Calories in Pizza Hut

Calories in 28 Pizza Hut Pizzas (with pictures)

Here, we riffle through the Pizza Hut menu to find out how many calories there are in their large pizzas. You might have read our post on calories in generic pizza by the slice and wondered how Pizza Hut compares. Well, read on to find out!

Pizza Hut was born in a Hut

It is called Pizza Hut because the very first Pizza Hut was established by two Uni-student brothers in 1958, in a small cottage-like “hut” located in Wichita Kansas, USA. Whilst it has gone through a rocky patch over here in Australia, Pizza Hut is still the world’s largest pizza chain by number of locations.

Pizza Hut first location

Calories in Pizza Hut Pizzas

Any way you slice it, pizza is a high-calorie food. You cannot expect anything less than lots of calories when you combine lots of dense bread with lots of processed cheese. Pizza from big pizza-chains is also notoriously high in sodium. To make matters worse, chains like Pizza Hut offer endless “extras” like “stuffed crusts”, extra cheese, extra meat, the addition of which quickly transforms a reasonable meal into a calorific monster.

That said, there is nothing wrong with enjoying pizza from Pizza Hut on occasion. Read this list of Pizza Hut large pizzas, ranked from lowest calories to highest, so that you make an informed choice the next time you order online. Note that these are the regular large pizza options, not including any extras. The full pizza values are given, so divide by eight or use our Food Search Box to get nutrition information by the slice or gram:

Pizza Hut Vegan Margherita Pizza

Pizza Hut Vegan Margherita Pizza

One light and breezy Vegan Margherita pizza contains 6009 kilojoules, equal to 1436 calories. The whole pizza has 67 grams of protein and 39 grams of fat.

Pizza Hut Vegan Deluxe Pizza

The Vegan Deluxe from Pizza Hut has 6091kJ, or 1456 calories including 68g protein and 39g fat.

Calories in Pizza Hut Vegan Cheese Lovers Pizza

A full Vegan Cheese Lovers pizza totals 6203 kilojoules/1483 calories, with 66g protein and 45g fat. Pizza Hut uses “cheese” made from soy for this pizza, which allows it to have 40% less calories than the original Cheese Lovers pizza (look further down this list to see the original).

Pizza Hut Vegan Mediterranean Pizza

Pizza Hut’s Vegan Mediterranean pizza has 6308kJ, equivalent to 1508 calories, with 68g protein and 47g fat.

Pizza Hut Margherita Pizza

The least calorific non-vegan pizza sold by Pizza Hut is the Margherita, with 6793kJ (1624 calories) and 91g protein and 51g fat.

Pizza Hut Americano Pizza

Americano pizzas have 7088 kilojoules, or 1694 calories each. A whole Americano has 94g protein and 61g fat.

Calories in Pizza Hut Hot And Spicy Veg Pizza

With 7218 kilojoules, or 1725 calories per pizza, the Hot and Spicy Veg from Pizza Hut is one of their least calorific. Each pizza contains 92g protein and 59g fat.

Pizza Hut Ham Lovers Pizza

Pizza Hut Ham Lovers pizza has 7256kJ, or 1734 calories per pizza, along with 106g protein and 59g fat.

Pizza Hut Garlic Prawn Pizza

The Garlic Prawn Pizza contains 7308 kilojoules, equal to 1747 calories, and 108g protein with 57g fat.

Pizza Hut Hawaiian Pizza

One whole Hawaiian pizza has 7391kJ/1766b calories, with 102g protein and 58g fat.

Pizza Hut Surf and Turf Pizza

A single large Surf and Turf pizza contains 7388 kilojoules, which is equal to  1766 calories. It also has 114g protein and 57 grams of fat.

Pizza Hut Chicken Supreme Pizza

The Chicken Supreme pizza has 7468 kilojoules, or 1785 calories and 109 grams protein with 59g fat.

Calories in Pizza Hut Epic Pepperoni Pizza

A full Epic Pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut has 7535kJ, 1801 calories, and 98g protein with 72g fat.

Pizza Hut BBQ Chicken Pizza

One BBQ Chicken pizza has 7587 kilojoules, or 1813 calories, and 75 grams of protein with 64 grams of fat.

Pizza Hut BBQ Beef Pizza

Pizza Hut’s BBQ Beef pizza contains 7607 kilojoules, equal to 1818 calories, with 71g protein and 72g fat.

Pizza Hut Creamy Chicken & Bacon Pizza

The Creamy Chicken and Bacon pizza has 7628kJ, 1823 calories and includes 90g protein with 80g fat.

Pizza Hut Hot And Spicy Chicken Pizza

A large Hot and Spicy Chicken pizza contains 7676kJ, or 1835 calories, with 108 grams protein and 64g fat.

Pizza Hut Super Supreme Pizza

One of Pizza Hut’s Super Supreme pizzas is worth 7990kJ (1909 calories), 111g protein, and 74g fat.

Pizza Hut Smoky Chicken And Bacon Pizza

The Smoky Chicken and Bacon pizza has 8145 kilojoules, or 1947 calories, including 116 grams of protein and 72 grams of fat.

Calories in Pizza Hut Pepperoni Pizza

Calories in Pizza Hut Pepperoni Lovers Pizza

Pizza Hut’s Pepperoni Lovers pizza contains 8153kJ, 1949 calories and 104g protein with 86g fat.

Pizza Hut Ultimate Hot & Spicy Pizza

One Ultimate Hot and Spicy pizza has 8205kJ, equivalent to 1961 calories. The pizza contains 108 grams of protein and 80 grams of fat.

Pizza Hut BBQ Meatlovers Pizza

The BBQ Meatlovers pizza packs 8411 kilojoules (equal to 2010 calories), 82g protein and 89g fat.

Pizza Hut Creamy Garlic Prawn Pizza

One large Creamy Garlic Prawn pizza has 8424kJ, equivalent to 2013 calories, and 89g protein with 80g fat.

Calories in Pizza Hut BBQ Cheeseburger Pizza

Pizza Hut BBQ Cheeseburger Pizza

Pizza Hut’s BBQ Cheeseburger pizza contains 8421 kilojoules, or 2013 calories. The pizza has 89 grams of protein and 80 grams of fat.

Pizza Hut Veggie Sensation Pizza

A whole Veggie Sensation pizza contains 8423kJ (2013 calories), and 109g protein, and 84g fat.

Pizza Hut BBQ Mega Meatlovers Pizza

The BBQ Mega Meatlovers pizza from Pizza Hut has 8702 kilojoules, equal to 2080 calories, 94g protein and 90g fat.

Pizza Hut Butchers Block Pizza

The infamous Butchers Block pizza contains 9242 kilojoules, or 2209 calories, and has 95g protein with 104g fat.

Calories in Pizza Hut Cheese Lovers Pizza

Calories in Pizza Hut Cheese Lovers Pizza

The big Cheese Lovers pizza from Pizza Hut contains a chest-tightening 9909kJ, equal to 2368 calories, and 144 grams of protein with 114 grams of fat.

Finger Limes

Finger Limes Demystified

Finger limes are becoming “a thing” now, but not many people know much about them. Read this to surprise your friends and family with an in-depth understanding of Australia’s own Bush Caviar!

Unique Looks

Unopened finger limes are roughly the size (3-12cm long) and shape of… you guessed it, human fingers. At first glance, you probably would not associate this fruit with oranges and lemons, but it is a bona fide native citrus (Citrus Australasica). The citrusy skin, coloured in green, brown, and red shades gives the game away.

Finger Limes look like Caviar

So, externally quite dull. But the fun starts when you break a ripe one open. Small, colourful, shiny, juice-filled, caviar-like blobs ooze out. These globular blobs are the finger lime’s juice vesicles, and like pomelo vesicles they don’t pop without a fight. To understand the growing appeal of finger lime, you must see these fascinating jewel-like vesicles up close.

Where does Finger Lime Come From?

People have been eating finger limes in Australia for thousands of years, from the very beginning of people in Australia. The trees grow wild in native coastal bushland on the border of NSW and Queensland. Being a significantly sized tree (they grow up to 8 metres tall), many were cleared and forgotten by early settlers. Back then, few people were concerned about how pretty the “caviar” would look on flambeed oysters. Besides, there were other, juicier, more useful, bush citruses like the Desert Lime readily available.

