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.


Calories and Carbs in Beer

Calories and Carbs in Beer

People ask us all the time: “How many calories in beer?”. It is our pleasure to present you with a comprehensive illustrated answer, the list of popular beers in Australia, ranked by calorie count. So, before you start sinking that pint of Great Northern, read this to understand how many calories there are in a beer!

Since beers come in many different sized bottles, cans, glasses, and mugs, the only way to fairly compare calories is to use the same fixed volume. This list is arranged from least calories per 100ml, to most calories per 100ml.

Remember, you can drill into more detail by finding the beer in the Food Search Box. Scroll to the bottom to see a couple of handy calories and carbs in beer charts.

Pure Blonde Premium Mid – 19 calories/100ml

Pure Blond Premium Mid

The least calorific beer, Pure Blond Premium Mid is a “mid-strength” beer with 3% alcohol and just 0.3 grams of carbohydrate per 100ml. One 355ml bottle contains 67 calories, or 282kJ.

Hahn Super Dry 3.5 – 24 calories/100ml

calories in hahn superdry beer

Another mid-strength beer, Hahn Super Dry 3.5 has 2.2 grams of carbohydrates in a 330ml bottle. The bottle contains 78 calories, which equates to 326 kilojoules.

 James Boag’s Premium Light – 24 calories/100ml

Carbs in James Boags Beer

James Boag’s Premium Light beer has a per-100ml calorie count equal to Hahn Super Dry 3.5 (24 calories/100ml), equivalent to 100kJ/100ml. A 375ml can of this 2.7% alcohol beer contains 90 calories, or 376 kilojoules.

Cascade Premium Light – 25 calories/100ml

Cascade Premium Light is a 2.6% alcohol beer which contains 9 grams of carbohydrates in a 375ml can. Each 375ml serve has 94 calories, equivalent to 386kJ.



Carlton Dry Mid – 26 calories/100ml

With 3.5% alcohol and 1.4g carbohydrate per 100ml, a 375ml can of Carlton Dry Mid has 98 calories/409 kilojoules.

Pure Blonde Low Carb – 26 calories/100ml

Calories in Pure Blonde

Pure Blonde Low Carb boasts “full strength” (4.2% alcohol) and just 0.5g carbohydrates per 100ml. One 375ml can of this beer holds 98 calories, or 409kJ and 1.88 grams of carbohydrates.

Carlton Light – 27 calories/100ml

Somewhat surprisingly, Carlton Light has slightly more calories than Carlton Dry Mid, despite having just 2.7% alcohol strength. A 375ml can of Carlton Light has 10 grams of carbs and 101 calories, which equates to 424kJ.

Great Northern Brewing Co Super Crisp Lager – 27 calories/100ml

Carbs in Great Northern Beer

This 3.5% alcohol beer contains 1.4g carbs per 100ml, or 5.25 grams per 375ml can.

Powers Gold – 27 calories/100ml

Powers Gold is a light tasting cheap beer with 101 calories/428kJ per 375ml can.



VB Gold – 27 calories/100ml

Yet another beer with 27 calories per 100ml, VB Gold comes with 9.4 grams of carbohydrates in each 375ml can.



XXXX Summer Bright Lager – 28 calories/100ml

XXXX Summer Bright Lager is a 4.2% alcohol beer with a mere 0.8g carbohydrates per 100ml. A 375ml can of this refreshing drop contains slightly more than 3g carbs.

Carlton Zero – 28 calories/100ml

Carbs in Carlton Zero

Carlton Zero is alcohol-free (zero alcohol), but it has a big 7g carbs per 100ml. Drinking one 375ml can of Carlton Zero will add 26 grams of carbohydrates to your diet.

Carlton Cold Filtered – 28 calories/100ml

There are 105 calories, or 439kJ in a 375ml can of Carlton Cold Filtered beer.

Foster’s Light Ice – 28 calories/100ml

Fosters Light Ice is a low-alcohol (2.3%) beer with 3.5g carbs per 100ml.

