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What Gives the Most Energy Per Gram: Fat, Protein or Carbohydrates?

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Lindsay Boyers has a Bachelor of Science in nutrition from Framingham State College and a certificate in holistic nutrition from the American College of Healthcare Sciences. She is also a licensed aesthetician with advanced training in skincare and makeup. She plans to continue on with her education, complete a master's degree program in nutrition and, ultimately, become a registered dietitian.
What Gives the Most Energy Per Gram: Fat, Protein or Carbohydrates?
Close up of a woman's hand with bread and olive oil on plate. Photo Credit: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Your body gets energy from calories, which come from three sources: fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Although your body can convert the calories from all three of these macronutrients into energy, fat gives you the most energy because it contains the most calories per gram.

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Protein and carbohydrates each contain 4 calories per gram. Fat -- the most energy dense of the nutrients -- contains 9 calories per gram. Fat not only gives you the most energy per gram, but your body also has an unlimited ability to store fat so it can call on this energy for later use. Although fat does provide energy, too much is not a good thing. Keep your fat intake at 20 to 35 percent of your calories.

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