In most cases, calories per serving are determined by figuring out how many grams of carbohydrates and proteins are found in certain foods and then multiplying by the number of calories found in those substances. This is not the most meticulous method, but it is fairly accurate and less time-consuming than previously used methods. Another method formerly used in determining the number of calories per serving a food involved placing a portion of the food in a container and then placing the container in water. The food was then burned and the temperature of the water was monitored. For each degree Celsius (33.8 degrees Fahrenheit)the water rose, one calorie was listed as being contained in the food.
Calories are a way of measuring the amount of energy within food. They are needed to fuel the body in all aspects of function. Those who eat too many or too few calories can suffer serious health problems. High calorie intake is related to obesity, which can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and many other health conditions. Low calorie intake can also cause problems because they body can't get the nutrients and energy it needs. Eventually organs begin to shut down if caloric intake dips too low. For this reason, it is important for many people to keep track of the calories per serving of foods being eaten.
Both carbohydrates and proteins have a specific number of calories per gram of weight. When determining the total number of calories per serving of a certain food, experts calculate how many proteins and carbs are present in grams, and then multiply that by the number of calories typically found in a gram of those substances. This is not always exact since not all carbohydrates can be calculated the same. For instance, grains and other carbs with insoluble fiber should not be calculated in the same way as those without.
Consumers can usually find the calories per serving of a particular food on the packaging, but this may not be true for all countries. It's also possible to calculate the number of calories by looking up the calories found in each ingredient contains in a particular packaged food. For instance, if one wanted to determine the calories per serving of meatloaf it would be necessary to add the calories of the eggs, meat, breading, and any other ingredients added. Calories in packaged foods can also be determined by contacting the food manufacturer.