 2500 kcal/day.

See also Metabolism.