Widely varying calorie counts in the same food - how to know which is correct?

KeysKat
KeysKat Posts: 5 Member
I find this a LOT, but at the moment, the question concerns roasted chicken thighs with the skin on. I find huge variants in the number of reported calories.

When you find such a wide variety of "opinions" on how many calories a food contains - how do you decide which to use?

I weigh everything, everyday, and am losing steadily. I have been eating only veggies, fruit and seafood. I'd like to add in the occasional chicken thighs, but they are much more calorically dense, and therefore more risky if calculated incorrectly.

thanks in advance for your help. I rarely post here, if ever...but I enjoy reading and learning.

Replies

  • Sunna_W
    Sunna_W Posts: 744 Member
    When I get stuck, I go to the USDA website:

    https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/1142?manu=&fgcd=&ds=

    The link above says that 100g chicken thigh / leg with skin is 421 calories.

    I suck at math - so I just either create or correct what MFP has for a food and then add my amount.
  • MomReborn
    MomReborn Posts: 145 Member
    If you want to only use the MFP database, you'll have to find ways of manipulating your query so it gives you better results. I usually search for a food, such as your chicken thighs, by adding "USDA" at the end of the search term. That normally pulls up the USDA measurements (appropriate if you live in the US, not so much for other countries).

    If you have the ability to use a desktop, or if you can open another tab in your mobile browser, there are additional options to double check those nutrition facts. Visit the food manufacturer's website, such as Tyson, Perdue or Hormel. They will list the nutrition information. I've had some luck using the website called nutritiondata (nutritiondata.self.com) to look up foods too.

    I'm sure some other posters will suggest additional nutrition websites that may be a bit stronger than my source., but hopefully some of these ideas are helpful. Good luck to you! :)
  • Dayle1984
    Dayle1984 Posts: 70 Member
    I look things up on calorie king, and input them under "my foods" for items I eat frequently.
  • KeysKat
    KeysKat Posts: 5 Member
    Yes, Sunna but even the site you quoted has varying numbers.

    Your link is described as "Chicken, skin (drumsticks and thighs), with added solution, cooked, roasted" = 421/100g

    However, "Chicken, dark meat, thigh, meat and skin, with added solution, cooked, roasted" = 214/100g

    and

    "Chicken, broilers or fryers, thigh, meat and skin, cooked, roasted" = 232/100g

    So...apparently you just take your best guess.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
    KeysKat wrote: »
    Yes, Sunna but even the site you quoted has varying numbers.

    Your link is described as "Chicken, skin (drumsticks and thighs), with added solution, cooked, roasted" = 421/100g

    However, "Chicken, dark meat, thigh, meat and skin, with added solution, cooked, roasted" = 214/100g

    and

    "Chicken, broilers or fryers, thigh, meat and skin, cooked, roasted" = 232/100g

    So...apparently you just take your best guess.

    Those aren't interchangeable foods though -- those are three different foods. You can't blame the site for having "varying numbers" when you are comparing different items.

    If you truly don't know which one you are eating, then go with the higher calorie one.
  • allyphoe
    allyphoe Posts: 618 Member
    KeysKat wrote: »
    Your link is described as "Chicken, skin (drumsticks and thighs), with added solution, cooked, roasted" = 421/100g

    This is actually the entry for chicken skin - like the actual physical skin taken off roasted chicken leg quarters.
    KeysKat wrote: »
    However, "Chicken, dark meat, thigh, meat and skin, with added solution, cooked, roasted" = 214/100g
    "Chicken, broilers or fryers, thigh, meat and skin, cooked, roasted" = 232/100g

    "With added solution" means that the chicken's been injected with what's essentially salty water. That's why it has fewer calories for a given weight. Other than that, these two are close enough as makes no difference.
  • pikachuFL
    pikachuFL Posts: 75 Member
    I go first by the nutritional information on the package of the product I buy (when available), then by what the USDA says.
  • TeacupsAndDeadlifts
    TeacupsAndDeadlifts Posts: 7 Member
    I actually don't weigh anything so I either scan the barcode or if I'm just searching for an item I tend to go for the one with the higher calorie amount so that I'm sure I'm not underestimating.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,372 Member
    USDA as well.