How Can Something Have Zero Calories?

Have you ever been drinking a soda and notice that it says the beverage contains 0 calories? How can something have no calories? Join Tara as she explains the truth about these foods and drinks.

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The bottom line: Aside from water, no truly calorie-free food or drinks exist. Why do so many things say they have zero calories, then? The FDA legally allows manufacturers to label anything with less than five calories as having zero calories. (For example, the "No Calorie Sweetener", Splenda, really has 3.4 calories per packet.)

Shocked? Well hopefully you're sitting down, because "negative-calorie foods" are also a myth. The thinking behind negative-calorie foods like celery or cucumbers, is that you expend more calories digesting them than they contain, hence, you'll burn calories merely by consuming them. Unfortunately, there's no science to back this up. A single stalk of celery actually has about six calories, but you only burn about a half a calorie digesting it, meaning its net caloric value is around five-and-a-half calories.

Ice water is the only exception. Water has no calories, but since your body has to expend energy to keep at a constant 98 degrees, you do end up burning about eight calories per eight-ounce glass of ice water. If you drank eight of them per day, this would translate to a total loss of about six pounds ... in a year.

Are there any food misconceptions you'd like us to help try to clear up? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below!

Read More:
The Truth About Zero-Calorie Food (
"Are there foods so low in calories that it takes as many (or more) calories to digest them as they contain?"

Misleading Labels: How 'Zero' Calorie Foods Contain Hidden Calories (
"We were having green beans and mushrooms with dinner the other night - one of my favorites. As usual, we had the no-calorie spray butter on the table and I noticed it was getting a little low."

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