XXXX Gold – 29 calories/100ml

Calories in XXXX Beer

XXXX Gold, the pride of Queenslanders everywhere, contains 109 calories or 454 kilojoules per 375ml can.

Pacific Radler Lemon – 29 calories/100ml

The carbs in Pacific Radler lemon are all sugar (13 grams worth in a 375ml can), contributing the bulk of the 109 calories/454kJ per can.

Emu Draft – 30 calories/100ml

Emu Draft is a 3% alcohol beer with 30 calories, or 125 kilojoules, per 100ml. One 375ml can of Emu Draft contains 10.5g carbs, 0.4g of which is sugar.



Hahn Super Dry – 30 calories/100ml

This impressive (but bland tasting) beer boasts 4.6% alcohol and just 0.7g carbs per 100ml.

Carlton Dry Fusion Lime – 31 calories/100ml

Carlton Dry Fusion Lime surprisingly has fewer calories than Carlton Dry, despite the flavourings. One 375ml can contains 116 calories, equivalent to 488 kilojoules.

Great Northern Brewing Co Original – 31 calories/100ml

4.2% alcohol and 1.7g carbs per 100ml yield 116 calories (488kJ) per 375ml can of Great Northern Brewing Co Original.

Matilda Bay Lazy Yak – 31 calories/100ml

Calories in lazy yak Beer

Matilda Bay Lazy Yak is a 3.5% alcohol beer with 2.7g carbohydrates per 100ml. A 375ml can of Lazy Yak contains 166 calories, equal to 488 kilojoules.

Stella Artois Legere – 31 calories/100ml

Carbs in Stella Artois Legere Beer

Stella Artois Legere is the lower alcohol (3.5% vs. 4.8%) variant of the “original” Stella Artois. 100ml of Stella Artois Legere has 2.6g carbs, 31 calories, and 128 kilojoules.

Emu Bitter – 33 calories/100ml

With 8.1g carbs and 4% alcohol, Emu Bitter delivers 137 calories or 515 kilojoules per 375ml can.

Emu Export – 33 calories/100ml

Emu Export has the same calorie count as Emu Bitter, despite being a 4.2% alcohol beer (Emu Bitter has 4% alcohol). The difference is in the carbs, where Emu Export has 7.6g per 375ml can, compared to Emu Bitter’s 8.1g.

Carlton Dry – 33 calories/100ml

Carlton Dry contains 139 calories (521 kJ) per can, putting it on a par with Carlton Mid, despite having more alcohol.

Carlton Mid – 33 calories/100ml

Carlton Mid has a hefty 3.2 grams of carbohydrates per 100ml, comparable to some heavier ales. Despite the comparatively high carbs, this beer stays in the 33-calorie range on account of 3.5% alcohol.

 Fosters Classic – 33 calories/100ml

Fosters Classic, promoted overseas as being Australia’s favourite, contains 33 calories/517kJ per 100ml. If you do happen to stumble upon a 375ml can of Fosters at the Ambassador’s residence, understand that it contains 9.4g carbs.



Matilda Bay Frothy – 34 calories/100ml

The Matilda Bay brand’s answer to lager, Frothy comes with 4.2% alcohol, 9.4g carbs, 143 calories, and 536kJ per 375ml bottle.

Swan Draught – 35 calories/100ml

This ancient (in Australian terms) lager packs 4.4% alcohol and 7.9g carbs into each 375ml bottle of Swan Draught for a total of 146 calories, or 546 kilojoules.

Cascade Bitter – 35 calories/100ml

This Tassie special is a 4.4% alcohol beer with 35 calories or 146 kilojoules per 100ml. One 375ml can of Cascade Bitter contains fully 9 grams of carbohydrates.

Matilda Bay Wild Yak – 35 calories/100ml

Matilda Bay Wild Yak is a 4.2% alcohol American-style pale ale which weighs in at just over 10 grams of carbs per 100ml. One 345ml bottle of Wild Yak has 131 calories which is equivalent to 551 kilojoules.

West End Draught – 35 calories/100ml

Taking this left turn results in a 375ml can of West End Draught containing 552kJ (147 calories) and 8.2g of carbohydrates.

