EU/UK vs US calorie counts.

One thing you may notice about my calorie counts is that they may seem a little low (particularly when they contain lots of high fibre veggies) and which vary from most online calorie counters. The reason for this is that I only use UK published calorie counts whenever I can. There are a couple of reasons for this.

The first (and most obvious reason) is that I live in the UK, all supermarkets here give calories measured in the EU method so that’s what comes most naturally to me.

The other is that in the EU the method of determining calorie content is made my totalling the number of calories per gram of composition. So 8cal per gram of fat, 7cal per gram of alcohol 4cal per gram of carbohydrate etc.

The US method uses a bomb calorimeter. This basically burns the item and measures the energy output.

Now these 2 will give vastly different results for some foods. Mainly because the former entirely discounts indigestible carbohydrates such as many forms of fibre. For example most UK & EU based sources count celeriac at about 15-18 calories per 100g. The USDA measures this at 42 calories per 100g, almost 2 and a half times as much! So it can make a HUGE difference (Particularly as I use things like celeriac as replacements for potatoes in braises and roasts)

In my opinion for the purpose of measuring your calorie intake then adding in calories that you are incapable of digesting is pointless.

Why is this a problem? Well the EU calorie database is not publicly accessible. Whereas the USDA one is. So most online free calorie counters tend to use the USDA counts… Even UK/EU based sites do.

This means it might be that much harder for you using my counts when entering recipes into other sites. Sorry… But if it makes you feel better it makes it a pain when I’m writing the recipes up as I can’t cheat and just chuck it into fatsecret and then cut and paste it back out with calorie counts added.

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