Bush Tucker Finger Lime map

Like so many of the hundreds of other half-remembered native Bush Tucker plants, finger limes languished untasted in protected areas for decades. Then, beginning in the 1980s, the Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) (ANPSA), that veritable populariser of native flora, began talking about them. Their legendary Study Groups, peopled by enthusiastic amateur botanists, spread the word until it reached the ears of sensation-hungry gourmet chefs in the 1990s. Finger limes were a hit in the “fancy restaurant dinner” market and now they are breaking into the mass market.

Finger lime cultivation is a hot export-led growth opportunity, with some growers having planted orchards with thousands of trees.

Fancy restaurant

What use are Finger Limes?

Finger limes are best used for their visual effect in garnishes. Unlike a “regular” lime, slicing a cross-section will yield little flavour, and squeezing will give you a bunch of intact vesicles and little juice. For best results, add the juice vesicles to desserts and salad to generate an interesting sour pop mouth experience. You can place a dollop of the “caviar” on shellfish and white fish fillets for the eye-candy effect, but also squeeze some “regular” lime juice over it if you want the flavour to penetrate.

Finger limes are also used to impart “fanciness” to expensive marmalades and other products which would otherwise use regular lime flavours.

Finger Lime Nutrition

There are no nutrition surprises when it comes to finger limes – they pretty much follow the pattern of other limes. Apart from significant levels of Vitamin C (30mg/100g) and a wide array of phytochemicals (polyphenols and terpenes), they are low in nutrients. 100g of finger limes have 10g carbs, 30 calories (126kJ), and 2.8g dietary fibre.


Types of Finger Limes

As is the way with other unusual food which gets “buzz”, there is much misinformation as to the types and claimed benefits of finger limes. There are more than 40 different cultivars (varieties) of finger lime available, and each variety may have a hundred different shades of colour. The colour of citrus flesh is determined by a family of chemicals called cyanins. Different types of cyanins make different colours, and different growing and ripening conditions determine the cyanins. Depending on the temperature, water, and soil chemistry, it is possible to get different coloured finger limes picked from the same tree at different times.

That said, the top three types of finger lime cultivars are:

  1. Pink Ice, which has pink juice vesicles and brown rind
  2. Crimson Tide, with red juice vesicles and brown rind
  3. Chartreuse, a green-skinned fruit with yellow juice vesicles

In general, there is not much point in worrying about which type of finger lime is best – nutritionally they are much of a muchness. The flavour of finger lime is more determined by growing conditions than colour (the colours taste the same).

Finger Lime Tree

Hybrids

In addition to the regular cultivars, agriculturists are experimenting with hybrids of finger lime and other citrus fruits. An example is the finger lime/mandarin hybrid fruit developed by the CSIRO.

Where can YOU get them?

Finger limes have not yet made it to the produce section of bug supermarkets. However, they can be found online from distributors and at local farmers markets. Bear in mind that online, all-year-round stores are possibly selling defrosted fruit which has likely lost its snap. Fresh ripe finger limes are broken with a snap and ooze vesicles, kind of like fresh green beans. Old and thawed finger limes bend without breaking, and their juice vesicles must be carefully scooped out after cutting.

Finger Limes spoilage

Keeping Finger Limes

If you are keen to experience finger limes, then you will probably want to plant your own tree. Freshly picked finger limes spoil fast (unless they have been chemically “enhanced”) and it is a rare week-old finger lime that has not developed patches of mould. This rapid spoilage, and the export market demand, is the main reason that finger limes are so expensive.

It is not especially difficult to grow and nurture a finger lime tree like these from your local Bunnings.  The tree develops excellent citrus blossoms in late summer and fruit in winter or early spring.


Emulsifiers

471 and Every Other Coded Emulsifier in Food

Emulsifier is a word you will see on many different food labels, but what does it mean exactly? What are the emulsifiers represented by codes 471, 322, 491, and 433 made of? Unlike, say, sugar, you simply cannot avoid emulsifiers in processed foods because they are literally in everything. Are emulsifiers bad for your health? Let’s get some answers!

Emulsification

To emulsify means to successfully mix liquids which don’t usually mix. The obvious example is water and oil. Usually, oil just sits on top of water when it is poured in, stubbornly refusing to mix. However, give it a good stir or shake and the oil breaks up into dispersed globules.

How Emulsification Works

The small globules spread evenly throughout the water before floating back to the surface and re-forming a single oil layer. In the mixed state, the water and oil are said to be emulsified.

They form an emulsion through emulsification, a process sometimes enabled by an emulsifier.

The word “emulsion” means “to milk” in Latin, referencing milk, perhaps the world’s most common emulsion of oil and water.


Emulsified Food is High Calorie

Emulsions are common in naturally found, home-prepared, and industrially manufactured foods – a simple emulsion is vinaigrette prepared by simply whisking oil and vinegar together. By far, the most common type of emulsion includes oil, for example milk, mayonnaise, ice-cream, cake batter, peanut butter, margarine, and mashed potato. Thus, since oil/fat is calorie-dense, emulsified foods tend to be almost universally high in calories.

What do Emulsifiers Do?

In the case of our homemade vinaigrette, the emulsion is unstable and will soon separate. To make the oil and vinegar stay mixed, you can add a chemical which prevents the two constituents from going their separate ways. Such a chemical is known as an emulsifier. A common emulsifier in every kitchen is lecithin, found in egg-yolk. Whisking an egg yolk along with the oil and vinegar turns unstable vinaigrette into sturdy mayonnaise, courtesy of the lecithin.

milk is an emulsion

Different emulsifiers work in several alternative ways. Some physically link oil globules to their surroundings by “holding on”. Others break surface tension to allow things in water to get “wet” (soap is an emulsifier). Yet others form barriers around oil globules, so the water and oil don’t contact each other. Depending on the use case, certain emulsifiers work better than others.


Emulsifiers and Health

In the realm of processed foods, emulsifiers are food additives. As such, they must be clearly labelled, and only statutorily approved types may be used. At an industrial scale, simple unprocessed emulsifiers like whole raw egg-yolks are very rarely used. Instead, emulsifiers are the result of multi-step, sometimes proprietary chemical processes.

Some industrial emulsifiers have been linked to adverse health effects. Studies indicate that chemicals like carboxymethylcellulose, polysorbate, and carrageenan cause a significant immune system response resulting in inflammation of the gut. It is the sort of problem that does not usually land a sufferer at the doctor’s office, it is just a niggling discomfort which can gradually build up over time. More disturbingly, some research implicates certain emulsifiers with an increased cancer risk.

Pie filling is emulsified

Thickeners, Stabilizers, or Emulsifiers?

In the world of industrial food additives, thickening, stabilising, and emulsifying are defined differently. However, the lines between the three are blurred because many substances perform all three roles while thickening, stabilising, or emulsifying. For example, Xanthan gum is classed as a stabiliser even when it effectively emulsifies the ingredients in pie filling. Is it an emulsifier stabiliser which thickens, or it is a stabilising thickener which emulsifies? For everyday laypeople like us, all three types of food additives can be usefully grouped together.

Commercial Emulsifiers and their Codes

The emulsifier codes on food labels are useful only if you know which chemicals they signify, and what those chemicals do. These codes are almost universally recognised around the globe and are preceded by an “E” in products sold in Europe. Here is the list of common emulsifiers by code:

322: Lecithin

Lecithin is the name given to any naturally occurring yellowish-coloured fatty substance which attracts both water and oil. An example is the phosphatidylcholine in egg yolk, but there are many different lecithins in a wide range of plants and animals. Much of the lecithin additive in food today is processed from soybeans.

lecithin in egg yolk

Lecithin is added to an enormous number of different foods, including margarine, chocolate, and cooking oil, which means that it ends up in everything made with these basic ingredients.

Lecithin is used as a dietary supplement to deliver the essential nutrient choline and potentially benefit acne sufferers. Some research indicates that eating too much soy lecithin can cause depression.

400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405: Alginic Acid

Alginic acid is extracted from brown seaweed and used in drinks, ice cream, jellies, and weight-loss supplements. It is also used in the cosmetics, textiles, paper, and fireproofing industries. It absorbs water quickly and is used in anti-acid reflux medications like Gaviscon. The codes 401-405 are different chemical configurations of Alginic Acid.

406: Agar

Agar is a type of jelly processed from red algae. It was discovered by a Japanese innkeeper in 1658 when he tossed out some old seaweed soup then noticed that it had transformed to jelly the next day. It contains a massive 80% dietary fibre and is used to bulk foods up without increasing calories. If you like the “pearls” in bubble tea, you like agar.

algae makes emulsifiers

407, 407a: Carrageenan

Carrageenan is a gel extracted from red seaweed. It forms powerful bonds with food proteins and is widely used in meat and dairy processing. Most carrageenan is made in the Philippines and China, where the seaweed is treated with hot alkali (potassium hydroxide) and concentrated by evaporation.


