What is the difference between calories and kcal? Let’s make it clear!

Do you know what is the difference between calories and kcal? Already because they are not the same thing and it is important to understand why and what they indicate.

The difference between calorie and kcal is really simple: it is the same between the kilo and the gramTherefore 1 kilocalorie equals 1000 calories. So why do we often tend to get so confused? Let’s try to clarify a bit.

What are Calories?

The calorie is used not only to indicate the amount of energy contained in food, but also how unit of measure of energy in physics. In particular, a calorie is the amount of energy that raises a kilo of distilled water from 14.5°C to 15.5°C by one degree of temperature. In this case, however, we are talking about big caloriesdenoted as Cal, with a capital letter.

french fries
french fries

Going back to what we said earlier, therefore, 1 cal equals 1000 cal. These values ​​are the ones usually used to indicate the energy requirements daily life of our organism (depending on age, physique and activities carried out it is around 2000 Cal).

You are probably wondering why then the correct nomenclature is not used, resorting to this writing distinction. The motivation is quite simple: the calorie as such is too small to measure energy input necessary for the organism, therefore for convenience it is never used in food.

So far so clear, but the Kcal?

It is a more than legitimate question given that all the labels bearing the nutritional values I express the caloric intake in Kilocalorie, Kcal bones. Don’t panic, you won’t have to do strange calculations but simply remember that Kcal is equivalent to a large calorie. So Kcal and Cal are the same thing in food.

In conclusion, let’s also mention the other unit of measurement usually shown on labels, the Kj or the Kilojoules. This is used in the international reference system and the equivalence turns out to be quite complex:
1 Joule = 0.2388459 calories
1 caloria = 4.1867999409 Joule

Do you know how many calories a glass of wine contains?

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