Understanding Calories

  • Women Looking At Calorie Information In Nutrition Label

Calories or Kilojoules?

Calories and kilojoules are both units of energy in food. They tell us how much energy the food we eat provides. Kilojoules are the official unit for measuring energy in South Africa and must be included in the nutrition panel, while calories are used in other countries such as the USA. We then use that energy to perform various functions and activities. The more calories or kilojoules a food contains the more energy it provides to the body. The handy conversion rate is: 4.2kJ = 1000 calories.

How Much Should I Have?

Active people will need to consume a bit more kJ and those who are less active will require a little less. The energy from food goes towards fueling our bodies to perform their necessary functions such as digestion and muscle movements, as well as extra activities such as walking, running and mowing the lawn. That’s why it’s important to eat the right amount of food to suit your activity levels to help maintain a healthy weight.

How Much Is in My Food?

All food companies need to list the kilojoule levels of their foods on the nutrition information panel. Calories are optional so you may need to use our handy conversion if you want to work it out yourself. You can find the energy content of all Kellogg’s® food on the panel, together with the percentage of energy it contributes to your daily energy intake (%DV). Kellogg’s cereals contribute around 7-10% of adults daily energy needs.

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