In addition to widespread use in the meat and dairy industry, carrageenan is also used in toothpaste, beer, soy milk, shampoo, and personal lubricants. Baby formula, shoe polish, diet soft drinks, pet food, sauces, and vegetarian “meats” are also use cases.

Carrageenan is one of the potentially risky emulsifiers we mentioned earlier on in this article. It has been linked to gut inflammation and colon cancer in some studies.

seaweed makes emulsifiers

409: Arabinogalactan

Arabinogalactan is a common plant gum which can be extracted from many common plants and microbes. Its use in nature is to glue damaged plant tissue (if you’ve ever seen gum oozing from a cut in tree bark you get the idea). It is used in many foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, animal feeds, and construction materials.

410: Locust Bean Gum

Locust Bean Gum, also known as LBG, carob gum, carob bean gum, or carobin is a gum derived from the seeds of the carob tree. Most LBG comes from Portugal and Italy. The carob bean pod is known in some circles as the poor man’s chocolate because it is sweet and has a taste reminiscent of cocoa. The LBG itself is produced from the seeds of the pod, and used in various foods as well as insecticides, paper, mining products, and cigarettes.

412: Guar Gum

Guar gum, also known as guaran, is a product of guar beans from India and Pakistan. The process of extracting guar gum from the beans is a multi-stage manufacture which sometimes includes modification by enzymes. Guar gum is extensively used in the hydraulic fracturing industry (“oil fracking”), as well as foods and explosives. When used in food, it has eight times the thickening power of starch. Guar gum is the main ingredient in many brands of laxative.

413: Tragacanth

Tragacanth is a simple plant gum taken from the sap of the Goat’s Thorn weed. It is also known as Shiraz gum, or gum dragon. In the Middle East, tragacanth is a traditional medicine used to treat diarrhea and coughs.

India has natural emulsifiers

414: Acacia Gum

Acacia gum come from the sap of acacia trees. It is also known as gum Arabic, Senegal gum, and gum Sudani, amongst other localised names. Originating from Africa, acacia gum has been used by humans for thousands of years. It is widely used in the food industry, most notably in chewing gum, lollies and confectionery, and pie fillings. A natural prebiotic, acacia gum is fermented in the gut by “good” bacteria. Excessive consumption causes flatulence.

415: Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is one of the few foods in the English language starting with the letter X. First discovered by the US Department of Agriculture in the 1960s, it is produced by Xanthomonas bacteria on an industrial scale. Xanthan gum is widely used in the food, oil-drilling, and cosmetics industry. It is an added to dressings, sauces, spices, beverages, meat, baked goods, confectionery, and many other processed foods.

Xanthan gum has been linked to respiratory problems in adults and necrotizing enterocolitis in infants.

bacteria made emulsifiers

416: Karaya Gum

Karaya gum is like tragacanth (code 413), in that it is a natural vegetable gum simply extracted from a tree sap in India.

417: Tara Gum

Tara gum comes from the seeds of the Tara tree from South America. It is used as a more “natural” alternative in processed foods like ice-cream, baked goods, and confectionery. In Peru, Tara tree pods are used as traditional medicine for stomach aches and fever.

418: Gellan Gum

Gellan gum, like xanthan gum, is derived from a US-scientist-discovered bacterial product. The bacteria in question, Sphingomonas, was found growing on a lily pad in a random pond. Gellan gum is widely used as a substitute for gelatine in confectionery, flavoured milk, and ice cream. Unlike gelatine, it remains jelly even after heating and churning. If you have tried “flaming ice cream” at a fancy restaurant, it is thanks to the gellan gum added to it.

419: Gum Ghatti

Also known as Indian gum, gum Ghatti is yet another tree-sap derived natural gum which has been used for thousands of years. The tree is the Axlewood, or Bakli tree native to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar.

420: Sorbitol

Sorbitol is a type of sweet alcohol, usually manufactured from corn starch, which the human body metabolises very slowly. In syrup form, sorbitol is a common emulsifier and humectant (moisturiser) added to peanut butter, biscuits, bread, and jam. Sorbitol has a laxative effect, to learn more read our post on prunes.

424: Curdlan

Curdlan is a gel produced by Agrobacterium bacteria which were initially discovered in human faeces.


425, 425i, 425ii: Konjac

Konjac, also known as devil’s tongue, voodoo lily, snake palm, and elephant yam, is derived from the corm or tuber of the Konjac plant. It has been eaten in Japan since the sixth century. As a food additive, it is an ingredient in weight-loss products, jelly-like confectionery, and vegan “seafood”.

432, 433, 434, 435, 436: Polysorbate

Polysorbates are made industrially through a chemical reaction between sorbitol (see code 420) and ethylene oxides. They are a chemical step further from sorbitol than sorbitan (see codes 491-495). Polysorbates have a bewildering range of uses in the food, cosmetics, medical, elastomer, nanotech, and biotech industries.

polysorbate emulsifier

This class of emulsifier is versatile because their molecules form chain networks which smoothen textures and spread ingredients evenly. Polysorbate is particularly useful in foods with artificial flavours because it is a wetting agent which helps the flavours to spread in the mouth during chewing. It also makes temperature-sensitive ingredients less prone to melt.

Polysorbates have been linked with gut inflammation and cancer in mice.

440: Pectin

Pectin is a naturally occurring dietary fibre found in many plants (apples are a rich source). At an industrial level, pectin is extracted from citrus fruits. Pectin is used extensively as a food additive, notably in jams, sauces, as it has been used for hundreds of years.

441: Gelatin

Gelatine is a gel derived from the collagen in animal tissue. It has been used as a food additive for thousands of years.

gelatin emulsifier

442: Ammonium Phosphatides

Made from glycerol and vegetable oil, ammonium phosphatides is used as an alternative to lecithin in the chocolate industry.

443: Brominated Vegetable Oil

Brominated vegetable oil, usually styled BVO, is made from vegetable oil and bromine, a halogen chemical element. BVO is used as an emulsifier in the food industry and a flame retardant in the plastics industry. It has been used in soft drinks since 1931, despite the clear and universally accepted understanding that excess consumption leads to bromism.

Bromism is a debilitating health condition caused by bromine. Bromine damages nerve structure and poisons the brain. Symptoms include restlessness, confusion, psychosis, ataxia, hallucinations, weakness and in some cases, coma. Some sufferers report nausea, anorexia, constipation, and vomiting. Headache, fatigue, memory loss and skin rashes are common misdiagnosed early symptoms.

BVO emulsifier

444: Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate

Sucrose acetate isobutyrate is made by a chemical reaction involving sugar, vinegar, and the acid found in rancid butter. It is a non-bromide alternative to BVO (see code 443).

445: Glycerol Esters of Wood Rosins

Made by chemically reacting crude turpentine with glycerol/glycerine, glycerol esters of wood rosin is used in soft drinks in place of, or in combination with, BVO (see code 443). Crude turpentine, also known as wood rosin, is a by-product of the lumber industry.  


450, 450i, 450ii, 450iii, 450iv, 450v, 450vi, 450vii: Diphosphates

Also known as pyrophosphates, diphosphates are dissolvable metal salts which are used in many processed foods including whipped cream. Studies like this one show that diphosphates cause kidney damage.

Diphosphate Emulsifier

451i, 450ii, 450iii, 450iv, 450v: Triphosphates

2 million tonnes of triphosphates are made each year through the industrial process of heating disodium phosphate and monosodium phosphate together. Triphosphates are used to make detergents and emulsify foods which need to retain moisture. High levels of triphosphates in the blood are a recognised predictor of heart attacks and early death.

452i, 452ii, 452iii, 452iv, 452v: Polyphosphates

Polyphosphates are produced through a complicated industrial chemical process which involves carefully controlled reactions amongst a plethora of complex chemicals. According to the US FDA, the EU Scientific Committee on Food and others, they might not cause heart attacks and bone degradation if less than 40mg is consumed per day. But maybe they will. And please try not to eat more than 40mg per day.

459: Beta-Cyclodextrin

Beta-cyclodextrin is a massive sugar molecule made by the action of enzymes on starch. They work as emulsifiers by linking to both oil and water at the same time, thus preventing an oil/water mixture from separating. Beta-cyclodextrin may damage kidneys in mice and cause hearing loss in humans.

