Photographic Series Showing What 200 Calories Looks Like in Different Foods

See part 2 of this blog by clicking HERE!

WiseGEEK just conducted a very visual and informative study and presented a photo series, which compares what 200 calories actually look like in different foods. You’d think that even with Summer coming up, a handful of gummy bears couldn’t hurt much, right..? Well, turns out, just 51 gram of those gives you the same amount of calories as nearly 600 grams of broccoli or 3 whole eggs would. And now be honest – which of those amounts sounds more alike a proper and filling meal to you?

The study compares 71 different foods, and is originally organized going from low to high calorie density. You can really tell how the quantities are getting smaller towards the end of the list! Statistically an average adult needs 2000-2500 calories a day, but this, of course, differs depending on how physically active you are. So for those who don’t hesitate to sweat in the gym, a spoonful of peanut butter is a lot less of a sin!

 

Apples (385 grams / 13.5 oz)

 

Butter (28 grams / 0.98 oz)

 

Broccoli (588 grams / 20.7 oz)

 

Snickers Chocolate Bar (41 grams / 1.45 oz)

 

Cooked Pasta (145 grams / 5.11 oz)

 

Hot Dogs (66 grams / 2.33 oz)

 

Kiwi Fruit (328 grams / 11.6 oz)

 

McDonald’s Cheeseburger (75 grams / 2.6 oz)





Eggs (150 grams / 5.3 oz)

 

Celery (1425 grams / 50.3 oz)

 

Blackberry Pie (56 grams / 1.97 oz)

 

Mini Peppers (740 grams / 26.1 oz)

 

Canned Black Beans (186 grams / 6.56 oz)

 

Werther’s Originals Candy (50 grams / 1.76 oz)

 

McDonald’s Chicken Burger (from their “Healthy” range (72 grams / 2.5 oz)

 

Glazed Doughnut (52 grams / 1.8 oz)





 

French Sandwich Roll (72 grams / 2.5 oz)

 

Avocado (125 grams / 4.4 oz)

 

Canned Sweet Corn (308 grams / 10.9 oz)

 

Baby Carrots (570 gram / 20.1 oz)

Canned Green Peas (357 grams / 12.6 oz)

Canned Baked Beans (Pork and Beans flavour) (186 grams / 6.56 oz)

Doritos (41 grams / 1.44 oz)

Dried Apricots (83 grams / 2.9 oz)

McDonald’s French Fries (73 grams / 2.6 oz)

Fried Bacon (34 grams / 1.2 oz)

Fruit Loops Cereal (51 grams / 1.8 oz)

Grapes (290 grams / 10.2 oz)

Splenda Artifical Sweetener (50 grams / 1.8 oz)

Gummy Bears (51 grams / 1.8 oz)

Hershey Kisses (36 grams / 1.27 oz)

Honeydew Melon (553 grams / 19.5 oz)

Jelly Belly Jelly Beans (54 grams / 1.9 oz)

Ketchup (226 grams / 7.97 oz)

M&M Candy (40 grams / 1.4 oz)

Red Onions (475 grams / 16.75 oz)




Sliced Smoked Turkey (204 grams / 7.2 oz)

Coca Cola (496 ml / 16.77 oz)

Canola Oil (23 grams / 0.8 oz)

Smarties Candy (57 grams / 2 oz)

Tootsie Pops (68 grams / 2.4 oz)

Whole Milk (333 ml / 11.3 fl oz)

Balsamic Vinegar (200 ml / 6.8 fl oz)

Lowfat Strawberry Yogurt (196 grams / 6.9 oz)

Canned Chili con Carne (189 grams / 6.7 oz)

Canned Tuna Packed in Oil (102 grams / 3.6 oz)

Fiber One Cereal (100 grams / 3.5 oz)

Flax Bread (90 grams / 3.17 oz)

Blueberry Muffin (72 grams / 2.5 oz)

Bailey’s Irish Cream (60 ml / 2.02 fl oz)

Cranberry Vanilla Crunch Cereal (55 grams / 1.9 oz)

Cornmeal (55 grams / 1.94 oz)

Wheat Flour (55 grams / 1.94 oz)

 

Peanut Butter Power Bar (54 grams / 1.9 oz)

 

Puffed Rice Cereal (54 grams / 1.9 oz)

 

Puffed Wheat Cereal (53 grams / 1.87 oz)

 

Brown Sugar (53 grams / 1.87 oz)

 

Salted Pretzels (52 grams / 1.83 oz)

 

Medium Cheddar Cheese (51 grams / 1.8 oz)

 

Potato Chips (37 grams / 1.3oz)

 

Sliced and Toasted Almonds (35 grams / 1.23 oz)

 

Peanut Butter (34 grams / 1.2 oz)

 

Salted Mixed Nuts (33 grams / 1.16 oz)

 

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Posted on July 14, 2013

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  • http://caloriesinaday.com/ AshleyKaplan

    Of course 600 grams of broccoli are more beneficial then 51 grams of gummy bears because they contain more calcium, iron and healthy ingredients which are more helpful for our health.

  • 6thdayBlue

    I nearly spat out my 4 Burger, double bun and fries when I read all these knowledgable people insisting on sharing with us the benefit of their perceived wisdom.
    Thankfully, I have several cans of beer to wash down the rest of my Family Bucket Happy Meal !!
    I’ll leave you to debate the micro chemistry, and force your opinions on others, whilst I toast a glass of 84 Chateau neuf du-pape to the person who actually wrote this post !

