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How Many Calories Equal a Carb?

author image Karen Frazier
Karen Frazier is an author and journalist who has been writing professionally since 1987. She is a journalist and managing editor for "Paranormal Underground Magazine," as well as the wine site editor and a writer at LoveToKnow. Frazier has also written three books. She studied elementary education at Eastern Washington University.
How Many Calories Equal a Carb?
A woman is eating a bowl of cereal. Photo Credit: Visual Ideas/Camilo Morales/Blend Images/Getty Images

Nutrition labels list the volume of carbohydrates, fat, and protein in a food, rather than the calories derived from these nutrients. In order to ascertain how many calories come from carbohydrates, you need to know the calories per gram of carbs.

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Energy stored in foods is measured in calories. Each food contains a different amount of energy. All calories supply your body with the same amount of energy, regardless of the type of food from which they come. For example, fat calories have the same amount of energy as protein calories.


Carbohydrates are macronutrients that contain sugars. Potatoes, rice, sugar, syrup, honey, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes all contain carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the first source of energy your body uses for its energy supply.

Calories in Carbs

Each gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories. If a food label lists the food as having 10 g of carbohydrates, then it contains 40 calories from carbohydrates.

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