460, 460i, 460ii, 461, 462, 463, 464, 465, 466, 467, 468, 469: Cellulose

Probably the oldest, safest, most widespread emulsifier in the world, cellulose is the main structural material used by plants. Think wood, the fibres in spinach, and the chewy parts of celery. Cellulose in its pure form and in several variations with chemical tweaks is used to emulsify a wide range of processed foods. Yes, sawdust is an emulsifying food additive.

470a, 470b: Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium Salts of Fatty Acids

This group of “salts of fatty acids”, also known as soap, are emulsifier food additives. Yup, it is safe to add tiny amounts of soap to food for emulsification purposes. Straight-up stearate (stearic acid, the grandaddy of soaps) is also a food additive, code 570.

471: Mono and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids

“Mono and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids” is a different way of saying “oil”. The only difference between the bottle of vegetable oil in your kitchen and a bottle of Emulsifier 471 is that your kitchen oil is mostly triglycerides, and the 471 is mostly monoglycerides and diglycerides.

To make 471, put some specific enzymes to work on regular triglyceride oil.

Monoglycerides and Diglycerides are more hydrophobic than triglycerides – meaning they mix with water even less. Things coated with them become “waterproof” so that they can remain in mixture without dissolving, reacting, or separating, in other words they emulsify.

Emulsifier 471

Unlike most of the other emulsifier food additives on this page, 471 covers a huge range of substances. There are about 50 different types of oil commercially used to make mono and diglycerides of fatty acids, each with an unlimited combination of mono, di, and polyglycerides.

Therein lies one of the main health concerns with 471: you don’t know what you’re getting. The 471 could be made from pork fat or olive oil. It could be 20% coconut oil from a stinking 30-year-old vat, mixed in with the by-product of a tanning factory. All you will see on the label is: emulsifier (471).


Since 471 is simply oil, there is no limit to how much manufacturers can use in their recipes. Weight for weight, mono and diglycerides have about half the calories of regular triglyceride oil, but they still pack a hefty amount of food energy. The 471-coated fruit lumps in your cute pot of pink sweetened yoghurt might be delivering a quite different nutritional load from what you expect!

472a, 472b, 472c, 472d, 472e, 472f, 472g: Esters of Mono and Diglycerdides of Fatty Acids

Esters of mono and diglycerides of fatty acids is the result of a chemical reaction between food additive code 471 and an acid (for example, citric acid produces 472c). These different esters perform similarly to 471, but with more specialised function. For example, 472e (mono and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides of fatty acids, better known as DATEM) is used to emulsify bread dough because it enhances gluten.

473, 474, 475, 476, 477, 478, 479b: Products of Fatty Acids

This group of emulsifiers are the result of chemical reactions involving “regular” oil (not mono and diglycerides of fatty acids). For example, 473 is made from sugar (sucrose) and oil (usually vegetable oil). 477 is a combination of propane (yes, barbecue gas) and oil. These lab-born emulsifiers are formulated to perform specialised, multi-objective tasks in processed foods and other industries.

Emulsifier in Cola

480: Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate

Additive 480 was born in 1937 as an aerosol detergent. Better known as Docusate, dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate is a salt often added to cheese spreads, carbonated soft drinks, and salad dressings. It has a strong laxative effect and long term consumption causes poor bowel function.

481, 482: Stearoyl-2-Lactylate

481 and 482 (commonly known as SSL and CSL) are stearoyl-2-lactylates of sodium and calcium, respectively. Lactylates are a family of chemicals developed in the 1950s for the specific purpose of increasing the shelf life of bread. The recommended safe daily consumption of 481 and 482 is 22.1mg/kg of body weight.

483: Stearyl Tartrate

Stearyl tartrate is a deceptive food additive in that it could be any or all of three different esters (distearyl tartrate, dipalmityl tartrate, and stearyl palmityl tartrate). It is not approved in Australia due to concerns that it may be a carcinogen (causes cancer). Check the label on imported foods, and when you are overseas!

487: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Usually, the prime lathering ingredient of shampoo and handwash, sodium lauryl sulphate sometimes spelled sulphate and called sodium dodecyl sulfate or SLS) is also an emulsifying food additive.

490, 1520: Propane-1, 2-diol

Also known as propylene glycol, propane-1,2-diol is produced in the millions of tonnes each year from petroleum. It is mainly used to make plastics, but it has many other industrial uses, including as an emulsifying food additive. It is also an indirect food additive when used for its solvent and antifreeze properties in mass food processing.

Propane emulsifier

491, 492, 493, 494, 495: Sorbitan

This group of emulsifiers are compounds of sorbitan, which like polysorbate (see codes 432-436) is a derivation of sorbitol (code 420). Sorbitan widely used, particularly 492 (sorbitan tristearate) sold under brand names like Alkest, Span, and Canarcel.

499: Stigmasterol-Rich Plant Sterols

Stigmasterol-rich plant sterols, like all phytosterols, are in the group of chemicals which functionally mimic cholesterol in humans. It is not a “pure” chemical, rather a mixture of at least four different phytosterols. Used in frozen foods, it is extracted from soybeans at an industrial level. Some research shows that elevated levels of plant sterols increases the risk of heart disease.


Flour in Australia

Flour in Australia Q & A

In Australia we often come across recipes, food labels, and informative articles about flour which make us go hmmmm? Flour is different around the world, so finding the right nutrition information can be a challenge. Let’s try to clear some confusion with a quick flour Q&A:

Q: What is Cornstarch?

A: Grind the starchy part of corn (maize) kernels to make cornstarch. In Australia, we usually call corn starch “cornflour”. Cornstarch and Cornflour are the same thing. Confusingly, “corn flour” sold in Australia used to be made from wheat, rather than corn. Today, however, popular corn-flour/corn-starch products are in fact made from corn, as you can see from this ingredient list. Corn starch often serves to thicken sauces, soups, gravies, and casseroles. Corn flour added to cakes lightens their texture (by reducing the protein level, see cake flour question below). Feel free to make a straight swap of cornflour for cornstarch, available from supermarkets like Woolworths and Coles!

Cornstarch Cornflour in Australia

There are 365 calories, or 1529 kilojoules, in 100g of corn flour.

Q: What is All Purpose Flour called in Australia?

A: Call All Purpose Flour “Plain Flour” in Australia and you will be talking about the same thing. It is the basic, go-to flour for use with most simple recipes which call for “all-purpose” or just plain “flour”. Some people call All Purpose, or Plain Flour, “AP Flour”. Plain flour is a blend of fine ground wheat endosperm. It can be used for just about any purpose flour is usually called for, including bread, cakes, cookies, thickening, and so on. The fact that it is a general, or all-purpose, flour means that it is not a great “specialist flour”, for example its coarser grind makes it less suitable than cornflour for thickening.

All Purpose Flour Plan Flour in Australia

There are 357 calories, or 1498kJ per 100 grams of plain flour.

Q: What is Bakers Flour in Australia?

A: Bakers Flour is a hard flour, also known as Bread Flour, so called because it is good for making bread, pizza bases, and other chewy baked goods. Baker’s Flour is sometimes called High Protein Flour in Australia. Manufacturers blend wheat flour which has a high (11%-16%) protein content to make baker’s flour. The proteins (a.k.a. gluten) form a network of strands, especially when the baker’s flour dough is kneaded, to make the product stretchy and chewy. You can use baker’s or bread flour instead of plain flour, but not for cakes or anything less hefty than a slice of focaccia. Chewy cake is not cake. Plain flour can be substituted for baker’s flour, but the resultant food will be less flexible and durable.

Bakers Flour in Australia

There are 356 calories (1490kJ) in each 100g of baker’s flour.

Q: What is Self Raising Flour in Australia?

A: Self-raising flour is plain flour with leavening (or raising) agents like baking powder added. Outside of Australia, Self-Raising Flour is often called Self-Rising Flour. The actual raising agents used in self-raising flour vary by manufacturer, so sometimes different brands produce different results for the same recipe. You should not swap self raising flour for plain flour in a recipe which does not include the addition of baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda, yeast, or any other raising agent. If the recipe does include baking soda or such, you can make the switch, but do not add the required raising agent. If you use plain flour instead of self-raising flour, you will need to mix two teaspoons of baking powder into each cup of flour.

You cannot use self-raising flour to successfully make bread the traditional yeast-leavened way. If you add yeast to self raising flour, your bread is likely to flop into itself due to over-proofing.