    “Cheers”

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    Great site. Plenty of useful info here. I’m sending it
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  • http://sososimple.blogspot.com Gilli

    Well this has been an interesting debate. So many people who think what they do is the only way. Look at other cultures. Do we think the French, Japanese, Italians have these debates. They follow their culture and eat fresh foods as close to the source as possible. Watch your portion size and eat a mixture of everything. You will be a more balanced person and have some real fun in your life. Forget fads just be sensible most of the time and then branch out and be naughty occasionally. Enjoy your life while you have it

  • Tyler

    People, this ought to give insight into the fact that calorie counting is pointless. A calorie is not a calorie. For instance to eat 200 calories of gummy bears versus 200 calories of broccoli neglects the fact that gummy bears have very minimal nutrient density. Our body does not function because of calories, our bodies run on micronutrients! Vitamin A, B, C, etc. Don’t look at portion size. Look at quality of food and then the counting of calories become a thing of the past. Because filling up on broccoli and avocado is more filling and nutritious. You are very welcome world

    • Maegan

      Amen to that!

    • Aube

      Health is based on micros but body composition is based on macros. Someone can lose weight while eating junk just as much as eating clean whole food. Of course it will not be as good for your body but body comp is all about kcal in vs kcal out.

      • rachel

        Myth. There are numerous studies debunking that. When put on a starvation diet of 90% carbs, subjects lost average 2% body fat. On 90% protein they lost 7.7%. On 90% fats they lost 9%. Can someone lose weight eating just sugar? Technically, but at a much much slower rate. It’s def NOT “all about kcal in vs kcal out”.

        • EmeBote

          Sorry, but you’re so wrong it’s hilarious. Obviously eating 100 cal of broccol is better than eating 100 cal of french fries in terms of overall health, but in terms of strictly weight loss it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever. Enjoy your diabetes in the future.

        • AK

          You’re measuring weight loss as a percentage of body fat… obviously someone deprived of protein will also lose muscle alongside fat, that does nothing to prove your point. Way to link your glorious studies by the way.

    • EmeBote

      Sorry, but you’re so wrong it’s hilarious. Obviously eating 100 calories of broccol is better than eating 100 calories of french fries in terms of overall health, but in terms of strictly weight loss it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever what you eat. Stupid ideas like “intuitive eating” will lead you nowhere if you have no concept of what is even in the food that you’re eating. Enjoy your diabetes in the future.

  • Adam

    Is it just me or did the article missed the point of the video it posted?

  • http://dream-recover-live.blogspot.co.uk Sarah Louise Robertson

    This is REALLY unhelpful for people – like me – with anorexia.

    • Brett

      Or the other way around, cuz it’s showing how much you can eat when you eat healthy. This means you can eat tons of fruit and cereal and not have to worry about gaining weight! So eat up!

      • Frances

        Eat vegetables before fruits!

    • http://www.fortifiedminds.com HotSauce

      No one made you look at this

  • Sabrina

    Their definition of Calorie is incorrect. They defined calorie (notice little c instead of big C). The Calories we consume are actually kilocalories, or kcal’s, thus 1000 times more energy than the amount of energy needed to raise 1g of water 1°C. It’s a pretty common mistake, and easy to make, but figured it should be corrected since they make a point of explaining it.

    It’s a really cool project overall though!

    • Sabrina

      Oh yeah, and just for clarification: I know that (big C) Calorie is a very common way to represent kcal’s in the US, but not so common in other parts of the world. That might help clear up some confusion.

      • Ruteger

        The average person (in the US) doesn’t know the difference between big C and little c. Without knowing it, people assume big C. So your point is somewhat moot.

        • Farkette

          What an ignorant comment.

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  • Arielle Laner

    The only thing that looked out of place was the Coca Cola. What was pictured looked like nearly double 200 calories.
    Other than my uncertainty about that, this is an excellent guide!

    • GTF250

      What was pictured was correct for Coco-Cola. What is pictured is 2 12 ounce glasses filled to about 8 ounces each = 16 ounces. 16 ounces of coke is just under 200 calories.

  • TGWN

    Very interesting, but the butter is incorrect. That is obviously 1 tablespoon of butter, 14 grams, and therefore only 100 calories. They doubled its caloric value. Makes me wonder the degree of accuracy for the other foods or whether it’s some weird anti-butter bias. XD

    • Meli

      I thought the exact same thing.

      • [email protected]

        Me, too

    • jim

      Without a scale figure in the picture (an adult hand, a ruler, etc.), there really is no way to visually determine the size of that portion of butter. It could be a lot of butter in a large plate or just a little in a small plate.

      Yes, there are other food products placed presumably in the same dishes which should give us some idea of the relative sizes, but without them being shown side by side, the look of the portion amounts can be deceiving. Therefore we are required to take the creator’s word for it.

      Not that we shouldn’t question what we see. We just can’t judge with any certainty based on the limited evidence given here.

      • Court

        One oz of butter equals one tablespoon. There’s no confusion about that.

        • Valerie

          Actually, one stick is 4 oz (and 8 tablespoons. Therefore, 1 oz=2 tablespoons. Sorry!

    • Slee

      Thought the same thing so how can I believe the rest?

    • Mia

      The quote above the picture says 28 grams or .98 oz of butter, which is obviously 2 tablespoons, and therefore 200 calories.

    • Chadwick

      And Hershey’s Kisses are 22 calories each (not 25). I counted eight in the photo….they could have added another one! ;)

  • jen

    Thanks for the reality check, I must admit I was out of touch there somewhat!!!

  • Lesley

    Those are Rockets, not Smarties.

    Sincerely yours, Anal-retentive Editor

    • Steph

      In the states its Smarties. Rockets in Canada.

      • BC Person

        We don’t call them rockets!! Where are you Newfoundland?