James Boag’s Draught – 36 calories/100ml

This Tasmanian beer came to light in 1990 following the “draught beer” craze of the period. James Boag’s Draft, with 36 calories/152kJ per 100ml, contains fewer calories than James Boag’s Premium.

Tooheys Extra Dry – 36 calories/100ml

Crispy clean TED contains 125 calories, or 523 kilojoules, in each 345ml bottle.



Tooheys Old – 36 calories/100ml

Tooheys Old is a dark ale modelled on the first beer brewed by the Tooheys in 1869. One 375ml serving contains 9.3g carbs, 136 calories and 569 kilojoules.

Bulimba Gold Top Pale Ale – 36 calories/100ml

It is called Gold Top because they used to put gold-coloured bottle caps on the beers they started pasteurising in 1898 (the non-pasteurised ones had red tops). Bulimba Gold Top Pale Ale has 12g of carbohydrates in each 375ml can.

Richmond Lager – 36 calories/100ml

An American-style beer, 4.5% alcohol Richmond Lager contains 2.6g carbs, 36 calories, 152kJ per 100ml.

James Squire 150 Lashes Pale Ale – 37 calories/100ml

This easy-drink beer is a 4.2% alcohol cloudy pale ale containing 9g carbs in each 345ml bottle.

Little Creatures Rogers – 37 calories/100ml

Little Creatures Rogers is a red ale brewed in Fremantle. One 330ml bottle contains 122 calories, equivalent to 509 kilojoules. The density of Rogers is reflected in the 11 grams of carbohydrates in each bottle.

Abbots Lager – 37 calories/100ml

An ill-fated, ill-conceived, and ill-tasting brew, when available Abbots Lager is a 4.5% alcohol beer which contains 10.5g carbs per 375ml bottle.

Carlton Draught – 37 calories/100ml

Calories in Carlton Draught Beer

The massively popular and outrageously good tasting Carlton Draught contains 139 calories, or 581 kilojoules per 375ml can. There are 2.7g of carbohydrates per 100ml in this 4.7% alcohol beer.

Miller Chill – 37 calories/100ml

Do not be fooled by the “low carb” marketing, Miller Chill packs almost 4 grams of sugar in 9.9g carbohydrates per 330ml bottle. 37 calories per 100ml of this 4% alcohol sickly sweet, flavoured lager-style beer equates to 155kJ.

Matilda Bay Beez Neez – 38 calories/100ml

It is surprising that Beez Neez honey flavoured pale ale has comparatively little sugar – just 0.2g per 100ml. One 375ml bottle of this 4.7% alcohol beer contains 10.13g carbohydrates, 143 calories, equal to 589 kilojoules.



Cascade Draught – 38 calories/100ml

Cascade Draught is another 4.7% alcohol beer, with a touch more than 10 grams of carbs per 100ml, good for 38 calories/158kJ.

Tooheys New – 38 calories/100ml

Tooheys New is a delicious 4.6% alcohol lager which has been “NEW” since 1931. One 375ml bottle of Tooheys New contains 9.2g carbs, 143 calories, or 593 kilojoules.

Ballarat Bitter – 38 calories/100ml

Beautiful Ballarat Bitter featuring Ballarat Bertie on the label is a fine drop if you can find it. Each 375ml can packs 4.6% alcohol, 10.88g carbs, 143 calories, or 593kJ.

Kent Old Brown – 38 calories/100ml

The rich aroma of Kent Old Brown promises so much more than its taste delivers. 3.2g of carbohydrates, 4.4% alcohol, 38 calories/158kJ per 100ml make for an ultimately underwhelming beer.

Melbourne Bitter – 38 calories/100ml

Melbourne Bitter, virtually unknown outside of deep Victoria is a 4.6% bitter lager hopped with “Pride of Ringwood” hops. Each 375ml stubbie contains 143 calories, or 593kJ and almost 11 grams of carbohydrates.

Little Creatures Pilsner – 38 calories/100ml

This Fremantle beer is a refreshingly bitter 4.6% alcohol pilsner. One 330ml bottle of Little Creatures Pilsner contains 126 calories, or 528 kilojoules.



