What Exactly is a Calorie, and Why Do We Care?

By Casey Chan on at

By now, in 2015 with gluten excommunicated from diets and paleo celebrated and superfood vegetables being discovered left and right, we all generally know what kind of food is good for you and what kind of food is bad for you. But do most of us really know what a calorie is other than a big number being worse than a little number? Probably not! Here’s a video from Ted Ed breaking down the unit of measurement that runs so many people's lives.

The simplest definition is that one calorie is the amount of energy it would take to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. It’s the energy count of food. But it’s important to know that the calories listed on a nutrition label show what the food contains, not what you can get out of it. So calories are useful but they’re not the end-all, be-all guide to healthy living.

This article originally appeared on Sploid, a Gizmodo blog of delicious brain candy