Thanks. That's a worryingly wild inconsistency though (certainly it was with the rice measurement I quoted). For the figures to differ by over 125 cals just in one serving in one meal is quite poor. Were I to have that rice 3 times a day and use the database's figures, at the the end of the day my calculator would have logged nearly 400 calories that I didn't actually eat. That could cause real problems for people eating at the lower end of their range as they could easily slip below the 1200-1400 minimum whilst thinking they'd eaten 1600-1800. I really think the cooked weight calculations should be removed from the database. If you're cooking rice or pasta, you'll have the uncooked ingredient to start with anyway!
Edited by: EMSR2D2 at: 6/23/2013 (04:10)
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,689 6/22/13 11:19 P
EMSR2D2, the calorie information on the back of your packet is for the contents of the packet, as they're packaged... that is, dry, unless otherwise noted. Some foods (especially things like macaroni and cheese dinners) will provide you with prepared data, but most are for as-in-the-box.
In your case, you have been measuring it correctly. Rice doesn't gain calories when you boil it in water. The problem with cooked entries, especially for food like rice or pasta, is that the final weight is dependent on how you cook it. Cooking pasta al dente, for example, will weigh less (and have less volume) than overcooked spaghetti like you get at the school cafeteria. :) The cooked entry may also include other ingredients like salt or butter that aren't listed.
For the best, most accurate results, go with the uncooked weight as listed on the package. Different foods vary by brand, so the entry in the database may be an entirely different product than the one in your hands.
I must admit I'm now quite confused about it all. I assume the same rules apply to rice and I've been weighing my rice dry for years. I simply use the calorie count on the packet and assume that is the amount of calories I will get from my meal. So, for example, the other night I used 50g (dry weight) of basmati brown rice. The packet gave the calories for that as 175 cals so that is exactly what I put in to the calorie counter for my dinner.
However, I then read that 50g dry weight yields 125g cooked weight. So just to see what happened, I chose "Basmati rice, cooked weight" from the database and entered 125g. Obviously I assumed that it would tell me 175 cals. No! It told me that it would be over 300 cals.
So come on? How does the rice gain calories when all you do is boil it in water.
If it's true that 50g dry weight becomes 125g when cooked, then I've been totally miscalculating my calories for years because I have simply used the dry weight calorie count every time.
If you're measuring your pasta cooked, you're measuring it wrong, period. Weigh it dry if you actually care about the calories, nutrition, etc.
Fitness Minutes: (3,530)
337 6/21/13 3:42 P
According to wikiHow, you should measure pasta dry?
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,689 6/17/13 2:03 P
How many people are you cooking for, if you're using an entire box of pasta at a time? A serving is much smaller than a box; one box of pasta is enough for at least two, sometimes three meals for my family of four! (two adults, two children.)
Not to mention, if you're like most people and overcook your spaghetti, your noodles absorb a lot more water. A cup of overcooked spaghetti is going to have a lot less spaghetti, but also a correspondingly higher GI rating... Pasta cooked al dente will have more calories per cup, but have a lower GI rating, that will leave you fuller longer. :)
I weigh everything dry! Doesn't matter what it is. If the nutritional information for the dry weight isn't given on the box, I find it on the net. The main reason for this? The simple fact that once the food is cooked, I generally just dish up. By the time the whole lot is on the plate or in the bowl, it's too late to weigh it all separately. When I make veggie spaghetti bolognaise, for example, I boil the pasta in one pan but as soon as it's ready, I drain it and tip it into the pan I've made the sauce in. I'm not going to faff about trying to weigh hot, slippery, wet pasta when I can just weigh it at the beginning of the meal.
Fitness Minutes: (1,818)
771 6/17/13 1:19 P
I am dumber than the box my pasta comes in because I always measure it dry.
I always measure dry as well. It's easier and a lot more fool-proof.
I count the calories going IN to the pot, then I measure the entire batch of cooked pasta, and divide into servings.
Fitness Minutes: (120)
2,171 6/17/13 12:29 P
I guess I'm a big ol' dummy then, since I've always weighed my pasta dry, then cooked it. It never made an ounce (haha) of sense to me to measure pasta in cup measurement since pasta varies by each size/shape etc. Plus, you're short changing yourself by doing that.
By the way, I believe whole wheat pasta (Barilla anyway) is 13.25 ounces per box, which works out to just less than 7 servings per box. So your 9.5 cups would actually equal a little over a cup and a quarter of pasta per serving, assuming you're going with the nutrition information on the box (approx 200-220 calories per serving, depending on brand etc).
But what do I know, I'm dumb.
Fitness Minutes: (10,811)
154 6/17/13 11:50 A
I agree, SONICB. I measure my pasta dry, and certainly don't consider myself to be "stupider than the box the pasta came in". I don't consider that kind of talk very helpful.
I also measure my pasta dry because the nutrition facts on the box are listed for dry pasta.
On another note, was it really necessary to resort to name-calling people who use different methods for tracking pasta than you?
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
3,293 6/14/13 8:50 P
Besides the fact that a 2 oz. serving of pasta ends up being totally different amounts cooked, depending on the type of pasta, the shape, exactly how long you boil it, etc...if you cook it first and then measure it, you will waste what you cannot eat or end up eating more pasta than you should.
I don't see weighing dry pasta as dumb at all...how is that hard? Weigh it, boil it, done.
My understanding is that they have to use the dry measure for the nutrition data, since it is based on a certain weight of the product as it actually is in the package. Since different people cook their pasta for different amounts of time and in different water (hard vs. soft), the cooked weights are going to vary.
It was a bit of a pain at the time, but for my standard pastas (spaghetti, rotini, and fusilli) I made a point of weighing out my 60g serving dry, cooking it separately, and then weighing the cooked amount. I did this 3 times for each of them, so that I could average out what the cooked weight would be. They all averaged out at 140g cooked (all same brand and same nutrition values, so not much of a surprise).
I then went in to my Favourites and edited the entries so that all of the nutrition values for 60g dry would be for 140g cooked.
Now that I've done that, I throw in whatever pasta is required for the meal, and can weigh out my portion as I serve it. Since my entry is based on cooked grams, it automatically works things out for whatever portion I actually eat (which some days is 100g and other days is 200g, or somewhere in between).
As I said, it was a bit of a pain at the time, but it sure makes it easy now!
Except that if you weigh it dry, a two-ounce serving will always have the same number of calories. If you measure it cooked in a cup, you can fit in more if it's broken. A half-cup from the bottom of the box, all crunched up, can have 50 calories more than a half-cup from a brand new box. And if you cook it longer, it swells up more, so undercooked pasta will have more calories per cup than overcooked pasta.
The cup measures are on the box as a courtesy. If you look, somewhere on the box it probably says "contents sold by weight, not volume." Weight is the real way they calculate the calories and the real way they sell the product. If it says there should be 7 cups in the package but you measure it and there are only 5 cups, that's just tough beans. If says there should be 14 ounces and you weigh it and there are only 12, then you write in and they send you coupons for a bunch of free boxes to keep you from suing them!
Fitness Minutes: (31,978)
219 6/14/13 5:49 P
I make whole wheat thin spaghetti a box a time. Cooked pasta there is 9 1/2 cups in a box. Who ever thought to measure dry is dumber than the box the pasta comes in. Really it should be measure cooked. I measure 1 cup portions for my husband and 1/2 cup portions for me. There is not way to measure it actually.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.