        • Betsy

          Newfoundlanders don’t call them Rockets either. We call them Smarties. The product which is called Smarties in the U.S. and Rockets in Canada is something entirely different. Usually see them for sale at Hallowe’en. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smarties_%28wafer_candy%29

          • Betsy

            Actually, the item listed above as “Smarties” are indeed what we call Rockets in Canada. In scanning down semi-quickly and not reading each title, I mistook the M&Ms for Smarties. The Wikipedia reference I gave is correct for clarification.

        • Plep Johnson

          Huh? Yes we do…

          In Canada these are Smarties and they are made by Nestlé:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smarties

          They do no exist in the USA. Although both USA and Canada have M&Ms, which are nearly the same. (Although I think Smarties taste slightly better.)

          What is depicted here is “…marketed in Canada under the brand name Rockets, to avoid confusion with Nestlé Smarties. “.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smarties_(wafer_candy)

        • http://facebook AHayes

          Oh yes, we do call them rockets. And I’m from BC. Those are NOT Smarties

          • Denyse

            i used to make those when i worked as a teenager at c d candy company and we called them rockets….they are the grossest things ever (and only because i ate tons) hahaha. i live in ontario.

    • Name

      From wikipedia: “In the United States, Smarties are a type of artificially fruit-flavored tablet candy produced by Smarties Candy Company, since 1949. They are marketed in Canada under the brand name Rockets, to avoid confusion with Nestlé Smarties.”

    • Brian

      Thanks, Rocket-pants.

    • Susan D

      Absolutely they are Rockets in Canada.

      Smarties are similar to M and M’s, except better and have been around longer.

      They aren’t marketed in the US. Wikipedia has the whole story on both.

  • mdogg

    How much crack fits on the plate?

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    Great article.

  • Chad

    I wish the bowls, plates and glasses had a ruler (Imperial and metric would be ideal) next to them to give added dimension.

  • Winny

    I am a 50 year-old woman who’s never been on a diet. I weigh as much as I did in high school. Calories, vegan, paleo, carbohydrates, blah, blah … it doesn’t matter what you’re consuming. Eat too much and you’ll gain weight, period. No need for a debate. If you’re eating fruits and vegetables you’ll look and feel better, but eat too much and you’ll be fat. It’s all about portion control. End of discussion.

    • Rachel

      Being skinny doesn’t mean you’re healthy, nor does being overweight mean you are unhealthy. Skinny people on a bad diet can have less stamina, much higher cholesterol and blood pressure, worse liver etc than an overweight person that eats more healthy and works out or incorporates some kind of exercise in their life. (Yes, there are plenty of those out there) If you are as skinny as you were in high school, but you don’t care about what you eat chances it’s down to your genes.. but again, doesn’t mean you’re healthy. (Not saying you aren’t, personally.)

    • Nicole

      This is a really ignorant comment. It absolutely matters what you’re consuming. Portion control is definitely important. But if you’re portion controlling McDonald’s vs. portion controlling a well balanced/healthy foods diet, the difference comes down to health rather than weight. Fat/skinny is so much less important than healthy/unhealthy. So while you, at 50 years old, may be “skinny” that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy. On the flip side, someone who weighs more than you could absolutely be way healthier than you. So no, not end of discussion. Health is something we should constantly discuss, it’s vital for quality of life and longevity.

      • Tyler

        While I generally agree that eating McDonald’s is not a great health strategy, your post is somewhat refuted by the experience of the John Cisna.

        “John Cisna, a high school biology teacher from Ankeny, Iowa, told KCCI that he documented the changes his body underwent throughout the three months that he ate nothing but McDonald’s – with very surprising results.
        Rather than his body deteriorating like the star of 2004 documentary Super Size Me, Mr Cisna lost an impressive 37lbs and saw his cholesterol drop from 249 to 170, improving his health significantly.”

        Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2533353/Forget-Super-Size-Me-Man-loses-37lbs-lowers-cholesterol-eating-McDonalds-three-months.html#ixzz2qOEEjOjZ
        Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

        • Aly

          Uhm, yeah. That article left out the fact that he was sufficient in multiple vitamins and minerals, and that can’t be helped by a multivitamin, as those generally contain a lot of the few vitamins and minerals he did’t acquire and very little of what he didn’t, such as potassium. Also, his results weren’t at all surprising. If your calorie intake and physical activity are monitored, you can accurately estimate weight loss and websites also allow you to track nutritional intake as well, which is how I verified his deficiencies. The only thing his diet had going for it was low cholesterol and high fiber. Otherwise, he’s going to have some serious leg cramps in the very near future if he doesn’t eat a more balanced diet that takes more than calories and cholesterol into account. I don’t think eating red meat every single day of the week is going to do his digestive and prostate health any favors either, to say nothing of the environmental impact if everyone followed suit and ate 3 out of 3 meals out of the house.

          • Aly

            Deficient, not sufficient.

          • Twyla

            I figure, the reason he lost weight was because of portion control. If you go to McDonalds and order a meal, you eat just a meal, unhealthy as it is. Many people who cook at home tend to eat a lot more than a meal’s worth of food. I would think if this same teacher cooked for himself at home, with healthy foods, but limited the amount to what would be equivalent to a McDonald’s sized meal, he would lose way more weight than what he did on the McDonald’s diet. Just my two cents.

    • BC Person

      It’s metabolism! Your body burns through calories faster than others. With out exercise you will still be unhealthy.

    • Slee

      That was pretty much the most ignorant statement I have ever read.

    • Aly

      Do you realize how big a mountain of veggies you’d need to eat to get fat? That’s sort of the point. Also, there’s a phrase “skinny fat.” It refers to people who may not weigh much but are unhealthy and out of shape.

    • only me

      being skinny/fit all your life just means you did not have to bother with nutrition and gaining/losing weight so you know nothing about it

  • From the two-thirds world

    All the responses seem to reflect the wealthy part of the world that consumes an excessive proportion of the world’s food calories — usually with negative effects on their health.

