The word calorie is a fairly common word.
‘Ice cream is loaded with calories’ or ‘Watch your calories to lose weight’, ‘Count calories’ and so on …
But when people talk about calories in food, what exactly do they mean? Let’s find out.
A calorie is a unit of measurement, a unit of energy. When you hear that something contains 100 calories, it is a way of describing how much energy your body could generate by eating or drinking it.
Are calories always bad for you?
Calories are not bad for us. Our body needs calories for energy. But eating too many calories, and not burning enough through activity, can certainly lead to weight gain. Hence the need to know which foods have how many calories or, in other words, which food will provide how much energy to the body.
Most foods and drinks contain calories. Some foods, like iceberg lettuce, contain fewer calories. (A cup of shredded lettuce has less than 10 calories.) While other foods, like roasted peanuts, contain a lot of calories. (Half a cup of peanuts has about 427 calories.)
Simple measurements and their meanings
1 kilojoule (kj) = 1000 joules
1 kilo of calories = 1000 grams of calories
1 calorie = 4.18 kj
1 g of fat = 9 cal = 38 kj
1 g of carbohydrates = 4 cal = 17 KJ
1 g of protein = 4 Cal = 17 kJ
This means that if you know how many grams of each nutrient (read fat, protein, or carbohydrate) are in a food, you can easily calculate total calories. You would multiply the number of grams by the number of calories in a gram of that food component.
For example, if a serving of potato chips (about 10 potato chips) has 10 grams of fat, this implies that 10 grams of fat x 9 calories per gram = 90 calories come from fat. Simple!
Ideally, we should aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet that provides us with the correct amount of calories, not too many and not too few!
The calorie counter or chart provided on this page makes it easy to count calories for foods such as vegetables, fruits, cereals, breads, and dairy products. You can use this chart to find the calories in your favorite vegetables, fruits, or cereals and make your own low-calorie recipe.
Calorie counting table:
Know the calorie content of various foods.
Calories in fruits per 100 grams
Values are in calories. Multiply by 4.18 to get values in kJ.
Orange juice 100ml 47
Calories in Vegetables per 100 Grams
Fenugreek (Methi) 49
Green beans 26
Spinach 100g 26
Spinach 1 leaf 2
Spinach 1 bunch 78
Tomato juice 100ml 22
Calories in cereals per 100 grams
Corn flour 355
Wheat flour 341
Calories in Bread per piece
1 medium chappati 119
1 slice of white bread 60
1 paratha (without filling) 280
Calories in Milk and Dairy Products per cup
Butter 100gms. 750
Cream 100gms. 210
Ghee 100gms 910
Milk buffalo 115
Cow’s milk 100
Skimmed Milk 45
Calories in other items
1 tablespoon sugar 48
Honey 1 tablespoon 90
Coconut water 100 ml 25
Be mindful of calories, but not just the number of calories in your diet. What is much more important than calorie count is the quality of the calories or the source of the calories in your plan – that is, whether you get 300 calories from a can of cola or a chicken sandwich.