Difference between Calories and Fat

Most people think that calories and fat come under the same category but they are not the same. Having the knowledge about the how different both calories and fat are and where they get stored in our body can make a huge change in our food consumption pattern.

What are Calories?

Calorie, also known as "calary", is said to be a unit that measures the amount of energy released from substrates. This measurement is often used to measure food energy. Thus, 1 kilocalorie is equal to 1000 calories.

Obesity has been a common problem that is prevailing these days and due to this people now pay more and more attention to the food and amount of calorie intake on an everyday basis. It is important to maintain one’s calorie count not only because of the above issue but also

to know the energy amount of food we are taking in everyday in order to maintain a healthy body.

The energy release differs with different substrates like for example, 1g of carbs and 1g of protein would normally produce around 4 calories, and 1g of fat contains about

9 calories. The food we intake undergoes a process called metabolism and in this process the chemical energy of food transforms into chemical energy of ATP. Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP is known as the energy currency that provides energy to all the functions that is occurring in one’s body. In this case if the amount of calorie consumption is more than the amount of calories burned by the body then it will be stored as fat. This results in an increase in body weight.

So, if we want to control weight gain, we can increase the burning rate of fat that is stored by means of exercising.

In another case if the calorie consumption is less than the minimum amount the body needs, then the body weight reduces. In conclusion different individuals need different amounts of calorie intake per day depending on their age.

What is Fat?

Fats are commonly called as oils and lipids in biological terms. The two kinds of fats that can be found in a variety of meals, including proteins, dairy products and carbohydrates are saturated and unsaturated fats.

Fats with one or more double-bond chemical substances in their fatty acid chains is known as unsaturated fat. The two different kinds of unsaturated fats are −

  • Mono-saturated − One double-bond that has two elements between them is known as mono-saturated fat

  • Poly-saturated − Poly-saturated fats are thicker and have double bond. Foods that contain these fats are fish, nuts and legumes.

Another type of fat that can be seen is trans-fat that is hydrogenated plant oils that are used to create synergic fats. These fats are naturally found in several foods like milk, and they are

known to be frequently connected to major heart risks and other health problems like heart diseases, liver dysfunction, cancer and obesity.

Polyunsaturated fats have been known to be healthier in general and when it comes to fats it is best to go for the healthier option.

Difference between Calories and Fat

The following table highlights the major differences between Calories and Fats −





It is a unit that measure the amount of energy.

Fats are natural oily substances that are deposited underneath the skin as a layer around some organs.

Food groups

Foods like corn, potato, beans, etc. have major calorie sources.

Ghee, cream, butter, cakes, pastries, biscuits, etc. have major fat sources in them

Different categories

Calories have two categories that is small calorie and large calorie.

Fats have four categories they are saturated fat, unsaturated fat, trans fat and total fat.

Daily intake

Women − 1600-2400

Men − Between 2000 and 3000

The recommended and ideal fat intake per day should be between 44-77 grams.


What we eat food our body and gives us energy. But if we consume too many calories, we risk putting on weight and becoming obese which leads to health problems that come with obesity. At the same time if we consume too much fat it raises our cholesterol levels and can increase the risk of heart diseases. Thus, too much of either of them is dangerous to our body, every food had differing amount of calories in it that provide our body energy and on the other hand, fats are indissoluble in water. Although few fatty-based food have calories no all calories have fat in them.

Updated on: 20-Jan-2023


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