    What about the two-thirds of the world, who struggle to get enough food for the calorific intake that they need for healthy growth (as children) and living (as adults)?

    Their issue is not just getting the right nutrients; often it is to simply get sufficient quantity to get the basic calories they need.

    • Nicole

      fantastic perspective. worrying about nutrients are not at the forefront of these peoples’ minds, its whether or not they’re getting enough of any kind of food. i think we (first world country citizens) take the fact that we have the luxury of worrying about quality over quantity for granted.

  • Thomas

    What about the Fruit Loops. Shouldn’t there be less?

  • Martin

    This is very misleading. Take a thousandth of the food that is displayed and you have 200 calories. There are 200000 calories on every plate, 200 KILOcalories

    • George

      When talking about food, there’s a tacit assumption that Calories = Kilocalories. See any nutrition facts label.

    • Diesel

      You can’t be serious…

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  • http://www.beyond-the-pale.co.uk/ Anthony Weir

    Calories are largely irrelevant. What matters is the nature and quality of the food. Carbohydrates and animal fats tend to make people fat, as does over-eating. Most people in the “developed” world eat far too much, and often at the wrong times. Not always vegetarian, I have remained the same weight since I was 18 (60 kg, 140 lbs) except for a period when I was in prison, eating vegetarian food, when my weight shot up alarmingly. Feeling trapped and pressured can, alone, put weight on you! So can eating food (yogurt, bread etc.) that you don’t prepare yourself…

    • Anthony is full of crap.

      Sorry dude, but you’re full of it. What do you think overeating is? Excessive caloric intake. But you’re so stupid that you can’t even see that you’ve contradicted yourself.

      Calories ARE relevant. Caloric load is what defines the most basic of weight movements.

      Eating a roughly equal amount of calories to your expenditure daily, regardless of time, will maintain weight.

      Restricting calories, and thus running on a caloric deficit will cause you to lose weight.

      Increased calories, and thus running on a caloric surplus will cause you to gain weight.

      There is no two ways about it, and it doesn’t matter WHAT you eat, HOW you eat it or WHERE you eat it. It’s simple maths. More energy in + less energy out = gain. Less energy in + More energy out = loss. Equal energy in + equal energy out = minimal/no change. I you’re claims of ‘carbs and animal fats make people fat …and that calories are largely irrelevant’ than I guess science lied on the following article, and the facts presented were pure fabrications.

      http://edition.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/08/twinkie.diet.professor/

      Carbohydrates are a necessity in the human diet, and people that are pro low carb are morons. Admittedly, complex carbs (whole grains, brown rice etc) preferably over simple carbs (refined sugars and the like), however still essential, and most beneficial at breakfast and lunch.

      Animal fats are just as harmful as non animal fats dependant on WHAT fats they are. Your pseudoscience vegan bullshit notwithstanding.

      • O.H. Lee

        Too bad your reply is so rife with anger and derogatory language, otherwise it could lead to a good discussion. Calories do and do not matter, depending on your argument. Anthony deserves credit for his p.o.v., as do you, Mr. Anonymous. There are many instances of eating where cals. are less important, and the actual content of the food making up the cals.; i.e., the ‘quality,’ as mentioned, has a bigger impact. You can pull any number of articles proving one point or the other, but decreasing your portions is the single most effective way to start losing weight and eating healthier.

        Stay cool.

        • The Doctor

          For the sake of pounds gained or lost, calories are all that matter. Anthony *is* full of crap, and if he gained weight while in prison, it’s more likely that he just didn’t work out in the yard enough.

          • Acacia

            Then can you please explain why all long-term 80/10/10 fruitarians are so healthy and lean? They consume a minimum of 2500 calories a day off fruits, vegetables and anything low-fat. In fact, their goal is to consume as many calories as possible. You don’t even need to be a fruitarian, just keep your carb to fat to protein ratios at 80/10/10. I have lost 10 kilos whilst eating all the calories I could care for and I have more energy than I have ever had and my skin is looking better every day. A calorie isn’t just a calorie. Would you consider living off 500 calories of McDonald’s healthy compared to 2500 from fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes? The fat you eat is the fat you wear. Simple as that. And don’t even get me started on the paleo/primal diet.

      • Slee

        Again another ignorant reply….calories and energy output makes sense but does not equate with losing weight for everyone. Calories are relevant but not the only factor by any means. Food combinations, food allergies that go unnoticed and many other factors including genetics and hormonal imbalances are part of individual metabolism makeup. You can not make blanket statements. Not everyone is sitting around eating mac and cheese and potato chips.

  • Samantha

    These are actually quite surprising. I thought Coca Cola would be a smaller amount and fruit be more.

    • Kathryn

      Lots of sugar (fructose) in fruit – it’s easy to overeat on fruit. I’ve been known to put on weight in strawberry season :-)

  • https://www.facebook.com/akerman.isroel Serge

    Hey! It says 0 calories on the Splenda package…

    • Matt

      Anything that has less than 5 calories is legally allowed to be marked as a zero calorie product. Buyer beware!

  • bonnie

    It is great information. The one thing I would add to the visual that would help is a ruler on the plate. First, we don’t know if these are 8″, 9″, or 10″ plates. That should at least be noted. Then, I think it would be appropriate to place a ruler or a guide right on the plate. I think it would create more impact, raise awareness and make one more aware of actual serving sizes.

  • Kristin

    I’m confused about the celery. It seems like it would like a lot more than the celery bunch shown to rack up 200 calories… I don’t know though. Any thoughts?