There are 353 calories in 100g of Self Raising Flour (1479kJ/100g).



Q: Is Cornmeal the same as Polenta?

A: Yes, cornmeal is the same as polenta, but it’s a bit complicated. Whilst polenta is simply whole corn kernels which have been ground into a coarse flour, in some parts of the world “polenta” is taken to be the product of cornmeal. Polenta is usually cooked by boiling one-part cornmeal with four parts water to make a porridge. The porridge can be eaten as-is or left to cool into a polenta loaf. Once cooled, the solid polenta can be cut into slices and fried or baked. Thus, polenta is corn meal to some people, yet to others polenta is what you make with cornmeal. In a pinch, you can substitute semolina for polenta, but your finished product will be stickier and smoother.

Polenta Cornmeal in Australia

There are 335 calories, or 1406 kilojoules per 100g of polenta.

Q: Can you buy Cake Flour in Australia?

A: Yes, you can, cake flour is available from most major grocery shops. However, cake flour is not usually called so in this country (see the calorie link below for an example). The only difference between cake flour and plain flour is that cake flour has a lower protein value. Cake Flour is also known as Soft Flour in Australia, because it is made with a blend of low protein/gluten wheat which results in a less structured bake. Read the section on Baker’s Flour to understand how the protein in flour makes for a chewy bite. Most people prefer their cake to break easily in a delicate crumble, hence the use of low protein flour.

You can make your own cake flour by adding two tablespoons of cornflour to one cup of plain flour. The resultant mix has a wheat protein level comparable to that of commercially available cake flour and will make less dense cakes than pure plain flour.

Cake Flour Australia

There are 370 calories (1552kJ) in 100g of cake flour.

Q: What can be used as a flour alternative?

A: Nothing can substitute flour because flour is the only flour there is. Any alternative to flour must be like flour, so it is flour. Make flour by milling any food to a dry powder. This includes grains like wheat and corn, nuts like almond, rhizomes like arrowroot, and seeds like amaranth and quinoa. Any flour can be used for baking, thickening, frying, boiling, and steaming, but of course the results will vary depending on the type of flour used. For best results, follow a good recipe, or just have fun experimenting. Anyone for coconut flour banana bread?

Now, see 8 Substitutes for Vegetable Oil!

Trout VS Tuna VS Salmon

Trout VS Salmon VS Tuna

Trout VS Salmon VS Tuna means calories and nutrition in trout, compared to salmon, compared to tuna, let’s go! You might have read our post on the best 3 fish you can eat and thought: “How does salmon compare to trout and tuna?”. It is a natural question, considering that salmon and trout are sometimes mistaken for one another, and tuna shares a lot of the characteristics of both. Well, read on to see how these three popular fish stack up nutritionally.

Calories in Trout, Salmon, and Tuna

The calorie differences between these three species proves that fish are not food equivalent to one another. Salmon has 209 calories per 100 grams, whilst Trout has 154, and Tuna 103. Putting those numbers into perspective, you can eat more than twice as much tuna as salmon for the same calories! Trout has about 35% fewer calories than salmon, and about 50% more calories than tuna.  The big takeaway here is that if you are strictly counting your calories and choosing between equal weights of tuna and salmon, take the tuna.

Trout VS Salmon Nutrition

Tuna, Trout, and Salmon Protein

Fish is an excellent source of protein, but which fish out of tuna, salmon, and trout has more? It turns out that they are much of a muchness in this case. Tuna leads with 23g protein per 100g, followed by salmon with 21g/100g, and trout with 20g/100g. The protein difference on a weight-for-weight basis between tuna and trout is just 15%, in tuna’s favour. If you are targeting protein and need to make a fish choice for dinner, just follow your tastebuds.

Fat Content of Salmon, Trout, and Tuna

The fat from fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and may help heart health. Here, there is a stark difference between trout, tuna, and salmon. Salmon, at 14g per 100g, leads in fat content. Trout follows with 42% less fat (8g/100g), whilst tuna lags with a skinny 1g of fat per 100g of edible weight. Tuna is much leaner than salmon and trout. You would have to eat 14 times more tuna than salmon to get the same amount of fat!



Is Trout healthier than Salmon?

In a word, no. Trout is not healthier than salmon because it typically contains less of the valuable omega-3 fatty acids found in the fat of both salmon and trout. Bear in mind that the words “salmon” and “trout” are not scientific classifications. What we call Rainbow Trout and Pink Salmon are actually in the same genus (family) called Oncorhynchus. Brown Trout and Atlantic Salmon, on the other hand, are both in the genus called Salmo. As with so many other fish, the names get confused and swapped around depending on time and location. For example, in China all trout are called salmon.

Mercury in Fish like Salmon

Tuna VS Salmon VS Trout Mercury

Tuna, salmon, and trout all accumulate heavy metals like mercury from the food they eat. Being near the top of their food chains, they are the second last stop for mercury as it passes from plankton to predator from its starting point in volcanoes and geothermal vents. Mercury concentration is measured in PPM (Parts-Per-Million). Tuna, with 0.391PPM, contains far more mercury than either salmon or trout. Trout has 0.071PPM, whilst salmon has 0.014PPM. Whilst it is generally accepted that the benefits of eating fish outweighs the risk of mercury poisoning, studies like this one show that there is no healthy level of mercury for humans. Given a choice between these three fish, choose salmon to reduce your mercury intake.

What Tastes Better, Salmon, Trout, or Tuna?

When it comes to taste, in our opinion, salmon wins hands down. It is a versatile fish which can be prepared successfully in so many ways, from pan-searing, to baking, to grilling and even steaming. The problem with tuna is that it can dry out quickly when cooking, due to the low-fat content. Tuna tastes “cleaner” than salmon and trout, but it can be chewy when overcooked (it is easily overcooked). Trout, on the other hand, can have an inconsistent texture and flavour, depending on its growth environment. Maybe we have just had one too many muddy-tasting trout to be convinced that it can hold a candle to salmon.

Salmon tastes better than Tuna and Trout

That said, choice cuts from all three fish make excellent sashimi and sushi. They’re also not bad in canned form. Use our Food Search Box to compare brands!

Calories in Porridge

Calories in Porridge (made 7 ways)

Everyone says it is good for you, but how about the calories in porridge? Porridge has been our food since cavemen, and it is not going away anytime soon, but is it really a good option? Let’s take a closer look at porridge nutrition to see how many calories there are in your morning bowlful. Skip straight to the porridges to see quick calorie counts or read all about porridge first.

What is Porridge, exactly?

Boil starchy plants in water or milk so that some or all the starch breaks off into the liquid to thicken the mixture and thus make porridge. This post sticks with porridge made from oats specifically, because that’s the type we usually mean when we say “porridge”. You can use the calcount Food Search Box to find nutrition information for other types of porridge, like Congee for example.

Ancient Origins

Someone in the Middle East ate the first bowl of oatmeal porridge more than 10,000 years ago. Oats are a grass grain, like wheat, but smaller. Cultivated oats probably began as a “weed” crop in fields of wheat when humans first began farming. Thus, the humble oat is one of the first grains to be cultivated. Even before farming began, we can imagine our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors boiling up a steaming concoction of wild oat seeds which we would recognise even today as breakfast. 

Oats Ancient Grain

The Oats in Porridge

Compared to wheat, oat grains have several disadvantages. They’re smaller, less starchy, more difficult to harvest, take longer to cook, and they go bad (rancid) more easily. Perhaps that is why oats were historically used as horse fodder rather than human food in much of Europe. Scotland has always been the exception because oats grow better than wheat in the poorer soils of the Scottish Highlands. It is from Scotland that our modern concept of Porridge comes.

Manufacturers crush the oat grains (groats) under rollers, then steam them until partly cooked. This process extends their shelf-life and makes them much easier and quicker to cook. Unrolled oats (either steel-cut or whole groats), are a lot harder to cook. They’re also much rougher in texture than rolled oats. The pre-cooking process makes the porridge taste a bit nutty.

Porridge Nutrition

The nutrition value of a bowl of porridge depends mainly on what other ingredients have been added to the oats. Typically, porridge is just 15% oats by volume, so the other ingredients have a huge impact on the porridge’s nutrition. When made with water alone, porridge is 12% carbohydrate, 2% dietary fibre, 1.5% fat, and 0.3% sugar. Besides manganese (0.6mg), there are no significant quantities of vitamins and minerals in plain porridge. The biggest “special” benefit of oats porridge is that it contains beta-glucan. This is a type of plant fibre which may lower cholesterol. Oats’ relatively poor nutrition profile encourages some porridge manufacturers to fortify their product with vitamins and minerals, so always read the label before purchase and choose wisely.

