Calorie counting

Photo comparisons

February 18, 2013

In its Food and Cooking department, the online Q&A source wiseGEEK has a set of photos showing what 200 calories looks like for a variety of common foods. Ranging from a few heads of broccoli to a dollop of peanut butter to a handful of gummy bears, the photos illustrate the obvious: calorie-dense foods are small, calorie-low foods are big — sometimes dauntingly so. (Who really wants to eat two-plus heads of broccoli to get 200 calories?)

Some of the photos are a little odd; it takes a while to figure out, for example, that the two competing (but not adjacent) photos of pasta demonstrate that it takes just a handful of uncooked pasta to make a plate of cooked pasta with the same calorie content. The shots of cornmeal and flour aren’t especially helpful, since who’s going to bake with just a few tablespoons of either? Ditto for the bowl of ketchup and the glass of balsamic vinegar; both are condiments used in moderation. Finally, some photo categories seem repetitive; there are far too many shots of processed breakfast cereals and salty or sugary junk foods, neither of which are known for their healthful properties.

Still, it’s always intriguing to see comparative illustrations like this. And who knew you’d need to eat three whole eggs to get 200 calories?

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