Frustrated with lack of consistency of Calorie counts for foods on MFP

Options
Bshmerlie
Bshmerlie Posts: 1,026 Member
edited June 2015 in Health and Weight Loss
The calorie counts for just about all items are all over the board. Today I was putting in simple 8 ounces of chicken breast skinless. The calorie counts for that same 8 ounces can be anywhere from 360 to over 900. Check out my diary as I entered in all the different options when it came to choosing chicken. Descrepencies can be found on most items. Everyone is always telling people to make sure they are weighing their food but the calorie counts could be off by several hundred per day depending upon which items they select from the drop down list on MFP. Is there a website that has true calories counts for basic protiens, fruits and vegetables? Ya know....things that don't come in packages.
«134

Replies

  • DeguelloTex
    DeguelloTex Posts: 6,652 Member
    Options
    I use http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods for stuff that doesn't have nutrition on the package.
  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,565 Member
    Options
    208 grams of protein...I wonder what that person was thinking when they entered it.

    Definitely compare to USDA's nutritional information. This thread will also help you weed those kinds of things out: community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/1234699/logging-accurately-step-by-step-guide
  • MelWick524
    MelWick524 Posts: 215 Member
    Options
    I usually weigh in grams and put "usda" after my search (For example, search, "Boneless skinless chicken breasts USDA") ... there are still variations, but I look through to see which ones have member confirmations, or I compare different ones. Like, if a few entries say 150 calories, a couple say 155 calories, one says 200 calories and one says 900 calories, I'll probably pick the 155 calorie one, as it's close to the most popular one, but I'm estimating just a little more to be safe. That's just me though. Any other suggestions?
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Options
    malibu927 wrote: »
    208 grams of protein...I wonder what that person was thinking when they entered it.

    Definitely compare to USDA's nutritional information. This thread will also help you weed those kinds of things out: community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/1234699/logging-accurately-step-by-step-guide

    I was going to link this if it wasn't already. I found this extremely helpful.

    For whole foods use the non-asterisk entries where possible, and make sure you use the one for the state of the food when weighed (i.e., if you weigh chicken after cooking, don't use the raw entry). Compare with the USDA site if you are unsure, and avoid user-entered recipes and foods where possible. If it's a packaged food, compare with the package information you have.
  • strong_curves
    strong_curves Posts: 2,229 Member
    Options
    It is annoying, I wish they had someone to cull it a bit. But yeah, I usually check the FDA website and that link @malibu927 posted before I add food to my food diary.
  • TheLegendaryBrandonHarris
    TheLegendaryBrandonHarris Posts: 502 Member
    edited June 2015
    Options
    I looked at canned chicken.
    The serving size for a 12 oz can was 2 ounces, the label said 6 servings per can. Ok, then I drained off the water and weighed the chicken---8 ounces.
    Did I pour off two whole servings? Hmm...
    So I looked up the calories in chicken broth. Figured that would give a decent estimate for the water I poured out of the can.
    Very low calories per ounce. Seriously, around 7 calories per ounce. 60 calories per serving multiplied by 6 servings in the can comes to 360 calories. But I poured off 4 ounces, and those took with them ~28 calories. So now the chicken left over is 360-28= 332 calories.
    8 ounces of the canned chicken would be 4 servings. Divide 332 by 4 and you get 83 calories per serving, not 60 like on the label.

    That doesn't seem like an enormous discrepancy, but it's over 20% higher. Extrapolate that out over 2000 calories and you could be 400 calories higher than you thought. That could be rather significant.

    Edit:
    My math ain't so good...
    As I look on Swanson's website, their chicken broth is about 1.2 calories per ounce. That means 360 (total can's calories) minus only 5, and divided by 4 servings. That means 89 calories per serving. 29 calories more than the listed serving. That is 48% higher than the label.
    If you are on a 1600-calorie-par-day limit and are off in measuring by 48%, you are actually eating close to 2400 calories.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,952 Member
    Options
    I try to use the system generated listing, and get irked at so many people's need to put in their own listing. I can't even find the system's listing for chicken breast any more. Fortunately, it was in Frequent for lunch so I was able to copy it into breakfast.

