# Calorie Counter

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# Calories in cooked lentils vs raw

Member Posts: 240 Member
I've made lentil and bacon soup twice now and I realised I completely underestimated the calories the first time.

The packet says 118 calories per 100g cooked. So does this mean that 100g of lentils which have soaked up the water provides 118 calories?

I put my soup down as 250g/3 portions = 83g of lentils per portion and 97cals per portion. Now I realise that is totally wrong.
My soup is about 375g with onions and bacon so probably about 350g of lentils and 413 calories.

But the instructions on the packet say cover the lentils with water and boil. But I added 1.25l of water for 250g of lentils the first time and 1.5l of water the second time, which then made 4 portions instead of 3 (with 2 added small potatoes).

And 350g of soup still says 413 calories

But Sainsburys - Red Lentils (Uncooked) says - 100g Calories = 304. So 63g of uncooked lentils will provide 191 kals, which is under half.

So how many calories does my soup have? I'm so confused

Recipe -
Lidl lentils - 250g (118g per cooked 100g)
Water - 1.5l
Garlic - 4 cloves
Onion - 2 medium
5 Slices of back bacon with fat cut off
bit of Flora Cuisine
= 4 portions about 375g each

## Replies

• Member Posts: 1,790 Member
Honestly, lentils are lentils. Do a database search for "lentils dry," pick the generic (unstarred) option, and log them by the *uncooked* weight. It'll simplify things immensely. I'm having lentils tonight; I've pre-logged a single serving of dry lentils and what I'll do in the kitchen is to weigh out two dry servings of lentils, cook them, and split the whole thing in half to share with my kid (so that I end up with one serving). You can do this yourself if you're making a big batch of whatever -- weigh the total dry lentils you're using and then log them as a percentage (so if you use four servings of dry lentils and then eat 1/4 of the cooked soup, you'd log one serving of dry lentils in your diary).
• Member Posts: 348 Member
The red lentils from tesco are 90cals per 30g dry weight. I assume all red lentils are the same or very similar.
• Member Posts: 38,067 Member
cooking doesn't change the caloric value of food save for adding oils and what not...adding more or less water isn't going to change the calorie content of any food. If you're adding stuff like veggies and bacon and whatnot, you have to add those items separately or use the recipe builder and be consistent.
• Member Posts: 6,439 Member
While the calories won't change due to water, the volume will so 100g cooked isn't going to be the same as 100g uncooked. That's why it's important to measure dry if the package says dry or measure cooked if the package says cooked. It's the same with pasta. As avskk noted, lentils are lentils so I would use the listing for another brand and go with what it says for dry.

Wish I could help you with all the math but it's way too late in the day for me to try to figure all of that out.
• Member Posts: 240 Member
I did search for the dry lentils but some of the values look the same or similar to the cooked calories. But surely the cooked depends on how much water you add. I wouldn't normally be too bothered but I plan on having this soup a lot.

A lot of the values are very different, for instance 'Sainsbury's - Dried Green Lentils' gives 71 kcals for 80gs, but I think the average is about 200 cals per 62.5g of raw lentils.

That makes my soup more like 250 cals vs 483 cals using the cooked lentil values. Does that sound about right?
• Member Posts: 1,790 Member
My green lentils are 80 calories per 35g uncooked. This is not going to vary from brand to brand; unless something has been added to them, lentils are lentils are lentils.

There is really no way to be accurate if you weigh them after cooking; the weight (and therefore calorie content) will vary wildly depending on how much water your lentils absorbed, what you cooked them in, etc. Find the generic -- not a brand name, not Sainsbury's, but the plain unstarred "lentils - dry" -- entry, weigh your lentils uncooked, and adjust accordingly. Build your soup as a recipe (e.g. "200g dry lentils," "3 bouillon cubes," "25g bacon raw"), portion it into servings, put the number of servings into your recipe builder, and log however many servings you ate.

ETA: I'm not meaning to be abrupt here, but it does sound like you're looking for a way to fudge the caloric content of your soup and believe it's super low-calorie. It may be, it may not be, but you won't know unless you're willing to measure and log it accurately... and wishing really hard will not make the crazy-low number accurate.

ETA2: SON OF ETA: I just checked; the accurate entry in MFP can be found by searching for "lentils raw." About halfway down the column are three unstarred entries -- one for "Lentils - Pink, Raw" (red lentils), one for "Lentils - Raw" (green or brown lentils), and one for "Lentils - Raw, Sprouted." These are the most reliable entries; weigh your lentils uncooked and use them appropriately!
• Member Posts: 5,264 Member
Just a ballpark guess, but I think 100g of dry lentils is about 200g cooked.
• Member Posts: 240 Member
ETA: I'm not meaning to be abrupt here, but it does sound like you're looking for a way to fudge the caloric content of your soup and believe it's super low-calorie. It may be, it may not be, but you won't know unless you're willing to measure and log it accurately... and wishing really hard will not make the crazy-low number accurate.

No I don't, that's why I was worried. I had it down as 190 cals per portion originally (based on cooked lentil values) before I remade it and realised it was more (but not 480 cals). Then I changed my entries for the last few days and realised I was over each day if I used the uncooked values. I think it actually works out a bit less than saying a 350g portion of soup with of 118kcals per 100g cooked because I added extra water for the soup.

If I use the Lentils - Pink, Raw, 62g = 214 cals. I'll go with that.

Soup = about 270 cals with bacon and onion.

Thanks everyone (everything I searched for using google showed the cooked calories, hence the problem)
• Member Posts: 1 Member
If you look a various packages of dry lentils, the calories varies widely between them. For instance, a package of Krogers Lentils has 80 cal per 35g, a package of Hayes Star Lentils shows 140 cal per 48g, and a package of Our Family Lentils shows 170 cal per 48g. If we scale up the Krogers to 48g, we have 110 cal.
In summary, we have for 48g (dry):
Krogers: 110 cal
Hayes Star: 140 cal
Our Family: 170 cal
A calorimeter should be more accurate than that, so what's going on here?
A calorimeter measures the heat given off by "heating" everything. But that includes dietary fiber (insoluble and soluble). Lentils have a *lot* of dietary fiber (a good thing), but it contributes to the calorie count. A dieter doesn't want to see those numbers added in, particularly the non-soluble fiber. So one possibility is that some of these manufactures have tried to subtract the calories attributed to fiber. Perhaps Krogers removed them all, Hayes removed just the insoluble, and Our Family removed none of it.
This is JUST MY GUESS.
But I think I would be tempted to use the middle number (140 cal) in the calorie calculation for your meal.
edited September 15