    • Isabella

      Celery usually takes more energy to burn than it gives, so I assume that’s why you can technically have more celery and only have it add up to 200 calories

    • Chris L

      Celery is mostly water. One stalk is 6 calories. It’s almost all fiber besides water, and not to mention vitamins and minerals it provides. Unfortunately celery isn’t negative calories, the only way I can see it being negative calories was if you ate it cold, as the body burns calories to warm the water inside the celery to body temperature. Hope that helps! Cheers! :)

      • Sarah

        Hey, while celery does contain calories, you spend more calories digesting the calory than it provides. Your body not only spends energy and carbon on heating the food (or, in fact, cooling your body down if it’s too hot – though that’s probably tiny amounts for opening pores etc.), but also on producing all the enzymes and fluids necessary to digest the stuff you eat. That’s why you can say Celery has “negative calories” even though it does contain some.

  • J M Yasko

    I question the validity of this. I’m aware of the caloric content of both tuna, and bread, and this seems way off to me.

    • 101stMedic

      It’s tuna in oil. Not tuna in water. Also bread is highly caloric depending upon the density. That’s 50 calories per slice. It’s accurate.

    • SR

      Flax bread is less caloric than regular bread which can be from 90 to 120 a slice. http://www.alvaradostreetbakery.com/product_detail.php?id=26

  • Bedrock

    Those aren’t smarties…

    • Rico

      Yeah they are.

      • Smartie Party

        Those are American Smarties. In a lot of other places (U.K., Germany, and South Africa, for example), Smarties are a candy very similar to M & M candies. :)

    • Larissa

      Smarties in America and the rest of the world are different… but I am sure some people already know that.

      • alex

        Smartie pants.

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    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and also the rest of the site is very good.

  • Monique

    This doesn’t look right to me. A McDonald’s cheeseburger only has 300 calories, so the photo should show 2/3 of a cheeseburger, whereas it looks like about half. (A hamburger only has 250 calories by the way!)

    This makes me not trust the other photos. Too bad.

    • Craig

      Who told you a McDonalds cheeseburger only has 300 calories? McDonalds?

    • Farooq Khan

      The burger shown is not necessarily half. It is not cut from centre to show shape of a 1/3rd pie slice, but I definitely think it is showing 1/3rd burger, cut straight.

    • Uh

      You’re an idiot if you think a McDonald’s cheeseburger is 300 calories. This makes me not trust anything you ever present to anyone. Too bad.

      • James

        Uh, a quick google search shows that a basic McDonalds cheeseburger does in fact have 300 calories. You could do a little bit of research before resorting to name calling instead of assuming you know everything.

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    • http://facebook lori

      No one but high energy individuals need more than 1200 calories a day, the problem with society is the “fun” food is high in calories and the “good” food is high in fiber and water.
      No matter what you do, cut your portions and have fun

      • Melody

        Wrong, wrong, WRONG! Anything less than 1200 calories a day is going to kill you because your body needs at least that to keep functioning even if you never get out of bed. Maybe if you were a medium sized dog, you could get away with it, but you cannot advocate such a paltry amount to a person and expect to be anything but cranky and listless.

        Low-carb, low-calorie, low-fat diets are not right for normal human bodies. It’s all about portion control and activity, period.

        • Christine

          Thank goodness Melody! No offense Lori, but that’s how people develop eating disorders and lower their metabolic capicity. 1200 calories is not enough for ANY adult. I currently eat 2200 calories a day and that’s been lowered so that I can lean out some, which I am! Maintaining and losing weight is about being smarter.

          • Laura

            1200 calories is the recommended healthy minimum for adult women – it is enough for certain body types.

            If I was eating 2200 calories a day, I would be very overweight. I’m 5’3″ and would never go below 1200 cals/day, because that could be very bad for my body and send me into starvation mode! But to lose weight, a deficit is required. Based on my height, weight, gender and age, to maintain weight I need about 1600 calories a day. To lose a half pound to a pound a week, I need to only consume 1200.

            Everyone is different! Trust me, I wish I could eat more per day :) And I can, if I get the exercise to justify it. But a net 1200 calories is not harmful for me. I even use a heartrate monitor to know exactly what I’m burning so I can figure out how much I can “eat back.”

  • David

    Sadly, no matter what you eat, you are still going to die someday.

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    It’s nearly impossible to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

  • Jan Christensen

    I like your post – very interesting. Michael Pollen sums up my thoughts: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Here’s an interesting article (2008 – an oldie but a goodie.) http://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/unhappy-meals/

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  • Whatevvs

    All you people arguing about diets – EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT

    Go get a food sensitivity test – cut out what your body doesn’t appreciate – eat the rest (BALANCED) and live a much happier and healthier life. It’s all about enzymes you can digest properly. Don’t get it twisted with all these different diets.

    • Susan

      That’s interesting point you made. Where can the test be taken? My husband has been struggling with his weight for some years, and the test would help increase awareness of how to take better care of body. Thanks-
      Susan

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  • Sean

    There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet. Variability in the form of gluten allergies, lactose intolerance, activity level, etc., causes significant deviations in what constitutes a healthy diet for each individual. Not that any of the comments here are informed by actual biology or biochemistry, but hey, neither are most “scientific” nutrition articles. The other day I heard someone talking about how important carnitine is for burning fat. Except that carnitine biosynthesis isn’t the flux determining step in the beta-oxidation pathway (that would be the activity of carnitine palmitoyl transferase I [CPT1] which is allosterically regulated), but if you want to waste money on supplements and diets that have no biochemical basis go right ahead.