Carlton Black Ale – 38 calories/100ml

Carlton Black Ale contains 12.4 grams of carbohydrates per 375ml bottle, contributing to 143 calories, or 603kJ.

Cascade Lager – 38 calories/100ml

Cascade Lager (“Blue” to the initiated) is a simple 4.8% alcohol lager containing 10.13g carbs, and 143 calories/603kJ per 375ml bottle or can.

Budweiser – 39 calories/100ml

This weak tasting 4.5% alcohol pale lager is apparently quite popular overseas. A 330ml bottle of Budweiser has 129 calories, or 531 kilojoules.

Kosciuszko Pale Ale – 39 calories/100ml

Kosciuszko Pale Ale turns out to be the real deal – a cloudy, fruity ale with a decidedly Australian character. Each 330ml bottle contains 9.1g carbs, 162 calories, or 535 kilojoules.

James Boag’s Premium – 39 calories/100ml

A full 5% alcohol beer, James Boag’s Premium is a Tassie stunner with subtle flavour and a deliciously smooth finish. Besides extreme drinkability, you will find 8.7g of carbohydrates and 146 calories/611kJ in each 375ml bottle.

Kirin Megumi – 39 calories/100ml

Kirin Megumi, another 5% alcohol beer, contains 7.9g carbs per 330ml bottle. “Megumi” means “Blessing” or “Grace” in Japanese, and whilst not a religious experience per se this first press lager does not disappoint. 130 calories/542kJ per bottle.

James Squire The Chancer Golden Ale – 40 calories/100ml

James Squire The Chancer is arguably the most golden-coloured beer in Australia. Each 4.5% alcohol 345ml bottle contains 138 calories, equivalent to 576kJ.

Stella Artois – 40 calories/100ml

The world’s best-selling Belgian beer weighs in at 3.2g carbs, 40 calories, 168kJ per 100ml.



Miller Genuine Draft – 40 calories/100ml

If you like the taste of good beer, and you do not like the taste of bad beer, then don’t drink Miller Genuine Draft.

Victoria Bitter – 40 calories/100ml

Big VB is a 4.98% alcohol lager with 11.63g carbs, 150 calories, 634 kilojoules per 375ml stubbie.

Matilda Bay Fat Yak – 40 calories/100ml

Matilda Bay Fat Yak is a low-sugar, high carb, fruity pale ale in a 345ml bottle. One bottle holds 150 calories, 634kJ, 12.75g carbs, and 0.08g sugar.

White Rabbit White Ale – 41 calories/100ml

White Rabbit White Ale is a German-style wheat beer with 4.5% alcohol, 11.3g carbs, 134 calories,or 562kJ per 330ml bottle.

Cascade Pale Ale – 41 calories/100ml

Cascade Pale Ale lays claim to the title “Oldest Beer in Australia”. It is an uncomplicated ale with 5% alcohol and 11.25g carbs per 375ml bottle.

Crown Lager – 41 calories/100ml

Crown lager’s fancy bottle and upper-class marketing belie an insipid brew. Each 4.9% alcohol 375ml bottle contains 154 calories, or 642 kilojoules.



Matilda Bay Redback Original – 41 calories/100ml

Perhaps Australia’s first ever “craft” beer, Matilda Bay Redback Original is a wheat beer with 4.7% alcohol, 3.6g carbohydrates, and 41 calories/172kJ per 100ml.

Becks – 42 calories/100ml

Becks is a thoroughly inoffensive German-style pilsner with 5% alcohol and 3g carbs per 100ml.

Corona Extra – 42 calories/100ml

Despite its light, refreshing persona, 4.5% ABV Corona Extra is stuffed with carbs (fully 4g/100ml!). One 355ml bottle of this beer contains 14.2g of carbohydrates to generate 149 calories, or 624kJ.

White Rabbit Belgian Pale Ale – 44 calories/100ml

White Rabbit Belgian Pale Ale is brewed in Healsville, not (Aus, not Belgium). 4.9% alcohol content with 146 calories/609kJ per 330ml bottle.

