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Thermic Effect of Food

thermic effect of food

In this article let us learn about the Thermic Effect of Food(TEF) and burn calories as it manages overall body weight and provides us optimal health.


To begin with, Elevated rate of metabolism after food intake is considered as the Thermic Effect of Food.

In addition, It is directly linked with the calorie burning process in the body. After ingestion of food, the body spends energy for breakdown and digestion of food and absorption of nutrients of food. Types of food affect the thermic effect.

Similarly, Some foods boost metabolism rate by increasing the thermic effect.

Ultimately, food does not directly burn calories, but the type of food consumed by the body requires a certain amount of energy for digestion, absorption and metabolism is the process which burns the calories. Every food has a different effect.

Factors that influence the thermic effect;


  1. Age: As the age increases, the digestive process and sympathetic activities slows down which decreases the thermic effect.
  2. Meal size: Bigger meals require more energy for digestion, so energy expenditure will be high, it means the thermic effect of food will be high.
  3. Constitution of the meal: The type of food consumed also affects the thermic effect of food. Protein rich food requires more energy for process and digest, hence they have a high thermic effect of food.

Types of Food which requires more energy for getting processed:

  1. Protein rich food: eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes, fish, etc.
  2. Zinc and Selenium rich food: sea food, nuts, legumes, pulses, etc.
  3. Oil: Coconut oil

Moreover, Study shows that Protein has the highest thermic effect, which is 20 % to 30 %, Carbohydrates have 5 % to 10% and Fats have the lowest thermic effect which is 0 % to 3 %.

Benefits of High Thermic Effect of Food:

  1. Increases metabolism
  2. Decreases the weight
  3. Calories burn easily
  4. Protein and Fibre rich food are beneficial for health
  5. Good metabolism keeps the body diseases free and helps to avoid Hypertension, Obesity, Polycystic Ovarian Disease(PCOD) and Heart issues.

6. Improves Thyroid gland functions.

7. Helps to reverse Insulin resistance.

In conclusion, Looking at the above advantages, we should note that our food should contain 50 % vegetables and fruits, 40 % Protein, 5 % healthy Fats and 5 % whole grains.

I hope that this article has explained the “Thermic effects of Food” and you find it useful.

If you liked the article, leave your feedback and share it with your family and friends so that they too can get benefits from it.

Do stay tuned with us for more such interesting updates.

Dr.Hetal Patel


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