  • Sue B

    Someone ate a Hershey’s Kiss. They just couldn’t resist while the shot was being set up! I see 8 Kisses and there should be 9
    In 200 calories. A small point, but as an extremely limited treat in my 950 cal day limited carb diet I know this item well enough to spot the error immediately. A nice essay on calorie density (even though many of us watch carbs, fats, sodium, dairy, food sourcing, etc) if the rest of the photos are accurate.
    http://m.hersheys.com/kisses/products/milk-chocolate.aspx

    • Monique

      I don’t think it’s a small point. I love the idea of the visual 200 calories, but I also noticed that the McDonald’s cheeseburger seems to be wrong (it should show 2/3 of a cheeseburger, but it looks very close to just 1/2). Even little mistakes like that ruin the whole thing because then we have to wonder — what about the rest of the photos?

      • Lissa Julius

        Monique – I think they did a good job. The picture looks close to a 1/2 initially – but they did quantify each picture with weight. So, they said it’s a “McDonald’s Cheeseburger (75 grams / 2.6 oz)” = so, I’m guessing they weighed everything to get there? I think the point of the photo essay is bang on! I hear you – if one photo looks deceptive then how can you trust the others – but all in all – the spirit of the whole thing is really cool! As for the Hershey Kisses – 9 don’t always weigh exactly what they should :-) But maybe your right, Sue B. Sometimes I have strict portion controls and I just pop everything on my scale (almonds, kisses, chips, you name it!).

    • Harry

      You only eat 950 calories a day? That seems far too low, even if you are a very petite female. Just wondering where you got this figure from. I suggest you go onto this site http://iifym.com/tdee-calculator/ and calculate you’re calories/macronutrients again, just to be sure you are eating enough and not hurting your metabolism. Also if you’ve been on 950 calories for a while, I suggest you do some research on reverse dieting, which is basically adding small numbers of calories to your diet in increments of week/fortnight. What this does is slowly build up you’re metabolism without making you gain weight. I hope you do take the time and check this out and see if there are any benefits. Cheers

  • TrishiaK

    The photos are great and well done. They well illustrate that the “healtheir” foods. This wasn’t about veganism, Paleo, low carb, high protein. The photographer did a good job of capturing what a 200 calorie portion of various foods looks like and that’s what they purported to do. If you want to see, look up the counts, get out your measuring cups and take a look-see. It’s the best way to understand portion sizes and a hallmark of successful dieting – how much do I really eat?

  • Caesar

    200 Calories? Why not show a daily recommended calories of 2000? How would that look? I am on the larger than life diet currently. It is where I try to eat 2000 calories before each bathroom break. So far, I am up to 14,000 calories a day and I feel great! There is nothing like the sensation of energy experienced when pounding down so many calories. I do it by mixing the following ingredients into a shake: 5 eggs, 5 pieces of bacon, 1 half gallon of milk, 1 avocado whole (including peel), 1 lb of hamburger, 3 lemons, 3 scoops of premium blended vanilla home made ice cream hard packed, 1 jar of peanut butter (8 oz). I have put on 100 lbs of muscle since doing this diet, It is a miracle!

    • BaconLover

      What was your starting weight, and how long have you been doing this 14k calorie per day diet? At (my estimate) 1800 calories, your shake sounds less like a meal and more like a snack … unless you are consuming 7 shakes per day as your only food intake. What do you eat for a meal? But most importantly … why oh why would you mix bacon into a shake?

  • http://www.fmsinc.com Luke

    Nice work. Very helpful. Still have little clue what serving sizes look like.

    What about steamed rice (not cereal), fish, cheese, steak, and other staples that many people eat?

  • http://www.WelllnessCenterOfAmerica.com Joyce Johnson

    Quality of the calories (i.e. avocado) is more important than quantity (i.e. Splenda)!!!

  • Michelle

    Very interesting! Great visual. Would love to see this showing actual nutrients of the foods. Or sugar content

  • birhanu kifelew

    it is very good indicator for selecting and get appropriate diet, i want to say keep it up!!!

  • Rebecca

    Love this, but it would be nicer if you showed what the fresh version of the vegitable looked like instead of the canned. No one should be eating canned foods and any healthy lifestyle would not promote using them. High sodium, aluminum, bpa.

    • Natalie

      Oh, okay then – since I can’t afford the fresh produce and it goes bad so fast, I guess instead of buying the canned veggies I and my kids eat, I’ll just forgo them entirely and spend our whole budget on macaroni and cheese. I’m so tired of people saying things like this. It doesn’t have to be 100% perfect. It’s relativity that matters. DOn’t turn people off to canned goods when it’s a whole lot easier to avoid veggies altogether.

      • Walt

        Your comfort level does not effect the facts. The fact remains canned food is not as healthy as fresh produce and should not be part of a healthy diet. If you can’t buy fresh produce, they buy what is second best but stop your threats and warnings, because you will hurt nobody but yourself by avoiding vegetables.

        • Mat

          There is actually quite a lot of research to show that many canned fruit & veges actually contain more vitamins & minerals than fresh. Tomato paste has up to 6x the amount of lycopene as fresh tomatoes. Some ‘fresh’ fruit has actually been stored for days or weeks, often sprayed with chemicals to slow the ripening process.

          • Tia

            What Mat says is partially true- some canned foods are more concentrated and therefore have more vitamins and minerals than their water-filled fresh counterparts. But that’s not all you need! One of the most important parts of fruit and veggies is the enzymes that are needed for digestion- which are mostly killed in the canning process. That being said, its extremely unrealistic to state that “no healthy diet should include canned vegetables.” We all have different circumstances, different budgets, different schedules. We all have to do what works best for our families, within our means. Now, understanding that fresh produce has the most overall nutrition, with frozen coming in second, and canned with the least, (but still waaaaaaay more nutrition than Mac and cheese!) with dried produce somewhere in the middle (although it has a lot of sugar since its so concentrated so you have to be careful with it)– you can begin to look at your budget and say “hmm, frozen broccoli is on sale today, maybe I will buy that instead of canned peas this time,” or “I have an extra few dollars this month- maybe I will splurge on some fresh berries for the kid’s cereal.”

