A Calorie IS a Calorie
A calorie is a unit of measurement for energy. Specifically the energy it takes to raise a gram of water one degree Celsius. Used interchangeably with another measurement, the kilojoule (of which 4.184 kilojoules = 1 calorie), these units are seen mostly on nutrition labels telling us the energy content of different foods. Foods differ in their make up of both micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) and macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbohydrates). Most nutrition textbooks will tell you that each macronutrient contains a certain amount of calories per gram with fat being the highest at 9 calories per gram, alcohol in second with 7 calories per gram, protein and carbohydrates coming in last at 4 calories per gram each.
So what does this mean for us? Well, food intake has always been a controversial topic where on one side of the spectrum some will say that the calorie does not matter as long as you eat whole, unprocessed foods while the other side will tell you that all that matters is getting the right amount of calories in and ratio of macronutrient intake be damned. The truth is somewhere in the middle and all of the macronutrients matter in a balanced diet. In order to have a healthy, balanced diet you should get a certain amount of calories per day from fats, proteins and carbohydrates.