This is the age old question which drives a fork between the if it fits your macros community (IIFYM) and traditional healthy food community.
It’s best we start with the definition of what a calorie is specifically, it is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one mL of water by one degree Celsius. The total amount of calories found in food is measured via a bomb calorimeter
So, the definition is relatively straight froward however where most people tend to disagree does 200 calories from can of Tuna equate to 200 calorie from Lollies?
Now this is where the minutiae comes into play – technically a calorie (a unit of measurement) is a unit of measurement and therefore it is straight forward but 200 calories from tuna as oppose from lollies difference in these 3 regards
1. Tuna is a high protein food which is helps with recovery, helps build muscle and your body burns 30% of the calories consumed during the digestion process.
2. “Healthier” foods tend to have more fibre which helps you feel fuller for longer and prevents continual overeating
3. Healthier foods tend to provide more micronutrients
So whilst a calorie is a calorie in the literal definition sense, which foods you consume tend to produce a different outcome of how well the calories will be used, processed and other health benefits associated with type of food you’re eating.