Matilda Bay Ruby Tuesday – 44 calories/100ml

Matilda Bay Ruby Tuesday is an American-style dark wheat beer with 4.4g carbs per 100ml. One 345ml bottle contains 152 calories, or 635 kilojoules.

Hoegaarden White – 45 calories/100ml

Hoegaarden White is the grandaddy of Belgian white wheat beers, with a 600 plus year history. Back then, people were not concerned with calories in beer and it shows in this 4.9% ABV lip smacker. One 330ml bottle contains 11.8g of carbohydrates which contribute to the 149 calories/617kJ.

Abbotsford Invalid Stout – 45 calories/100ml

Drink this 5.2% ABV beer if you like the taste of vegemite. A 375ml bottle of Abbotsford Invalid Stout contains 14.25g of carbs, 169 calories/701kJ, but just 0.04g of sugar.



White Rabbit Dark Ale – 45 calories/100ml

White Rabbit Dark Ale is an award-winning brown ale with 12.6g of carbohydrates in a 330ml bottle. Each bottle contains 150 calories, or 625 kilojoules.

Matilda Bay Alpha Pale Ale – 47 calories/100ml

Matilda Bay Alpha Pale Ale contains so many carbs that it is almost chewy. One 345ml bottle of this bitter, fruity, 5.2% alcohol beer contains 14.8g of carbohydrates and 162 calories/676kJ.

Little Creatures Pale Ale – 47 calories/100ml

Little Creatures Pale Ale is an utterly delicious beer, so it is a pity that it packs such a potent calorie punch. One 330ml bottle (5.2% ABV) contains 12.8g carbs and 156 calories/651kJ.

Carlton Hard – 48 calories/100ml

Carlton Hard makes it easy to drink 180 calories (746kJ) and 10g carbs in one 375ml can of 6.5% ABV beer.

Matilda Bay Dogbolter – 50 calories/100ml

Run away if you see this Dogbolter – it is fully 5% carbs paired with 5.2% ABV. A 345ml bottle of Matilda Bay Dogbolter has 17.25g carbs and 173 calories, equal to 714 kilojoules.

Cascade Stout – 51 calories/100ml

Cascade Stout is a rich 5.8% alcohol beer that should really be sold in a smaller bottle. How can we justify 375ml when one serve yields 16.88g carbohydrates and 191 calories (799kJ)?

 Little Creatures IPA – 53 calories/100ml

Yes, Little Creatures IPA tastes heavenly, but the calories are positively sinful. 6.4% ABV, 2g sugar and 3.5g carbs per 100ml mean that each 330ml bottle packs a whopping 174 calories, or 729 kilojoules.



Carbs in Beer

This chart shows a comparison of carbohydrates in Australia’s popular beers, ranked in ascending order. Pure Blond Premium Mid has the least carbs per 100ml, whilst Carlton Zero has the most.

Carbs in beer

Calories in Beer

See the chart below to see a quick comparison of calories in popular Australian beers, ranked from fewest calories per 100ml to most. Pure Blond Premium Mid has the smallest calorie count, Little Creatures IPA has the most.

Calories in Beer



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!

Broccoli Calories

Broccoli Calories

How many calories does broccoli have? Take a quick scroll through this short post to get a good handle on broccoli’s food energy content!

Calories in Broccoli by Weight

Each 100 grams of raw broccoli contains 31 calories, or 131 kilojoules.  A medium head of broccoli has about 100 calories. This means that broccoli has fewer kilojoules than pumpkin, but more Cal than cauliflower, and much more food energy than lettuce. Broccoli is a low-calorie food, as might be expected, but it is not a low-calorie vegetable. There are many other types of vegetables which rank lower than broccoli in food energy terms.

A Whole Broccoli Calories

The number of calories in one head of broccoli depends on the weight of the bunch. A small head of broccoli weighs about 220g and contains 68 calories (288kJ), whereas a large one could be 600 grams with 186 kcal and 786 kilojoules. A cup of broccoli weighs between 80 to 100g, depending on how it is cut, which equates to 25-31 Cal.