Cook oats in microwave

How to Make Porridge

The simplest method to make porridge is first to empty a sachet of “instant” oats into a bowl. Next, add milk or water. Then, microwave on high for 90 seconds, stirring halfway through. The artisan way is to formulate your own unique recipe where you soak organic single-source groats in buttermilk for two days before blending in exotic spices and spring water and simmering over low heat for a couple of hours (carefully stirring and chanting Gaelic aphorisms throughout). Both methods result in a starchy, lumpy, slightly sticky porridge to which you can add sweeteners, flavours, fruit, and nuts.

The porridges featured in this post are the basic type, made with common rolled oats.

Does Porridge make you Gain Weight?

Porridge is not a low-calorie food, especially when ingredients like nuts, dried fruit, cream, butter, sugar, and coconut are added. As you can see from the list below, the non-oat ingredients in porridge quickly ratchet up the calorie count. No doubt, a “fully loaded” bowl of porridge is certainly fattening. However, oats alone are an excellent choice for breakfast, because their high-fibre content and sustained-release carbohydrates make you feel fuller for longer. Eat a warm bowl of porridge, wash it down with a mug of tea or coffee, it will sit in your belly like a concrete block for a couple of hours, during which time you will not be tempted to snack.

Calories in Porridge made with Water

Calories in Porridge made with Water

There are 68 calories in 100 grams of porridge, made with water. If we take a single serving to be 130g, then a bowl of plain unsweetened porridge made with water contains 88 calories. Very few people make and eat plain, unflavoured porridge made with water (unless there’s no other choice!), so this porridge is probably just a theoretical variant. This type of porridge looks, feels, and tastes like wallpaper paste.

Calories in Porridge made with Regular Milk

Unsweetened porridge made with regular milk has 128 calories in each 100 grams. This means that a 130g bowl of unsweetened milky porridge has 167 calories in it. Make this porridge with just two ingredients: rolled oats and regular (3.5% fat) milk in the ratio of 1:3. It is more appetising than the watery variant, but this unsweetened, unsalted milky porridge is probably still far too bland for most people’s taste.

Calories in Porridge with Milk

Calories in Porridge made with Skimmed Milk

There are 95 calories in 100 grams of porridge made with skim milk, so a 130g bowl contains 124 calories. Porridge made with skimmed milk is less of a lumpy slurry than water-only porridge, despite the lack of fat, on account of the binding properties of protein. The good thing about skimmed milk is that it contains far fewer calories than regular milk, albeit at the expense of taste. If you have not already done so, check out our post on the differences between skimmed, lite, and regular milk.

Calories in Porridge made with Reduced Fat Milk

A 130g bowl of porridge made with reduced fat milk has 140 calories in it. There are 108 calories per 100 grams in this lighter than regular milk/heavier than skimmed milk porridge option. Again, this is an “entry-level” plain and bland porridge which will flatten the bushiest of tails in the morning.

Calories in Porridge made with Soy Milk

Soy milk can have a slight beany flavour which might enhance the slight nuttiness of rolled oats. Porridge made with regular soy milk and nothing else has 112 calories per 100 grams, or 146 calories per 130g serving. Combine 1 part rolled oats to 3 parts soy milk to make an insipid soy-flavoured porridge which will not win any gastronomic awards.

Calories in Porridge made with Milk and Water

There are 96 calories in 100 grams of porridge, prepared with regular milk and water. The milk and water are combined in equal parts. A 130g bowl of this porridge contains 125 calories, which is about the same as porridge made with skim milk. If you cannot decide if it is better to make porridge with water or milk, this could be the porridge for you.

Calories in Porridge with Honey

Calories in Porridge made with Honey or Sugar

Most people make their porridge with milk and sweeten it with sugar or honey, so this is probably the porridge which applies to you. A 130g serving of sweetened porridge contains 172 calories, because there are 132 calories in each 100 grams. The calorie difference between sweetened and unsweetened porridge made with regular milk is just 4 calories per 100g. The taste difference is immeasurable, because porridge is bland, and sugar/honey tastes good. So go ahead, add a squirt of honey or syrup or a level spoon of sugar to your bowl!

Dates VS Prunes

Dates VS Prunes (with infographic)

Dates VS Prunes: both popular dried fruit, sweet, and they sort of look the same, but which has more calories? Are they even nutritionally similar? Let’s look at these sweet nuggets in comparison, so that we can find out what is better for you, prunes, or dates?

Differences between Prunes and Dates

In many ways, dates and prunes are interchangeable. They are about the same size, colour, and shape. They’re both sticky and sweet. You can safely substitute one for the other in just about any recipe. Leaving taste preferences aside, which one wins the food choices battle?

Prunes are Plums

Prunes are plums, dried. This comes as a surprise to kids who cannot conceptually equate Nanna’s small wrinkled “medicine” to the juicy purple plum in their lunchbox. The most common prune is the dried Agen plum, today mostly grown in California, USA. It is a so-called “loose stone” plum, which means that the seed easily detaches from the flesh.

Dates are Dates

Dates are dried dates, except for when they are fresh dates. Unlike prunes, dates do not change names and they are not usually known as “dried dates”. Perhaps this lack of distinction is because fresh dates are rarely found in the supermarket.

Are Dates as good as Prunes for Constipation?

Modern studies have backed up the old folk-belief that prunes are an effective home remedy for constipation. In fact, studies like this one show that prunes outperform other high fibre foods like psyllium to keep constipation-sufferers regular. Whilst both dates and prunes have similar amounts of plant fibre, prunes have about ten times the amount of sorbitol found in dates. Sorbitol causes water to enter the colon (large intestine), thus hydrating drier waste and aiding its passage. Dates do help with constipation, but they are not as useful as prunes.

How many Prunes or Dates to eat per day?

It is not a good idea to eat significant quantities of the same fruit, especially dried fruit, every day. Prunes and dates are high-calorie foods which contain relatively large quantities of specific vitamins and minerals which may have undesirable effects when eaten in large quantities. As you may have read in our post on carrots, sometimes usually beneficial vitamins can have a toxic effect if eaten to excess. Instead of eating them daily, have a handful of prunes or dates (about 100g) once or twice per week as part of a balanced diet.

Iron in Dates and Prunes

20% of women and 3% of men are reportedly deficient in iron, so iron is a rightly sought-after food nutrient. Surprisingly, dates and prunes seem to have built up a recent reputation for being iron-rich.  The disappointing fact is that both dates and prunes are comparative lightweights when it comes to iron content. Neither fruit, even in dried form, contains more than one milligram of iron per 100g. This compares poorly to other dried fruit like apricots and tomatoes which can contain ten times as much iron. Even fresh high-iron foods like beans, spinach, read meat, and shellfish, contain 3 to 8 times the amount of iron as prunes and dried dates.

Dates versus Prunes Fibre

Prunes and dates are both high-fibre foods with about 10% of their edible portion being composed of dietary fibre. On a head-to-head basis, dates contain about 20% more dietary fibre than prunes (10g versus 8g per 100g). Whilst this seems like a significant difference, on a practical level it is basically meaningless because of the main reason for the difference: dehydration. As fruit dries, the non-water parts become more concentrated, by weight. Therefore, a relatively drier prune is likely to have more fibre (weight for weight) than a relatively less dry date, even though prunes have a lower nominal fibre content than dates. How “dry” is the prune/date that you eat on a specific date? From a practical perspective, it is effective to think of both dates and prunes as being equally fibre rich.  

Dates VS Prunes for Weight Loss

Which is better for weight loss, dates, or prunes? Dates contain significantly more calories than prunes, but before you reach a quick conclusion stop to consider your other options. Dried fruit like prunes and dates are deceptively high in calories because they pack their nutrition into tightly wrapped packages. A prune has the same nutrition of the plum it was made from because it is the plum it was made from! Think about it: would the average person choose to eat ten fresh plums as an afternoon snack whilst trying to lose weight? Probably not. But that same person might not think twice before downing ten prunes with their 3.30 cuppa. Both dates and prunes are low-volume, high-calorie food options so neither is good for weight loss.

