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How Calories Are Determined In Foods

Written by Diet Bites


How to Determine Caloric Content of Food

Weight of Food Can Be Deceiving Where Caloric Values are Concerned

Did you ever wonder how that heavy eggplant got tagged with so many calories while that light and fluffy pastry came in weighing more than Marley's chain?  

The process for determining how many calories are in a particular food is rather primitive and can even be performed by using a homemade device.

In the modern day world, Calories are generally measured by using a sealed device called a calorimeter which locks in the heat and measures it based on the chemical reaction of the ignited food.

A small vacuum of water rests above the food chamber.  

Once the food has been ignited and burns out, the temperature of the water is measured which thus determines the calorie content of the food.

Basically, a Calorie is the amount of energy (heat) required to increase the temperature in water 1 gram.  The calorie content of a specific food allows an individual to determine how much energy they are consuming.  

While the scientific name for Calories is kilocalories, 'calories' is a simplified term embracing simplified math.  

A kilocalorie contains 1,000 calories, so basically if a food contains 50 calories, in actuality it accurately contains 50,000 calories - which suddenly makes that light and fluffy pastry weighing in at 450,000 calories look pretty unappetizing.  

Minnie Milks Her Diet

Dieter Minnie had heard through the Diet Grapevine that milk could help accelerate weight loss. "Hum, something that's good for me, and something that can help me lose weight too?  Might even help my bones grow stronger," she contemplated, writing 'milk' on her grocery list.


Every day, Dieter Minnie enjoyed three glasses of milk along with her healthy meal.  She incorporated moderate activity into her diet plan as well.  But when she stepped on the weight scales anticipating a drop in weight, she gasped to discover that she had picked up three unwanted pounds.

"Three pounds?  How could that have happened?" she asked aloud, particularly when she had been so careful.  And it hadn't been easy.

"It's that darn milk," she decided as she headed for the kitchen and pulled out the gallon jug of whole milk.

Size Matters When Losing Weight

With a little bit more investigating, Dieter Minnie was certain that the milk was responsible for her weight gain. This is what she concluded:

- Minnie had purchased whole milk which contains double the calories of skim milk, and less calcium.

- The 'glass' that Minnie was using for milk turned out to hold three cups rather than one cup, the recommended serving size.

With some adjusting, Dieter Minnie continued on her weight loss plan and eventually reached her weight loss goals. And the skim milk that she incorporated with her daily diet helped to accelerate her weight loss, as well as brighten her teeth and strengthen her bones.

Looks like Minnie milked her diet for all it was worth, doesn't it?

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