Broccoli  calories compared

Is Broccoli Good for Weight Loss?

Yes, broccoli is good for weight loss because it is low in food energy and high in fibre. The dietary fibre in broccoli swells with water absorption, stretching the stomach to make you feel fuller for longer. Furthermore, the type of carbohydrates in broccoli tend to last longer than fast-burn sugars. Some research indicates that glucoraphanin in broccoli may even help to reduce unhealthy liver fat by breaking it down.

Eating Broccoli Every Day

Despite what you might have heard, it is not good to eat large amounts of broccoli every day. Broccoli, like all cabbages, is a cruciferous vegetable which contains many heavily researched chemicals which may fight cancer. Unfortunately, some of these compounds can provoke allergies when consumed in large quantities for sustained periods. Another problem is that the high fibre content of broccoli can irritate the bowel and cause bloating and excessive gas. It is best to eat a wide variety of vegetables, including broccoli, as part of a balanced diet.

Substitutes for Vegetable Oil

8 + 1 TRUE Substitutes for Vegetable Oil (with calorie counts and pictures)

If you are looking for an illustrated list of REAL substitutes for vegetable oil, you’re in luck! This is not just a list of vegetable oils not named Vegetable Oil. Get that blend of who-knows-what out of your kitchen by swapping it for one or more of these readily available TRUE alternatives.

What is Vegetable Oil?

The story of how vegetable oil as we know it came to dominate our tables is a fascinating history. It involves nineteenth century candlemakers, soap manufacturers, waste cottonseeds, corrupt politicians, and lard wars. We’re not delving into it here but suffice to say that modern processed vegetable oil has a short, colourful, and controversial origin.

Origins aside, vegetable oil can be fairly described as mass-produced, highly processed plant oil which is typically extracted from the seeds of monocultured factory farm crops. The process of manufacturing vegetable oil is complex and involves the use of industrial solvents, additives like butylated hydroxyanisole, high temperatures and pressures, multiple chemical reactions, deodorisation, and distillation. There is growing evidence to suggest that such vegetable oil might be harmful to health.

What’s in a Name?

Cast your eye along the supermarket cooking oils aisle to see names like “Sunflower”, “Canola”, “Rice Bran”, “Olive”, and “Vegetable”. These oils, and many more like them are all vegetable oils. The reason that some of them are labelled “vegetable oil” is because they are blended from different types of plant oil (an example blend would be canola with palm and castor). One reason to blend different types of oil is to make them more shelf stable and affordable. This may indicate that the generic “vegetable oil” blends are made with cheaper, less chemically stable types of plant oils.



Substitutes for Vegetable Oil

If you’ve decided to give up highly processed modern vegetable oil, please understand that it will not be as easy as swapping one bottle for another. You will be foregoing a marvel of science and mass manufacture which has been physically tweaked and chemically twisted to meet your exact use requirements. Neutrally flavoured, almost scentless, liquid even when cool, and possessing a high smoke point, modern vegetable oil is super-convenient. You can just as easily use it to bake a cake, fry an egg, make a delicate chilled cucumber salad dressing, or baste a rotating, roasting hog above a blazing firepit. None of the vegetable oil substitutes on this list are as versatile, readily available, or cheap.

Non-Vegetable Substitutes for Vegetable Oil

Nevertheless, if you are keen to ditch your bottle of Digestible! Hexane-purified! Hydrogenated! vegetable oil, please read on:

Calories in Lard

1 Lard (884 Calories)

When you cook bacon, you cook with lard because lard is simply rendered pork fat. Well-made lard is almost tasteless and scentless. Semi-solid at room temperature, lard will not work as a vegetable oil substitute in salad dressings or party dips. However, you can shallow or deep fry just about anything in it. Also, it is arguably the tastiest option for pie crusts and pastries. Lard contains 884 calories per 100 grams.

