Term:kalories

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Why spell kalories with a k?

A kalorie is a food calorie. The 'k' is to prevent confusion with an older historical unit "calorie", which is 1000 times smaller.

Most scientific reports instead say "kilocalorie" or "kcal", which is technically correct, but could easily confuse people in other ways. So we prefer "kalorie", which is pronounced the same as "calorie", but spelled with a pedantic 'k' for 'kilo'.

The 'k' is only needed when specifying numbers, for example:

  • "An apple has 95 kalories."
  • "This diet is 2400 kalories/day."

The 'k' is not needed for general comparisons, for example:

  • "Most of the calories in these chips come from fat."
  • "This crop yields a lot of calories."


Non-food usage
Since kalorie is still a unit of energy, it can still be used in non-food contexts, in place of kilocalorie or kcal.

See also