What Is Kcal & How Do We Measure It?

Kcal, or kilocalories is a unit of energy widely used in nutrition.

When we eat and drink, we put energy into our bodies. Our bodies use up that energy through everyday movement.

Every cell in our body requires energy to function at its optimal capacity. You need to nourish your body right.

If you don’t get enough nutrients that calories provide, there will be negative consequences.

Table of Contents

Kcal, A Measurement Of Energy

Kcal means kilocalories, or more commonly named just calories. That’s one way of measuring the amount of energy there is in a food or drink.

Food energy is used to meet the body's needs for protein synthesis, maintenance of body temperature, cardiac output, respiration, and muscle function. (source )

Measure Kcal

There are two ways to measure the amount of energy you can find in foods or drinks by kilocalories, Kcal or kilojoules, kJ. (source )

One kilocalorie is equivalent to 4.184 kJ. That’s the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kg of water 1°C at standard atmospheric pressure. (source )

Energy Comes From Food

The energy we consume comes from carbohydrates, protein, fats, and alcohol. (source )

More than 95% of food's energy is digested and absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract to provide the body's energy needs. (source )

Foods You Can Find Kcal (Energy) In

You find Kcal (Energy) mostly in fats and oils, and dairy and egg products.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can access regularly updated top-ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most kcal, we recommend you use our tool.

Here's our top-ranked list of foods that contain kcal.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

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Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.