Tallow Calories

2 Tallow (also 884 Calories)

To make tallow, simply render beef or mutton fat. Also known as “dripping”, as in Beef or Mutton Dripping (884 calories/100g). It is more solid than lard at room temperature, but it quickly melts to make a flavourful oil suitable for most fry-ups. Tallow is a nutritious alternative to vegetable oil, because it contains good amounts of choline, Vitamins D and E, and selenium.

Suet is a substitute for vegetable oil

3 Suet (811 Calories)

Suet is the King of Fats. Sourced especially from around the kidneys of cattle and sheep, suet is a special type of hard, pure, raw, solid fat. Most famously used to make pastry, suet can also substitute vegetable oil for deep-frying chicken, chips, and anything else that does not require bland taste. It melts in the pan when the temperature reaches 45-50 degrees centigrade, giving off a distinctively rich smell. Each 100 grams of suet contains 811 calories.  

Calories in Butter

4 Butter (723 Calories)

Butter is mainly a combination of fat (80%), water, and some protein extracted from dairy milk and cream. With 723 calories per 100 grams, butter is less calorific than pure oil. Whilst butter can be a substitute for vegetable oil in some use cases, it has some key disadvantages. The water in butter interacts with the fat so that the butter smokes and burns at relatively low temperatures. This makes butter unsuitable for deep frying and searing. Additionally, some butters made with cultured cream impart distinctive flavours to the food cooked in them. Being solid at room temperature, butter is not a good choice for dressings and dips.

Ghee Calories

5 Ghee, or Clarified Butter (884 Calories)

Ghee (clarified butter) is what remains of butter after the water has been removed. Unsurprisingly, ghee has a calorie count of 884 calories per 100g, making it just as calorific as other oils. To make your own ghee, simply simmer butter over low heat until it stops bubbling (the bubbles are escaping steam). Ghee is much more suitable for frying than butter, so it makes a viable substitute for vegetable oil. Lactose intolerant people can eat clarified butter safely, since ghee is lactose-free. Like lard and tallow, ghee has a high smoke point.

Sour Cream Calories

6 Sour Cream (337 Calories)

Sour cream is one of the best substitutes for vegetable oil for making tasty dressings, dips, and some sauces. With “just” 337 calories per 100g, it has less than half the food energy of vegetable oil, and much more flavour.

Calories in Schmaltz

7 Schmaltz (884 Calories)

Schmaltz is the poultry version of lard and tallow. Like lard and tallow, there are 884 calories per 100g in schmaltz. Don’t worry if you cannot find schmaltz in the shops, it is easy to make at home. Simply heat chicken, goose, or duck fat over low heat for about 5 hours to render the schmaltz. Schmaltz is traditionally used in Jewish cooking, where it serves the purpose of lard. Schmaltz has a distinct rich flavour and a high smoke point, making it ideal for deep frying.

8 Pureed Fruits make good substitutes for vegetable oil

Perhaps surprisingly, mashed, or pureed fruit may be used as a substitute for vegetable oil when baking (margarine is vegetable oil). Whilst there is hardly any fat in fruit, the texture, moisture retention, and binding properties of blended fruit serve the same purposes of oil in baking. Pureed apple or applesauce works particularly well as a one to one substitute for vegetable oil when baking muffins and cookies. The calorie count will vary depending on the fruit used, but expect apple to be in the 56 calories/100g range.

Olive Oil substitute for Vegetable Oil

Honourable Mention: Cold-Pressed and Virgin Vegetable Oils

You cannot truly substitute vegetable oil for vegetable oil, but it is worth noting the difference between cold-pressed and industrially manufactured vegetable oil. Basic equipment and simple methods make cold-pressed vegetable oils, unlike the rigorously manipulated vegetable oils found in the mass-market. Simple squeezing and filtering of oil-rich plant matter like olives, palm fruit, macadamia nuts, and coconuts release the oil. Nothing is added to the oil and it is not artificially hydrogenated, deodorised, purified, blended, or preserved. Such oils have about 880 calories per 100g and will not keep as long, or taste as neutral, or cook as consistently as mass-market vegetable oil.

Now, read about how much industrially produced palm oil there is in Nutella in our post on Nutella Ingredients Demystified!

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.