Nutrition 101: Here’s What You Need to Know About Calories

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Considering calories? Here’s what you need to know
Nutrition 101: Here’s What You Need to Know About Calories
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Don’t be confused by calories.

When it comes to healthy eating, it can be tough to know what to do sometimes — we want to eat enough to feel full (and avoid unhealthy, mid-day snacking), but we can easily be turned off to wholesome foods on the basis of their calorie counts. Eat too few calories and hunger pangs will set in, making it more likely that we’ll indulge in a high-calorie snack or meal. So how do you know what to eat without counting every calorie that enters your body?

According to Elle Penner, MPH, RD, and food & nutrition editor at MyFitnessPal, you should “eat a variety of high-fiber, low-sugar foods, like vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean protein, and healthy plant- or fish-based fats. They're great for regulating hunger and blood sugar, and will keep you feeling full. Also, begin each meal by filling half of your plate or bowl with raw, roasted or steamed vegetables — they'll fill you up and leave less space for those more calorie-dense foods!” That way, you’ll be more likely to stay on track with your healthy-eating goals.

Looking to learn more about calories? MyFitnessPal, the world's leading health and fitness app with a community of over 65 million members worldwide, has a rounded up a few key pieces of information.

For more from MyFitnessPal, visit their blog. Or, click here for more on healthy eating.

Elle Penner MPH, RD, is a registered dietician and food & nutrition editor at MyFitnessPal, the world's leading health and fitness app with a community of over 65 million members worldwide. Elle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Boston College and a master’s degree in public health nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a member of the California Dietetics Association and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Elle resides in San Francisco with her husband, where she's an active runner, food-lover, and healthy lifestyle blogger.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.