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Q.

What are empty calories?

 

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A.

Empty calories are calories from solid fats, added sugars, and/or alcohol. Solid fats and added sugars often add calories to a food with few or no nutrients. For this reason, the calories from solid fats and added sugars in a food are often called empty calories.

Solid fats are fats that are solid at room temperature, like butter, beef fat, and shortening. Some solid fats are found naturally in foods. They can also be added when foods are manufactured or when they are prepared.

Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added when foods or beverages are manufactured or prepared.

A small amount of empty calories is okay, but most people eat far more than is healthy. It is important to limit empty calories to the amount that fits your calorie and nutrient needs. You can lower your intake by eating and drinking foods and beverages containing empty calories less often or by decreasing the amount you eat or drink.

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