How do you know how many calories are ACTUALLY in fruit and veg?



  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 29,600 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    @AnnPT77 I thought about explaining some of that but I figured you'd be along to do it and you like to type more than I do. Also the laziness.

    LOL! Fast touch typing: It has pros and cons. ;)
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,881 Member
    edited February 2019
    I don't think everyone needs to weigh. I didn't at first even though I had a scale for baking, because I thought it was obsessive and oppressive, and I lost fine. But I realized I was spending more time trying to estimate than just weighing and started to do it and found it fun (this was around the time I discovered the USDA entries and the marvelous 100 g option).

    Cups were always counterintuitive to me since I rarely measured things in cups and things like broccoli in a cup just don't make sense to me (depends how you cut it or how much you shove it in). Same with things like tsp (how much you put in depends on how much you are motivated to put in with some things). That's why I got the scale for baking in the first place.

    I also don't get measuring out cooking ingredients (I was a by sight cook), and find weighing pleasurable since I just do it when I'm chopping, no extra tools needed, and I can guess and see how close I am and still feel like I'm going by eye and tossing in what I want. Today I had some leftover brussels (151 g) and leftover cauliflower (116 g) when I was making dinner, and rather than trying to fit them in a cup I just weighed what I had and used them up.

    Maybe this is different for those used to recipes that call for cups? I hate cooking from recipes, so realizing I didn't have to was freeing for me. That said, the USDA entries usually do have cup options and for many they will be fine.
  • melissalatzel25
    melissalatzel25 Posts: 144 Member
    On mfp, not all green ticks are the one you wanna look for. look for the FULL descriptive ones :
    apples, raw, with skin.
    pineapples, raw, all varieties
    rice, brown, uncooked,

    this is how you know its entered my admins and not public. if im not sure, i go to cronometer and type the food and cronometer is extremely correct so i can verify ..for nutrition labels, if it says 100g, its the dry weight as you have it in the bag...... after cooking, weight varies so makes sense to use dry weight. because you might have extra water weight in your rice compared to another person etc. sometimes it shows cooked weight but that is usually written "cooked:
  • Chaos_Angel
    Chaos_Angel Posts: 23 Member
    I would just go for the most consistent answer you see :) No need to get too worked up about it.
    So if I saw broccoli is 25 a cup, but another place said 40, and another place said 35? I'd go for the answer that is closest to the average ~ ( ͡ᵔ ͜ʖ ͡ᵔ )
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
    I log my fruits and veggies as those calories can add up.

    And like most here I believe that logging accurately and consistently helps people stay in goal for weight loss/gain or maintenance.
  • gvizzle74
    gvizzle74 Posts: 123 Member
    When i need a definitive source, i turn to this book
  • Colorfan
    Colorfan Posts: 230 Member
    I always go for the USDA ones. And then I compare the entries to make sure theyre consistent, and I go with that.

    Helps that theyre usually listed in grams, too, so I just weigh everything in grams. If the entry has ounces, or whole fruit/veg, I skip those. Those are just too unreliable.
  • corrarjo
    corrarjo Posts: 1,157 Member
    We are carbon based life forms. Everything we eat is a carbon based life form. Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins are based on molecules of hydro-carbons. It's basic fuel and, just like wood and gasoline, it burns. Calories are a measure of the energy released when a substance is burned under laboratory conditions. The only way to know how many calories are in the apple you are about to eat is to burn it and measure the energy. But then you can't eat it because it's burned up. The calories listed for any food is an estimate based on the amount of calories observed in a controlled experiment. The next time you go to the supermarket look at the calories listed on packaged fruits and vegetables and make an educated guess as to the calorie content of your next meal.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    Anita4548 wrote: »
    Another example is frozen peas. On the back of the packet, it shows nutritional values but doesn't say if it's for 100g frozen or boiled or what?

    For this part - it's the frozen weight.
    Or in the case of dry products (pasta) - the dry weight.

    Because they have no idea how your cooking method will change the water content, which could change dramatically the weight.
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
    ChrisManch wrote: »
    You don't know, and it doesn't really matter.

    They calculate how many calories are in a food by dessicating it, so it is completely dried out, and then burning it in a stream of oxygen and measuring how much heat that generates.

    The ACTUAL calories your body obtains from food will be different, because you digest it in a different way. DIfferent people will obtain different amounts of calories from the same food.

    Then the amount of calories in a parsnip will depend on how sunny it was when it was growing, how much rain there was, how closely they were planted, the soil, the variety of parsnip, how long it has been stored and how, how it was cooked etc. etc. etc.

    To lose weight you need to have a deficit between energy expended and energy consumed. The other side of the equation to eating (energy expended) will also vary depending on the person, what they were doing, their metabolic rate, the surrounding temperature etc.

    Published values for calories are only approximate based on averages. You can't really measure how much energy you are expending during the day (step counters and fitbit estimates are wildly inaccurate measures of energy expenditure).

    The important thing to lose weight is to eat less, eat better, and be more active. Don't get hung up on counting every calorie because you can't.

  • WickedddMelon
    WickedddMelon Posts: 17 Member
    edited February 2019
    Anita4548 wrote: »
    What I mean by this is ... for example I wanted to find out how many calories in parsnips. I've never ever had parsnips before so got some from a farmers market no packaging to try. Googled it and the calories differ everywhere. One place says 66cal per 100g. Other says 85. Who do I trust? Also is that for raw parsnips?
    Another example is frozen peas. On the back of the packet, it shows nutritional values but doesn't say if it's for 100g frozen or boiled or what?
    And a third example that I struggle with often is apples.. there are SO many different "apple" entries on MFP and even if I measure how much my apple weights I have got the option to log 65 to 85 to 150 calories.
    I know they only differ by a little bit but I really want to track everything very accurately. What is your opinion?

    You can't. Fruits and veggies are all different. One apple isn't the same as the next even if they're the same variety. Different sizes, different ripenesses, different amounts of natural sugars. You absolutely CANNOT count calories for any food exactly. Even the calories printed on packaging aren't right on because there's no way to accurately calculate how many calories are in each individual food item. Educating yourself on things like this will be fundamental if you want to be successful.
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,881 Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    Interestingly, many of us who have been logging here for years, reached our goal weight and are maintaining that weight in proportion to what our logged calorie balance would suggest. So while I agree there is no way to know how exact the numbers are, they are clearly close enough to use an understanding of CICO to manipulate your weight, and to make choosing the most accurate entries worthwhile.