            A “healthy” diet isn’t about following a strict definition of good foods and bad foods. Its about finding a balance that keeps your family active, well, and out of the doctors office- and moving toward healthier choices when you can. :)

          • Terry

            Who is doing this research? Is it the same people that are saying “Oh those preservatives are perfectly safe!” All the while we have more and more people close to you getting cancer? I am leaning farther and farther away from canned/processed foods because I don’t trust what “these” people say are safe. I am also not saying this IS what is causing cancer but it seems to going up at similar rates.

      • Monique

        I agree, Natalie — canned veggies are often cheaper and much better than no veggies. Low sodium canned veggies exist also. Of course fresh is better, but canned are fine and healthy too! Good for you for making sure to buy some type of veggies for your family! :)

  • Mojo

    Everything in moderation. Except celery. No need to moderate that.

  • Michael

    @ Organically Balanced, where would i find more information on what you have mentioned?

  • Michael

    @ Organically Balanced, where would i find more information on what you have mentioned?

  • Kurt

    Very interesting. Would have loved to see how many carbohydrates are in that same serving.

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    Really good visual for those of us who “read” pictures better than words!

  • http://richmondtransits.blogspot.com L. Windsor

    Great post, thanks!

    PS: it should rather be baguette and Frankfurter.

  • http://www.nutritionintervention.wordpress.com Alen Agaronov

    I wish this visual was a bit more practical. I can see how it shines a light on the topic of “caloric density,” but it seems like this has been done before, with other caloric ranges. It would be interesting to see how this visual can be linked to something besides calories, perhaps a cost-analysis. Regardless, I very much appreciate the effort that went into putting this together, I’m sure it will be plenty informative for the greater population.

  • Angie

    Those are not smarties…

    • MeauxB

      Yes they are…in the United States.

      • Rachel CL

        Sorry… those are not smarties in the US at all. Those are sweet tarts or something like that … or Rockets.

        • Monique

          Yes, they’re Rockets!

        • Monique

          How can I remove my comment above (starting with “actually…”? My computer didn’t load the photo of the Rockets (which are called Smarties for some reason), so I only saw the m&ms.

          • artfido

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    Where is the beer?

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    Interesting. I wonder what it would look like if instead of a McDonald’s hamburger, you had picked a high-class restaurant’s hamburger.

    • BopBop

      Probably more calories!
      Mcdonald’s hamburger patties are not very big, nor are their buns very substantial. They don’t put much on for toppings. Most burgers at real restaurants are much bigger.

      • GTF250

        The patties on McDonalds cheeseburgers are very small, maybe 1/8 of a pound. The burgers at “sit down” restaurants range from 1/3 to 2/3 of a pound. Depending on the toppings (cheese, bacon, avacado, mayo, etc) you get they can range from 800 calories to 1,500.

  • Pat Hubley

    I think showing the pictures is very enlightening and motivating. I love it! My only suggestion would be that in addition to the main picture, you also show the item (wherever possible) in a glass cup (1/4, 1/3, etc) to further highlight the portion size. For instance, with the beans, it would be helpful to show them in a glass container with the descriptor (1/4 cup, 1/2 cup or whatever) below the picture. I’d love to see more pictures. This is so helpful.

    • Lisa

      Ditto.

  • http://aaronmai.com Aaron Mai

    I’ve got problem with knowing which and how much to eat… Thank you for your post

  • Andrea Osinchak

    I would so much like to see a slide show like this that showed 1 serving of Carbs – 15 grams compared in these foods. what people don’t realize is that 1/18 of a pudding cake is 2 servings of carbs (at least by diabetic standards because it is 35 grams of carb) and so you should only eat 1/36 of the cake. On the other hand there are plenty of things that have 5 carbs and say its one serving and you could eat 3x as much and that is the real one serving (of course not everything you eat has carbs which is another slideshow in itself)! it’s crazy and would be quite informative.

    • Megan

      I second the carb suggestion. I don’t really care about calories. It’s all about carb counting for me.

  • Joanna

    They are Rockets in Canada, and Smarties in the US. We named them Rockets because we have the chocolate/candy coated Smarties… they don’t have those in the US. Just M&M’s.

    • Jessie

      What ?? They don’t have smarties in the States ????????? They are missing out big itm .. no Caesars, no smarties !

    • Ron

      I’ve lived in Canada all my life, 70 years and never heard the term Rockets, but have eaten a ton of smarties here.

      • Monique

        No — the photo is of M&Ms, which are very widely available in Canada — as are Smarties, and Rockets too! Rockets are very popular in Canada and have been for at least 30 years, but are totally different from both M&Ms and Smarties.

  • S

    Those are Rockets, not Smarties.

    • Cecilia

      Depends on where you are. In the states they say Smarties. The Canadian version of Smarties is like M&Ms. This is out version of Rockets. The Smarties candy pictured here are MUCH bigger than out Rockets are. more like Mentos size.

  • Jenna

    I’d rather have 200 calories of healthy avocados, bacon, or butter (grass-fed/organic of course) than 200 calories of empty carbage like pasta, puffed cereal, and bread. Look into the paleo diet. It’ll change your life.

    • Food-it-all

      Paleo is a fad diet. I urge anyone to listen to the critics as well. That is, unless of course you want a coronary heart disease at age 45.

      Learn about veganism – you will see what real health is about.

