What does 200 Calories Look Like?


Some foods have significantly more Calories than others but what does the difference actually look like. Each of the photographs below represents 200 Calories of the particular type of food; the images are sorted from low to high calorie density. When you consider that an entire plate of broccoli contains the same number of Calories as a small spoonful of peanut butter, you might think twice the next time you decide what to eat. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average adult needs to consume about 2000 – 2500 Calories to maintain their weight. In other words, you have a fixed amount of Calories to “spend” each day; based on the following pictures, which would you eat?

Pictures of 200 Calories of Various Foods

Apples (385 grams / 13.5 oz)

Butter (28 grams / 0.98 oz)

Broccoli (588 grams / 20.7 oz)

Snickers Chocolate Bar (41 grams / 1.45 oz)

Cooked Pasta (145 grams / 5.11 oz)

Hot Dogs (66 grams / 2.33 oz)

Kiwi Fruit (328 grams / 11.6 oz)

Jack in the Box Cheeseburger (75 grams / 2.6 oz)

Eggs (150 grams / 5.3 oz)

Celery (1425 grams / 50.3 oz)

Blackberry Pie (56 grams / 1.97 oz)

Mini Peppers (740 grams / 26.1 oz)

Canned Black Beans (186 grams / 6.56 oz)

Werther’s Originals Candy (50 grams / 1.76 oz)

Jack in the Box Chicken Sandwich (72 grams / 2.5 oz)

Glazed Doughnut (52 grams / 1.8 oz)

French Sandwich Roll (72 grams / 2.5 oz)

Avocado (125 grams / 4.4 oz)

Canned Sweet Corn (308 grams / 10.9 oz)

Baby Carrots (570 gram / 20.1 oz)

Canned Green Peas (357 grams / 12.6 oz)

Canned Pork and Beans (186 grams / 6.56 oz)

Doritos (41 grams / 1.44 oz)

Dried Apricots (83 grams / 2.9 oz)

Jack in the Box French Fries (73 grams / 2.6 oz)

Fried Bacon (34 grams / 1.2 oz)

Fruit Loops Cereal (51 grams / 1.8 oz)

Grapes (290 grams / 10.2 oz)

Splenda Artifical Sweetener (50 grams / 1.8 oz)

Gummy Bears (51 grams / 1.8 oz)

Hershey Kisses (36 grams / 1.27 oz)

Honeydew Melon (553 grams / 19.5 oz)

Jelly Belly Jelly Beans (54 grams / 1.9 oz)

Ketchup (226 grams / 7.97 oz)

M&M Candy (40 grams / 1.4 oz)

Red Onions (475 grams / 16.75 oz)

Sliced Smoked Turkey (204 grams / 7.2 oz)

Coca Cola (496 ml / 16.77 oz)

Canola Oil (23 grams / 0.8 oz)

Smarties Candy (57 grams / 2 oz)

Tootsie Pops (68 grams / 2.4 oz)

Whole Milk (333 ml / 11.3 fl oz)

Balsamic Vinegar (200 ml / 6.8 fl oz)

Lowfat Strawberry Yogurt (196 grams / 6.9 oz)

Canned Chili con Carne (189 grams / 6.7 oz)

Canned Tuna Packed in Oil (102 grams / 3.6 oz)

Fiber One Cereal (100 grams / 3.5 oz)

Flax Bread (90 grams / 3.17 oz)

Blueberry Muffin (72 grams / 2.5 oz)

Bailey’s Irish Cream (60 ml / 2.02 fl oz)

Cranberry Vanilla Crunch Cereal (55 grams / 1.9 oz)

Cornmeal (55 grams / 1.94 oz)

Wheat Flour (55 grams / 1.94 oz)

Peanut Butter Power Bar (54 grams / 1.9 oz)

Puffed Rice Cereal (54 grams / 1.9 oz)

Puffed Wheat Cereal (53 grams / 1.87 oz)

Brown Sugar (53 grams / 1.87 oz)

Salted Pretzels (52 grams / 1.83 oz)

Medium Cheddar Cheese (51 grams / 1.8 oz)

Potato Chips (37 grams / 1.3oz)

Sliced and Toasted Almonds (35 grams / 1.23 oz)

Peanut Butter (34 grams / 1.2 oz)

Salted Mixed Nuts (33 grams / 1.16 oz)

Answers to some questions and other notes:

Why 200 Calories? We could have chosen any amount of Calories for this project, but we wanted something that gave tangible volumes for the entire range of items. We felt that 100 Calories of butter or oil would have yielded diminutive portion sizes; on the other hand 500 Calories of celery would have been virtually incomprehensible.

How did you choose which foods to include in the project? Many of the items we chose just happened to be in the wiseGEEK pantry; we chose the others because we wanted to display foods in a wide variety of categories. We stayed away from prepared foods such as funnel cake and spanakopita because their Caloric content is closely tied to the particular recipe used; we also avoided some more obscure foods such as mangosteen and jackfruit

The sorting can be misleading because items with liquid tend to appear less Calorie dense; that’s why you will find coke amongst the vegetables and cooked pasta significantly higher than uncooked pasta. 

All pictures were taken with the same camera (Nikon D70 digital camera) and with the same setup; in other words, the portion sizes displayed are all relative to each other. 

The plate is 10.25″ (26cm) in diameter and the bowl is 6.25″ (16cm) 

This article deals with Calories only. Don’t forget that there are other considerations when choosing which foods to eat, such as nutritive value and diversity of your food choices. 

The capital “C” in “Calories” throughout this article denotes dietary as opposed to physics calories.

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