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What is a kilocalorie?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
A kilocalorie - kcal - is the same amount of energy as a calorie, except that the custom is to use the term "calories" when we're talking about food and "kilocalories" when we're talking about exercise. They're both the same amount of energy. Therefore, a donut is said to contain about 400 calories, and swimming is said to burn 400 to 600 kcal an hour.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.