Food with a high Thermic effect - For slow processing of food items


The thermic effect of food means the energy that is expanded by our body in order to eat and digest (which includes metabolizing, transporting and storing) food. This expansion of the energy is done by what we call burning calories. Some foods have a high thermic effect than the others. This means they require the greatest amount of energy for processing. Thus these foods need a lot of time to get processed and digested and get turned into body fat. There is little or no thermic effect in such foods. Following are some foods and their thermic effects -

Foods and their thermic effects -

Following is a list of some types of food items and their thermic effects -
Proteins - Proteins have a very high thermic effect and thus need the maximum amount of energy expansion roughly estimated up to 30 percent.
Carbohydrates - The thermic effect of carbohydrates falls somewhere between that of proteins and fats, and thus it can be said that carbohydrates have a medium thermic effect. Thus the amount of energy needed to process carbohydrates is neither low nor high.
Fat or dietary fats - Fats or dietary fats on the other hand have a very low thermic effect and hence can be processed and turned into body fats very quickly. Their thermic effect is estimated to be roughly 2 to 3 percent.
Thus each food item has different thermic effect, and food items categorized under the proteins have a higher thermic effect than the others. Thus foods like milk, egg white, meats, fish etc.

What does high thermic effect mean?

The meaning of high thermic effect can be explained with the help of an example. A low thermic effect is generally 2 to 3 percent while average is taken to be 10 percent. High thermic effect means 20 to 30 percent. This means to replace 500 burned calories you would have to eat around 600 to 650 calories. Most people are unaware of the concept of thermic effect, although it is a very important concept in nutrition and dietics. Due to thermic effect, weight loss may just seem a bit easier!

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