Defining 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 and calorie 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 is Not Without Its Drawbacks
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!
The Calorie Density of Select Foods
|Food||Calories per 100 gram|
|Brown rice (cooked)||112|
|Lucky Charms cereal||380|
|Meat, Fish, Poultry|
|Ground beef (80% lean)||272|
|Sweets and Snacks|
|Chocolate ice cream||216|
|Nutrigrain cereal bar||324|
|Snickers candy bar||491|
|Chocolate chip cookie||492|
|Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha||89|
|Panera Bread Thai Chicken Salad||98|
|Arby’s Beef n’ Cheddar Sandwich||225|
|Burger King Whopper||237|
|KFC Original Drumstick||242|
|Dairy Queen Blizzard||248|
|Fried chicken sandwich||290|