Calorie Density

Recently Linn Steward, RDN, a Culinary Nutritionist and Recipe Analyst for Gourmet Metrics, LLC, and I had an interesting exchange on LinkedIn about nutrient density. She inspired me to delve into the topic a little more deeply. Nutrient density is a measure of the nutritional content of food relative to its weight or volume. Instead of comparing 90 grams of strawberries to 250 grams of sweet potatoes, you compare the nutrients in 100 grams of individual foods to each other.

Calorie density (much like the glycemic index) can miss the point. For example, a banana has a calorie density of 89, while strawberries have a density of 32. This doesn’t mean that you should never eat another banana, though. Instead, this table could be used to understand that one could eat 1,000 grams of peaches for the same number of calories as they’d get in 100 grams of a cupcake.

Moving forward, I plan to create similar tables for other nutrients such as sugar, fiber, and fat. Leave a comment if there’s a specific nutrient that you’d be interested in seeing in the future!

FoodCalories per 100 grams
Fruit
Apple52
Banana89
Blueberry57
Cherries63
Kiwi61
Peach39
Pear57
Pineapple50
Strawberry32
Watermelon30
Vegetables
Bell pepper28
Carrot35
Corn96
Green bean35
Mushroom28
Pea84
Spinach23
Sweet potato90
Tomato18
Zucchini15
Grains
Bread stuffing195
Brown rice (cooked)112
Cheerios cereal376
Ritz Crackers480
Dinner roll273
Lucky Charms cereal380
Oatmeal (cooked)71
Tortilla325
Waffle291
White bread266
Meat, Fish, Poultry
Chicken breast165
Chicken thigh214
Cod105
Ground beef (80% lean)272
Ham139
Lamb chop330
Pork chop209
Salmon206
Sirloin steak243
Venison150
Dairy
Buttermilk40
Cheddar cheese404
Cottage cheese98
Fruit-flavored yogurt95
Mozzarella cheese300
Plain yogurt63
Ricotta cheese138
Skim milk34
Sour cream198
Whole milk61
Sweets and Snacks
Cheetos560
Chex mix418
Chocolate chip cookie492
Chocolate ice cream216
Frosted cupcake389
Nutrigrain cereal bar324
Pop-Tart385
Potato chips532
Pretzels384
Snickers candy bar491
Fast Food
Arby’s Beef N’ Cheddar225
Burger King Whopper237
Dairy Queen Blizzard248
Fried chicken sandwich 294
French fries312
KFC Original Drumstick242
Milkshake119
Panera Bread Thai Chicken Salad98
Single-patty cheeseburger236
Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha89

One Comment

  1. Marylee Koontz says:

    Fascinating. I was surprised meat wasn’t higher

    Like

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