Calories Vs. Vitamins
( Originally Published 1922 )
Someone has asked—"What about calories, should we know about them as well as vitamins?" I believe that you will very soon see why every housewife should know what foods contain the vitamins; but that the everyday needs of the every-day family do not require a knowledge of calories. In the first place:
WHAT IS A CALORIE?
[First definition]—It is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water four degrees Fahrenheit.
Food in the body is burned (oxidized) and produces heat and energy, hence when used in connection with food :
[Second definition—A calorie represents the amount of food required to produce this same amount of heat in the body.
For example :
A medium-sized slice of bread equals 100 calories.
This means that a medium slice of bread will produce in the body 100 of these heat units.
In other words, a calorie is not a food element. It is a measuring unit.
The calories are not in the bread nor any part of the bread. They simply represent the amount of heat and energy produced by the bread.
A calorie, then, is a measuring unit the same as a quart or pound—representing quantity of heat.
It takes very much more of one kind of food than it does of another to produce this unit of heat in the body. The calorie is chosen as the uniform way of expressing it. The caloric value of a pound and a half of lettuce is the same as that of a slice of bread.
The highest caloried foods are the ones in the academic division already given, vit, Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats.
The ones with the low caloric values are the mineral salts and vitamins.
You see the minerals and vitamins do not pro-duce heat, and a calorie is a measure of heat, but
Without the mineral element in the food the blood becomes impoverished, the tissue waste is not repaired and the food is not properly burned.
Thus it is clear that all of these high caloried foods will not build the body unless accompanied by Nature's own mysterious safeguards—minerals and vitamins—which have practically no caloric value.