    I do wish the database would get cleaned of duplicate entries.
  • Bshmerlie
    Bshmerlie Posts: 1,026 Member
    Options
    So according to the USA website my 8 oz of boneless skinless chicken breast is only 272 calories? Am I reading that right.
  • Bshmerlie
    Bshmerlie Posts: 1,026 Member
    Options
    So basically on days that I eat chicken I've been shorting myself about 200 calories. And thats just on the chicken.... :(
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Options
    Assuming you weighed it raw, yes.

    If you weighed it cooked, it was more.
  • TheLegendaryBrandonHarris
    Options
    But keep in mind, that is meat only, and RAW.
    8oz of COOKED will be a lot higher.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,952 Member
    Options
    7600b88409596a80c14fcabb07716075.png
  • TheLegendaryBrandonHarris
    Options
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
    Options
    Bshmerlie wrote: »
    So basically on days that I eat chicken I've been shorting myself about 200 calories. And thats just on the chicken.... :(

    Yup hence the reason I made the post about "logging accurately" and I often mention "are you choosing the correct entries"

    If MFP premium came with only USDA calorie entries and from the manufacturer I would pay...
  • Bshmerlie
    Bshmerlie Posts: 1,026 Member
    Options
    I looked at canned chicken.
    The serving size for a 12 oz can was 2 ounces, the label said 6 servings per can. Ok, then I drained off the water and weighed the chicken---8 ounces.
    Did I pour off two whole servings? Hmm...
    So I looked up the calories in chicken broth. Figured that would give a decent estimate for the water I poured out of the can.
    Very low calories per ounce. Seriously, around 7 calories per ounce. 60 calories per serving multiplied by 6 servings in the can comes to 360 calories. But I poured off 4 ounces, and those took with them ~28 calories. So now the chicken left over is 360-28= 332 calories.
    8 ounces of the canned chicken would be 4 servings. Divide 332 by 4 and you get 83 calories per serving, not 60 like on the label.

    That doesn't seem like an enormous discrepancy, but it's over 20% higher. Extrapolate that out over 2000 calories and you could be 400 calories higher than you thought. That could be rather significant.

    Edit:
    My math ain't so good...
    As I look on Swanson's website, their chicken broth is about 1.2 calories per ounce. That means 360 (total can's calories) minus only 5, and divided by 4 servings. That means 89 calories per serving. 29 calories more than the listed serving. That is 48% higher than the label.
    If you are on a 1600-calorie-par-day limit and are off in measuring by 48%, you are actually eating close to 2400 calories.

    That's exactly my point. Some people wonder why they are not losing weight sometimes. Sometimes it doesn't matter if your're weighing all your food correctly you could still be off by hundreds of calories a day depending upon what you eat.
  • TheLegendaryBrandonHarris
    TheLegendaryBrandonHarris Posts: 502 Member
    edited June 2015
    Options
    68pgeligzxva.jpg
    Sorry, not breast, but I plugged that in and got 370 calories for 8 ounces cooked.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,952 Member
    Options
    SezxyStef wrote: »
    Bshmerlie wrote: »
    So basically on days that I eat chicken I've been shorting myself about 200 calories. And thats just on the chicken.... :(

    Yup hence the reason I made the post about "logging accurately" and I often mention "are you choosing the correct entries"

    If MFP premium came with only USDA calorie entries and from the manufacturer I would pay...

    Ditto.

  • TheLegendaryBrandonHarris
    TheLegendaryBrandonHarris Posts: 502 Member
    edited June 2015
    Options
    That USDA page is handy.
  • flamingblades
    flamingblades Posts: 311 Member
    Options
    Thanx for the tip on that nutrition website. When you get several thousand people adding info on the data base, there are bound to be discrepancies. That's why when I add something to the database, I add "from label" in the description. If nothing else, to be able to find my own submission instead of some of the others.