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Reading in: "Diet and Health: Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk / Calories: Total Macronutrient Intake, Energy Expenditure, and Net Energy Stores" [NCBI Resources]:

"The thermogenic effect of a meal usually amounts to approximately 10% of the caloric value of the ingested food, and is higher for carbohydrates and protein than for fats".

Does that mean that the thermogenic effect of a meal fluctuates between 9% and 11%, depending on it's composition? If so, the thermogenic impact on the body by a meal's composition would be quite small in comparison with the impact of a meal's calorie content. Or, does food's composition play a bigger role than that? Looking for information from reputable sources.

Calories: Total Macronutrient Intake, Energy Expenditure, and Net Energy Stores

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  • $\begingroup$ "It only takes 2.5 calories to convert 100 calories of fatty acids into body fat. It takes 23 calories (10 times as much energy) to convert 100 calories of protein or glucose into body fat." (Sweet Poison: David Gillespie) $\endgroup$ Feb 15 at 1:09
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According to Diet Induced Thermogenesis (Nutrition & Metabolism, 2004), the percent of calories converted to heat depends on a nutrient:

  • Proteins: 15-30%
  • Alcohol: 10-30%
  • Carbohydrates: 5-10%
  • Fats: 1-3%
  • A mixed meal: ~10% (this is an estimated average)

The thermic effect of nutrients is not a fixed value and can vary greatly within a person and from person to person:

Reported intra-individual variability in DIT, determined with ventilated-hood systems, is 6 to 30% [7,8]. Reported within-subject variability in DIT, determined with a respiration chamber, is 43 to 48%.

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