Be Calorie Conscious!

The word calorie is quite a common word.

‘Ice cream is loaded with calories’ or ‘watch your calories to lose weight’, ‘Count the calories’ and so on…
But, when people talk about the calories in food, what do they exactly mean? Let’s find out.

A calorie is a unit of measurement – a unit of energy. When you hear something contains 100 calories, it’s a way of describing how much energy your body would be able to generate from eating or drinking it.

Are Calories always Bad for You?

Calories aren’t bad for us at all. Our body needs calories for energy. But eating too many calories – and not burning enough of them off 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 you with how much energy to the body.

Most foods and drinks contain calories. Some foods, such as ice berg lettuce, contain less calories. (A cup of shredded lettuce has less than 10 calories.) While other foods, like roasted peanuts, contain a lot of calories. (A half of a cup of peanuts has approx. 427 calories.)

Simple measurements and their meanings-

1 kilo joule(kj) = 1000 joules
1 kilo calories = 1000 gram calories
1 calorie = 4.18 kj
1 g fat= 9 cal=38 kj
1 g carbohydrate= 4 cal= 17 KJ
1 g of protein = 4 Cal = 17 kJ

The above means that if you know how many grams of each nutrient (read fats, proteins or carbs) are in a food, you can easily calculate the 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 french fries (about 10 fries) has 10 grams of fat then this implies that 10gms of fat x 9 calories per gram = 90 calories are from fat. Simple!

We should ideally aim for eating a healthy, balanced diet that provides us with the right number of calories – not too many and also not even too few!

Calorie counter

The calorie counter or chart given on this page makes calorie counting simple for foods like vegetables, fruits, cereals, breads and milk products. You can use this chart to know the calories in your favorite vegetable, fruit or cereals and make your own low calorie recipe.

Calorie Counting Chart:

Know the calorie content of various food items.

Calories in Fruits per 100 Grams

The values are in Calories. Multiply by 4.18 to get values in kJ.

Apple 56
Pear 190
Banana 95
Chickoo 94
Cherries 70
Dates 281
Grapes 45
Guava 66
Kiwi Fruit 45
Guava 49
Lychies 61
Mangoes 70
Orange 53
Orange juice 100ml 47
Papaya 32
Peach 50
Pears 51
Pineapple 46
Plums 56
Strawberries 77
Watermelon 26
Pomegranate 77
Watermelon 16

Calories in Vegetables per 100 Grams

Broccoli 25
Brinjal 24
Cabbage 45
Carrot 48
Cauliflower 30
Fenugreek (Methi) 49
French beans 26
Lettuce 21
Mushroom 18
Onion 50
Peas 93
Potato 97
Spinach 100g 26
Spinach 1 leaf 2
Spinach 1 bunch 78
Tomato 21
Tomato juice 100ml 22

Calories in Cereals per 100 Grams

Bajra 360
Maize flour 355
Rice 325
Wheat flour 341

Calories in Breads per piece

1 medium chappati 119
1 slice white bread 60
1 paratha (no filling) 280

Calories in Milk & Milk Products per cup

Butter 100gms. 750
Buttermilk 19
Cheese 315
Cream 100gms. 210
Ghee 100gms 910
Milk Buffalo 115
Milk Cow 100
Milk Skimmed 45

Calories in Other Items

Sugar 1 tbsp 48
Honey 1 tbsp 90
Coconut water 100 ml 25
Coffee 40
Tea 30

Be calorie conscious but not only about the number of calories in your diet. What’s much more important than the number of calories is the quality of the calories or the source of the calories in your plan i.e.- whether you get 300 calories from a can of cola or a chicken sandwich.


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