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Misuse of the Word “Calorie”

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A calorie (small c) is also known as a small calorie. It’s equal to the amount of energy required to heat 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius… which isn’t a lot.

What’s seen on food and beverage listings is a Calorie (note the capital C). This is equivalent to the amount of energy needed to heat 1 kilogram of water that same 1° C.—quite a bit more. This is the Calorie referred to when you’re discussing a 1,200-Calorie-a-day diet. No wonder it’s tough to lose those pesky extra pounds!

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