Infographic

Prunes compared to Dates Nutrition
Comparison of Prunes and Dates Nutrition

Prunes VS Dates Nutrition

On a weight-for-weight basis, dates contain about 45% more calories than prunes (289 calories compared to 200 calories per 100g). With 66 grams per 100g, dates have more than twice as much sugar as prunes, which have 31 grams of sugar per 100 grams of fruit. Dates (14mg/100g) also have twice the sodium of prunes(7mg/100g). Prunes and dates both have 2 grams of protein per 100g. As noted a few paragraphs above, dates have more dietary fibre than prunes, (10g compared to 8g) per 100g. When it comes to micronutrients, dates have the edge over prunes in pretty much everything except Vitamin K and Vitamin A. Dates excel over prunes in two micronutrients: folate (folic acid) and selenium.

Finally, What’s better, Dates or Prunes?

Prunes are better than dates, in our opinion. Prunes have significantly fewer calories than dates. The calories in dates primarily come from fast-burn sugars which can influence the body negatively. Unless a person has a distinct need to supplement their folate levels (e.g. pregnancy), prunes provide similar micronutrients to dates. Prunes contain useful substances like sorbitol and phenols which, together with dietary fibre, help to combat constipation.

That said, both dates and prunes are healthy, nutritious, naturally sweet treats which should be enjoyed in moderation.

4 Ways Garlic Benefits Men

4 Ways Garlic Benefits Men (with Infographic)

People have known about the general health benefits of garlic for thousands of years, but did you know that garlic helps men particularly, in specific ways? Read on to find out what we learned when we researched this fascinating topic.

Garlic is in the onion family and has been eaten as a condiment and medicine by humans for thousands of years. The Ancient Egyptians believed in garlic’s medicinal properties, as evidenced by the cloves they bricked up in the pyramids. Modern scientific research has supported this ancient and ongoing belief by analysing the chemistry of garlic and its effect on the human body. After decades of study, it seems that we now have a clue as to why so many people swear by it. The main reason for garlic’s health benefits are the same reason that it tastes and smells so very pungent: sulphur compounds.

Garlic’s Special Sulfurous Smell

Garlic is not the only member of the onion family to produce a strong smell, but it is by far the most potent. The distinctive smell is caused by a concentration of about 100 different sulfurous chemicals within its cells, including allicin. Sulphur compounds in rotten eggs and natural hot springs give both their unforgettable smell, just as the sulphur in garlic gives it that special smell. Besides their smell, certain sulphur compounds are well-known for having antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.

It is interesting to think about why any plant would evolve to contain high concentrations of sulphur compounds. When garlic is damaged, a natural defense mechanism acts to quickly produce a group of strong-smelling and “hot” tasting chemicals. These unpleasant (to animals and vampires) chemicals repel the invaders and allow the garlic to continue living and growing. Once released, these unstable chemicals continue to react with the environment and each other until much of their original potency is diminished. That is why freshly crushed or chewed garlic smells much stronger than unbroken bulbs or preserved, processed garlic.

In addition to scaring would-be “predators” with their strong smell, the sulphur compounds kill harmful microorganisms that might otherwise take advantage of the damage to enter exposed cells. These potent defensive chemicals are the secret behind garlic’s beneficial effects, for both men and women, but men especially.

Garlic benefits men infographic
Garlic Benefits Men Infographic

Man’s Libido is Increased with Garlic

The sulphur compounds in garlic have the effect of increasing blood flow and circulation to all body organs. A man’s body typically has a certain organ which depends on rapid and sustained blood flow to perform optimally. The optimal performance of this particular organ has a critical effect on men’s libido and well-being. The sulphur compound chemicals found in garlic, such as allicin, are found to widen blood vessels and enlarge flow volume in response to hormonal activity.



Garlic Benefits Men’s Heart Health

Multiple statistics show than men have a much higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than women. Therefore, it is especially important for men to do everything they can to prevent heart disease. Eating garlic is something men can do to treat almost every aspect of heart health, just read this extract from an excellent review of many different studies related to garlic’s effect on heart health:

“The wealth of scientific literature supports the proposal that garlic consumption have significant effects on lowering blood pressure, prevention of atherosclerosis, reduction of serum cholesterol and triglyceride, inhibition of platelet aggregation, and increasing fibrinolytic activity…”

Leyla Bayan et al.

Basically, the review finds that garlic has a significant positive effect on heart health by lowering blood pressure, softening arteries, reducing harmful cholesterol, and even preventing and breaking up potential blood clots!

Prostate Health is Supported with Garlic

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a common health problem for men that usually occurs with ageing. The prostate is a golf-ball sized gland which encircles the tube through which men urinate. BPH is a condition where the prostate grows bigger and bigger until it squeezes the tube, restricting the flow of urine and pressing against the bladder. According to several studies like this one, garlic has the effect of preventing and reducing BPH. Why and how? It must be something to do with those amazing sulphur compounds!

Garlic Enhances Men’s Body Odor

No, seriously, garlic really does improve the body odour of men, it has been studied! Men who eat garlic regularly are perceived to be more pleasant-smelling by women. Note: this is not the “garlic breath” effect, which is caused when sulphur compounds are processed by the liver and excreted through exhalation and sweat. Instead, it seems that the beneficial health effects of garlic cause “positive signal” chemical cues to appear in the man’s immune system, which are picked up by the olfactory sensors of potential mates. Put simply, men who eat garlic smell healthier than men who do not eat garlic, probably because they are.

Garlic is Food and Medicine

There are 124 calories in 100 grams of garlic, and since each clove usually weighs about 5 grams, the caloric value of garlic as typically eaten is insignificant. Aside from the sulphur compounds, garlic is packed with B vitamins, minerals including selenium, and antioxidants.

Garlic used in combination with ginger produces an unmistakably rich flavour which forms the backbone of many Indian and South-East Asian dishes. Garlic mayo is practically indispensable in many Middle Eastern cuisines.

Chopped parsley can be added to garlic to reduce the strength of “garlic breath”.

To get the most benefit from garlic, chew on a couple of raw cloves every day before breakfast, followed by a glass of warm water.

This probably goes without saying, but whilst garlic benefits men, it also benefits women too!

Calories in Coffee

When thinking about calories in coffee, the best approach is to accept that coffee is nothing more than a glorified flavouring for your drink. Sure, it is a super flavour, jam-packed with stimulants, vitamins, minerals and a thousand different chemical compounds, but from a food calorie perspective, it is just a flavouring. In other words, coffee itself does not contain any meaningful calories!

Calories in Coffee typically come from Milk and Sugar

Thought of in this way, the real question becomes, how many calories are in the drink to which you are you adding your coffee flavour? Add it to plain water, and you get a zero-calorie Long Black. Add it to a caramel milkshake and you get a 500-calorie Frappuccino. Yes, both of theses drinks are called “coffees” at your local café, but minus the coffee flavour they are completely different.

When making coffee at home, it is common to add about 60ml of full-cream milk and one teaspoon of sugar to a cup of coffee-flavoured water. This converts a zero-calorie coffee and water drink into a 55-calorie coffee, water, milk, and sugar drink. Each teaspoon of sugar adds 16 calories and each 60ml of milk adds about 39 calories.

Wondering what the difference between adding skimmed, lite, soy, and full-cream milk to coffee is? Apart from reduced calories, skimmed milk has the benefit of being low in saturated fat and high in protein. Soy lattes contain about 10% fewer calories than regular lattes.  Check out our milk comparison post for a detailed insight.

comparison of calories in coffee

Calories at the Cafe

Let’s talk about calories in café coffee. Lattes and cappuccinos, flat whites and espressos, life in Australia would not be the same without them. Here, we are talking about the kind of coffee you get by forcing hot water through tightly packed ground coffee beans, rather than the instant powder or drip filter type.



The good news is that coffee made in the espresso style (when water is pressured through a tight crush of ground coffee beans) is much more nutritious than coffee made in other ways. This is because many small bits of the coffee beans make it through the press basket and into the drink.

Those bean bits hold significant amounts of B vitamins and magnesium in addition to the caffeine and other interesting chemical compounds. If you have the choice between espresso style coffee and others, choose espresso for this reason (and the flavour of course!).

What about calories? What is the most, and least, calorific type of espresso coffee? Here’s your list, taken straight from our website, in order of least to most:

Long Black

The Long Black is made by pouring a double shot of espresso over hot water. This is the coffee you choose when you want coffee and nothing else, but you want to sip rather than downing it in a gulp or two. Single shot or double shot, your afternoon pick-me-up will add no calories to your daily intake.