      • Organically Balanced

        Veganism is just as much of a fad as Paleo – it’s a preference, and both are generally unhealthy for the majority of omnivores (that’s what humans are, folks…). Why not follow a lifestyle (not a DIET) that’s based in real science, based on what’s right for your body, using quantifiable facts? Choosing foods based on your blood type and body chemistry (genotype) makes a heck of a lot more sense than arbitrarily refusing to eat things based on where or how they grow, or whether or not they have a face. Some vegans do well because they have the proper enzymes to digest all that cellulose… most of us do not, and never will. The anti-inflammatory diet? That one makes sense too, because it also focuses on balance, and has a very small amount of actual “exclusion”. Unless we’re talking about removing chemicals and processed food, any time you start eliminating a food group from the balance (carbs, meat, etc.), you’re setting yourself up for long-term risks in different areas. Since everyone’s body (and genetic history) is different, you simply can’t say that “this is the right diet”. Paleo works great for some people, as does vegan. Personally, I’ve lost 55 lbs eating lean red meat, potatoes, and sushi. It fits in with my blood type and genetic profile, so that’s what works for me…. it definitely doesn’t work for my other half, so I cook him what he needs to eat to be healthy. This attitude of “MY WAY is right, not yours” is part of the problem this society has with food – we aren’t teaching our children to learn to listen to their bodies, and to understand the actual science behind how food works.

        • chrystal frost

          Eating a balanced diet is much better than anything else. For some people cutting out grains, meat, dairy or any other food group works, for others it may not. But it is better to eat fresh foods–foods that are as close to or are in their original state.

        • Lisa

          Awesome response – I enjoyed reading it and it freshly motivated me to do healthy my way – thanks!

        • Sean

          I’m not sure what I think about blood type dieting and such (I’ve read criticisms) but otherwise, thanks for a good, balanced paragraph of information and inspiration. Eliminating entire domains of real food has always seemed odd and unproductive to me, downright wrong. I like a little balance, open to everything good.

        • Jorma

          Educate yourself fools. Its science. For instance, the only place you can get cholesterol is from animal products (Above what your body naturally produces). Considering that the #1 and #4 killers in America are Heart disease and Stroke (both stemming from too much cholesterol in ones diet) Veganism is significantly healthier than pretty much any diet / lifestyle but go ahead and convince yourself that your bodys inner cravings are exactly what you need.

          • Tami Tipton Halphen

            That may be partially true, but not everyone needs to limit the cholesterol in their diets. Some people can eat eggs every day with no problem. Others only dream of eating egg yolks because their cholesterol is too high. Even though I was overweight, had a horrible diet and my blood sugar was creeping up my cholesterol has always been really good. Total cholesterol 130-150. HDL cholesterol – within normal range. I had weight loss surgery but all I count is making sure I get enough protein and try not to eat too much sugar or total fat. I don’t track calories or cholesterol at all.

        • Joe

          You started off so good, then veered into picking diet based on blood type, and then suggested that some humans can digest cellulose. (Seriously, what?) Are you satirizing the previous posters, or what?

      • Beedee

        Ok, let me get this straight. The Paleo diet–which is based on what we ate since the dawn of humanity (minus the last 100 years or so) is a fad. But the vegan diet–which no one has ever found a history of in any human community in the history of the world–is not. Right.

        There is not one shred of real scientific evidence to link a moderate protein, lower carb, high fat diet to heart disease. There are, on the contrary, many studies showing such a diet to improve insulin resistance, blood markers (which may predict heart disease), brain function and a host of other health benefits. That is what you will find if you do the actual research.

        • liuli

          The problem is, old ways are not always the best ways. There might not even be a real “old way”. In prehistoric time, we eat what we could find—-there is a sea side society that get almost all their calories from eating giant crabs, for example. We scavenge a lot, eating animal parts the predatory animals left behind, mostly parts on the verge of decay–the thing definitely considered not safe to eat today.

          The Paleo diet is as much a modern construction as vegan-ism. I suggest eating a fresh, balanced diet that best suit your body, instead of just following a cool/deep/edgy sounding new diet.

        • Sean

          The Paleo diet most definitely has a lot going for it, especially its emphasis on whole, natural foods. Yay, natural food!

          But, it is faddish and unscientific for a whole host of reasons, especially since it does not seem to know much about the huge diversity of ancient humans’ diets. Here is a non-threatening video which explains some of the case against it very well. http://tv.greenmedinfo.com/debunking-the-paleo-diet-ted-talk/

        • Kymm

          Not to mention that Veganism -as well as vegetarianism- is very unhealthy.
          People with emotional issues over animals WANT it to be healthy
          …but there is NO credible study ANYWHERE EVER that shows it healthy,
          and many that show it is NOT healthy- especially in those with diabetes or metabolic syndrome-and wishes and wants do not make something true.

          Science has long shown that a calorie IS NOT a calorie. Where we get our calories matters more than anything and until people start making intelligent decisions based on facts and not feelings, our society is just going to keep getting sicker.

          BTW, arsenic and sugar are both natural.

          • Emily

            Are you kidding? There are many studies showing those following vegetarian diets to have lower rates of cancer, heart disease, etc. No credible study ANYWHERE EVER? You do realize that after a heart attack, patients are encouraged to go on a vegan diet? Have you done a scientific survey of all studies everywhere and come to this conclusion? Ridiculous.

    • Chef Nef

      Theres a TED talk about the paleo diet i would reccomend to anyone whose considering the paleo diet. veganism is great for you, i make many vegan meals but i wouldnt go full vegan; not because its not healthy but because meats are delicious and if you eat the right meats in the right portions with the right foods to compliment those meats then youll be just as healthy. I would reccomend looking into Mike Dolce’s literature and his philosophies about health. Earth grown nutrients, whole foods, organically grown, grass fed like you mentioned with the butter, wild caught, and jus ingredients you understand. pretty simple and very easy to stick to. check him out he has a lot of free info, he changed my views on health

    • Beedee

      I agree!

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