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Weighing food with various densities?

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• Member, Premium Posts: 1,401 Member
• Member Posts: 2,346 Member
I usually ask my American friends to give me the gram measure for things like ice cream lol pain.
• Member Posts: 2,346 Member
FYI Ice cream is about half in grams as it is in Ml if you can't get the exact gram measure. I cri
• Member, Premium Posts: 1,401 Member
• Member Posts: 10,196 Member
goatg wrote: »
I've tried googling mL to g for oil, but it was reasonably close in weight to water (given how little I consume) so I just decided to round to 1:1.

I technically have a mL beaker for cocktail play, but I'd drive myself crazy trying to measure (and clean) that. If you really wanted to be scientific, you could:

Take a measuring cup of a designated size (let's say 1/4c) and fill it to the brim with water.
Then take the total mL water measured, divide by 60 (since this is how many mL are actually in 1/4cup).
You'll know how much your measuring cup holds. Use the same multiple for oil, or whatever else you're measuring.

There is an easier way to do oil. There are many USDA database entries in grams for all kinds of oil, but if you can't find your specific kind of oil, most oils have roughly the same calories per gram in the amounts usually used give or take a couple of calories so any entry will do. Canola usually has one of the highest so you could use that entry just to be safe.
• Member Posts: 1,571 Member

What food item have you found, OP, that gives the greatest discrepancy? How many calories difference were your calculations based on weight alone vs. the density of the food in question?

Jam. Mostly because of the little berry bits that are mixed in along with it.

I see you're closer to the molasses problem than the oil problem. We're not avid consumers of jam in my house - we stopped buying it when we realized that all the jelly was 7 years expired and had mold in it. I like it well enough to eat it at restaurants, though. I like those little individual pre-measured packets that you find on the tables. I briefly toyed with the idea of buying a case of them - unopened, they should have an indefinite shelf-life, right? But there is less variety, and like I said, we just don't eat enough to justify the purchase. I don't really like measuring spoons for sticky, clumpy ingredients, either. I would probably just measure by eye. I know - that's not particularly accurate, but I tend to err on the side of scant peanut butter servings (I'm always sure I MUST have 2 TBS. before the scale actually registers a full serving) and I'm ok with shortchanging myself a few calories per slice of toast.

I don't even know if U.S. jams suggest portion sizes by volume only, or also by weight. Sorry.

Edited to add: The calculator I linked earlier has a listing for "jams and preserves" wherein it offers that a Tbs. serving would weigh 20 g. If you assume the density of jam matches water, you're missing out on the other 33% of a serving! Of course, using that method, you're counting more calories than you consume, so unless you're trying to gain, you'll be safe. ...assuming you're trying to lose. Probably, this is still "majoring in the minors" anyway, but I didn't have a better plan for how to spend my morning.
edited March 2018
• Member Posts: 8,674 Member
For foods that have entries in the USDA database -- especially basic foods that are the same across brands -- you will generally find that the column header for a volume amount also notes the weight equivalent.
• Member Posts: 558 Member
On the up side if your liquid is denser than water and you are weighing it as 1ml=1g you are at least always overestimating the calories. There aren't many liquids that have a lower density the only thing I can think of is alcohol.
• Member Posts: 8,674 Member
Duchy82 wrote: »
On the up side if your liquid is denser than water and you are weighing it as 1ml=1g you are at least always overestimating the calories. There aren't many liquids that have a lower density the only thing I can think of is alcohol.

Pretty sure most of this is backwards -- most liquids, including alcohol, are less dense than water. But for any that are more dense, you would be underestimating calories by using 1:1 equivalency (e.g., you're logging 100 ml as 100 g, but if it's actually denser, maybe with a 1.15 specific gravity, it would be 115 g, so you're underestimating calories).
• Member Posts: 31 Member
My food scale has a ml mode
• Member Posts: 26,373 Member
luciroo wrote: »
My food scale has a ml mode

Which is a total utter joke, as it's been stated on this thread.

OP, the typically serving size for jam is 20g.
• Member Posts: 344 Member
luciroo wrote: »
My food scale has a ml mode

So does mine, but it doesn’t actually weigh ml because ml are not a measurement of weight. It weighs grams. That setting can only be used for liquids like water.
• Member, Premium Posts: 218 Member
I just check the database for a gram entry of a similar item. If it's reasonably close I'll do 1ml=1g, if it's off by a lot I use the other database entry (verified and checked that it's accurate). I'm not going nuts over a few calories possibly being off as my scale is only so accurate to each gram. Having said that if I'm not losing or maintaining as expected that's one of the first areas I tighten up when looking at my logging.
• Member Posts: 7,852 Member
I have one.
Breyers Maple Nutty twist ice cream.

All I can find is this.
http://www.breyers.ca/product/detail/139644/maple-nutty-twist

I had to do this for cool whip.

Empty the whole container into another one and weight the thing before eating any.

You now have the approximate grams for the ml in the package (because we are unsure whether the manufacturer over or under-fills the pack).

Repeat 2-3 times to make sure they are consistent... and because tasty

(hint: name brand cool whip was consistent enough across all three fat levels)
edited March 2018
• Member Posts: 45 Member
PAV8888 wrote: »
I have one.
Breyers Maple Nutty twist ice cream.

All I can find is this.
http://www.breyers.ca/product/detail/139644/maple-nutty-twist

I had to do this for cool whip.

Empty the whole container into another one and weight the thing before eating any.

You now have the approximate grams for the ml in the package (because we are unsure whether the manufacturer over or under-fills the pack).

Repeat 2-3 times to make sure they are consistent... and because tasty

(hint: name brand cool whip was consistent enough across all three fat levels)

This thread made me think of the cool whip jay that I have in the fridge! I’ve been weighing in grams. Is it a huge difference?

• Member Posts: 7,852 Member
Jeniccm wrote: »
PAV8888 wrote: »
I have one.
Breyers Maple Nutty twist ice cream.

All I can find is this.
http://www.breyers.ca/product/detail/139644/maple-nutty-twist

I had to do this for cool whip.

Empty the whole container into another one and weight the thing before eating any.

You now have the approximate grams for the ml in the package (because we are unsure whether the manufacturer over or under-fills the pack).

Repeat 2-3 times to make sure they are consistent... and because tasty

(hint: name brand cool whip was consistent enough across all three fat levels)

This thread made me think of the cool whip jay that I have in the fridge! I’ve been weighing in grams. Is it a huge difference?

Each tablespoon weights approximately 4.5g.

So a 3 tablespoon "portion" comes to about 13.5g

The 1L (1000ml) containers are about 300g in weight
edited March 2018
• Member Posts: 677 Member
I use a graduated cylinder to find the density of the mL-only items that i use the most. If you want to be ridiculously accurate about your calories, that’s one of the best ways.

But looking up the information online is a much easier method, and definitely a more sane one.
edited March 2018