Espresso

The purist’s choice is straight-up coffee with just a few ml of water to qualify it as a drink rather than a food. It is a Long Black without the water. You will add just 2 calories per 100ml to your diet each time you knock back one of these head-ringers. By the way, if you are drinking more than 100ml of espresso at a sitting, perhaps consider Zen meditation practices.

Why does an espresso shot contain calories, whereas a long black with the same amount of espresso does not? Well, in fact the long black does indeed contain calories, but they are diluted by water to the point of negligibility, volume-for-volume.

Macchiato

“Macchiato” means “stained” in Italian, in this case the stain is a spot of foamed milk in your espresso. The idea of the milk stain is to take the edge off the bitterness by adding a touch of sweetness without the use of flavour-killing sugar. Opting for the milk stain will add 11 calories to the espresso to yield a total of 13 calories per 100ml.

The caveat with macchiatos (and every other classic coffee), is that the café that you patronise might have a quite different concept of what a macchiato should be. In some cases, the drop of milk which makes the stain could be more like a scoop from a soup ladle, so beware!

Cappuccino

Did you know that the name “cappuccino” is derived from the name of a brotherhood of catholic monks (the Capuchin friars) in Italy? No, these monks did not reverently brew and perfect coffee in remote mountaintop monasteries, but they did wear brown habits. Their clothing was a type of brown colour, the same as a cappuccino top. Mix espresso, hot milk and steamed frothy milk to make the brown drink known as cappuccino. Cappuccinos contain 52 calories per 100ml.

Latte

Lattes are apparently different from cappuccinos because of the amount of milk foam they contain. Lattes have about 2cm of milk foam on top, compared to about 1.2 cm of milk foam on cappuccinos. That difference translates into a whopping two calorie difference between the two. Lattes contain 54 calories per 100ml.

Flat White

The difference between a latte and a flat white is in the texture of the milk and foam, apparently. That said, we do not have any generally accepted agreement as to what that exact difference is, except to say that it is somehow qualitatively different. Nevertheless, from a calorie perspective there is no difference. Flat whites, like lattes, contain 54 calories per 100ml.

Mocha

The mochaccino is a hot chocolate with a shot of espresso. This is the most calorific of the classic espresso-style coffees. It is made by adding cocoa powder to the Cappuccino formula. Mochas contain 71 calories per 100ml. Add sugar to a mocha for an even bigger calorie blast!

Blended Ice Coffee

Blended ice coffees are basically just coffee-flavoured milkshakes made with a wide range of flavourings and toppings. It is common to find variations on a blend of flavoured ice-cream to which syrups and a shot of espresso are added, topped with whipped cream. These calorie monsters typically contain 96 calories per 100ml. If you are in the habit of thinking of them as coffees, please stop. Drink them as you would a milkshake, very rarely, as an extraordinary treat.

Calories in other Coffee

The above list is made up of just the “classic” espresso-style coffees in their “pure” forms. That means they have no added sugar and are made with regular fat cow’s milk. In practice, just about every café has its own distinctive variation to the formula for the classics, and you can order from a wide range of substitute milks and sweeteners and toppings. This means that your regular Double Skinny Soy Macchiato with organic Hazelnut Syrup has a calorie count far different from the coffees listed here. Always read the calorie or kilojoule label and bear in mind that your individual barista may have a heavy hand with the syrup and cream!

Conclusion

Coffee on its own has negligible calories, but most common coffee drinks are relatively high in calories. The calories in coffee mostly come from added milk, sugar, cream, and other flavourings. When ordering coffee from cafes, be aware that ice-blended coffee beverages contain about twice the calories of regular coffees. Espresso shots, long blacks and macchiatos are low-calorie drinks whereas cappuccinos, lattes and mochaccinos are high calorie.

full-cream vs lite vs skimmed milk

Full Cream vs. Lite vs. Skimmed Milk

When you are controlling your calories, which is the better choice: full-cream milk, “lite” milk, or skimmed milk? Is it true that reduced-fat milk is just watered-down whole milk? Before you rush in with a quick “Its obvious!” answer, let us take a closer look at these three options…

How do they make reduced fat milk?

In pre-industrial times, skimmed milk was simply whole milk whose cream was removed by skimming off the top after it was left to settle in a pail. We do things a bit differently these days!

To make reduced fat milk, pre-processed whole milk from a blend of different cows is spun around in a specialised centrifuge. The centrifugal force breaks the milk into its separate components of water, fat, carbohydrates, protein, minerals, and vitamins. The manufacturer then reprocesses the separate ingredients in different batches and proportions to make different types of dairy products.

If you have read our post on panela, you will have found out that centrifuges are incredibly useful food-processing machines.

Reduced-fat milk is theoretically just recombined whole milk, without all the fat added back.

Whole milk has a generally accepted fat content of 3.5%, but of course in nature this varies immensely depending on the cow breed, the cow’s diet, the relative water content, and a hundred other input variables. Non-standard inputs are anathema to industry, so manufacturers therefore carefully standardise the fat content of designated full-cream milk at 3.5%.

Fat in Full-Cream, Low-Fat (Lite) and Skimmed Milk

Different countries have various regulations which determine what can and cannot be called “skimmed milk” and “reduced fat milk”. In Australia, milk must have a fat content of less than 0.15% before it can be marketed as Skimmed Milk or “Fat-Free”.

Reduced Fat Milk must have at least 25% less fat than whole milk.

Low-Fat Milk (also marketed as “Lite” or “Light” milk) must have less than 1.5% fat by composition.

milk nutrition comparison
Full-cream milk has way more calories than lite and skimmed milk

There is more Sugar in Skimmed Milk

Back up a little and think about how they make reduced fat milk: the fat is physically taken out. What happens when you take one specific thing out of a mixture? Everything else, including the sugar, becomes relatively more concentrated! It is like simmering sugar water on your stovetop to make syrup.

A typical full-cream milk is 4.7% sugar, whilst a typical skimmed milk is 4.9% sugar, compared to 4.8% for low-fat milk.

This sugar difference (about 4%) has a noticeable effect on the taste of skimmed milk compared to full-cream milk.

In addition to there being more sugar in reduced fat milk, there is also more of everything else (except for fat!) like protein (mainly in casein form), minerals and vitamins.



Full-Cream Milk has way more calories

Full-cream milk has 45% more calories than skimmed milk, as a direct result of there being about 95% more fat in it. Low-fat milk by comparison has about 65% less fat and 30% less calories than full-cream milk.

A single small glass (250ml) of full-cream milk makes up about 8% of a 2,000 calorie daily diet, whereas that same glass of skimmed milk would comprise just 4% of the same diet.

Lots of Saturated Fat in Whole Milk

Everyone has probably heard that saturated fats, as opposed to unsaturated fats, are bad for you if eat too many. Saturated fats have been linked with a broad range of “first-world” health problems like heart disease. The World Health Organisation recommends that less than 10% of total energy intake should come from saturated fats.

Milk fat is typically 60% saturated fat! In a typical full-cream milk product, 2.1 grams of the 3.5grams of fat per 100ml is saturated fat. This means that drinking more than two small glasses of full-cream milk will quickly bring you up to the daily recommended limit. You would need to drink about 45 of the same glasses of skimmed milk to hit that same limit.

There is saturated fat in full-cream, lite, and skimmed milk, but in widely differing quantities.

saturated fat comparison of full-cream and skimmed milk
Drink skimmed milk to avoid saturated fat

Of course, there are always dissenting voices supported by studies like this one which say that the saturated fat in milk has no adverse effect on health. As with many contentions related to health and food, it may be many years before we reach the unassailable truth.

Read the label!

If you are serious about nutrition, it is a good idea to base your milk choice on what you see on the food label. The nature of milk means that there is an enormous amount of variation between types and brands of milk. Manufacturers have a lot of leeway when it comes to what they put in and take out of the product known as milk.

Other than the broad percentage-based government guidelines, reduced-fat milk could be anything from 75% full-cream to 0% full-cream. Lite milk could have as much as 1.5% or as little as 0.15% fat – the difference is a factor of 10!

Conclusion

Finally, a simple conclusion: Skimmed Milk beats Lite Milk beats Full-Cream Milk because less calories, less saturated fats, more nutrients.

Reduced-fat milks do not taste as good as full-cream milk because they have less fat in them, not because they are “watered-down”. You will get excellent nutrition from skimmed milk, don’t worry.

Yes, it was kind of obvious.

Check out this video from Dairy Australia about how milk is manufactured: