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Old 05-09-2011, 03:54 PM   #1
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Default Kale? Really?!

hi chickies

so my latest obsession is kale and i've been having it quite often. typically with the "really good" veggies, like lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, other leafy greens, etc., i'm not really too strict when i count calories because i figure a) they're great for you b) are mostly water anyway and c) how many calories could i possibly overeat with lettuce? having said that, i am careful about the "not so great in terms of calories" veggies like peas, corn, potatoes, cauliflower etc. you get the idea.

so imagine my shock when i decided to google kale and found out 1 cup of shredded kale (raw, presumably) was a whopping 33 calories?! i say whopping because when i have a kale salad for dinner with a protein and a light homemade dressing, there must be at least 5 cups in there. so that's 165 calories for the kale alone. i guess this would be an accurate calculation but i am still shocked, stunned really...do you calculate any differently?

thoughts, please! and thanks.
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Last edited by leblebi; 05-09-2011 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:30 PM   #2
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I've recently started eating and loving kale.

The calorie count I use (from Livestrong) is 36 cals per 130 grams. Yes, I weigh it, because I weigh everything I eat. Just about every time I've prepared kale, one big bunch of kale bought at the market is about 130 grams, once the inedible stems are torn out. So approximately 1 bunch=36 cals.

Now, out of curiosity with your post, I just checked caloriecount.com and nutritiondata.com, and my stats look to be about half off - those two sites have kale at 33 cals per 67 grams.

However, I think I'm going to stick with the stat I have an have been using. It hasn't affected my weight loss and kale is still a nutrient dense veggie with remarkably few calories. If it were peanut butter that might be a different story, but for kale I'll be 30 cals off.

Can I make a suggestion? With whatever calorie count you use, why don't you buy a digital food scale and weigh it? Volume measurements are just darn imprecise! My digital food scale was the best $30 investment I made in my weight loss journey.

ETA: The calorie count I use for cauliflower is 100 grams=25 cals. I wouldn't put that up there with the more calorie-dense veggies you list, IMO - it's much more like other non-starchy veggies.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:34 PM   #3
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I'm not clear what you are worried about? That kale is high in calorie? Low in calories? Amazingly full of nutrients and fiber?
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:11 PM   #4
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I can't say I really worry about the calories in kale, but I have to confess I don't really like it unless I make kale chips. Kale chips are amazing! Of course, then you have to count the calories for the olive oil.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:10 PM   #5
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JenMusic -- thanks for the scale suggestion, I wil shop around and see if there's one that's affordable. $30 is doable. When I looked around online I saw that 1 cup = 33 calories but I can see why 1 cup may not actually be 67 grams, if you cut off stems, etc. And I agree, being a few calories off isn't a big deal, especially not when you're binging on kale. Ha!

seagirl: i'm not worried per se, it was just shocking. here i was thinking i could have this magnificently nourishing and delicious food for free basically (i know, obviously it has calories) and then when i look into it i realized that it was much, much higher than i thought. although jen makes a very valid point...weighing it would be much more precise.

lisamarie: i love kale chips too if i don't burn them! i have been using pam olive oil spray and going easy on it. i find it's much easier to coat the kale with it and you end up using much less than regular liquid. before i discovered the spray a tbsp of olive oil wasn't even enough, for some reason it just didn't coat properly.

thanks for your input ladies. now that i have determined too much kale isn't the reason i'm not losing the pesky 2 lbs i so desperately want to lose, i need to look elsewhere...
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:23 PM   #6
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I totally get why it was shocking and why you were concerned. If you're counting calories and all of the sudden your 30 calorie salad becomes 160+ cals, that can throw off a calorie deficit for sure.

I got my Taylor digital food scale at Target, over a year ago, for $30. I've had to replace the batteries once, maybe twice - it uses a flat watch battery that you can buy anywhere and replace easily, with no tools. I like it. My one wish is that the glass stand on top, where plates/food rests, would be bigger. When I use my big dinner plates on there the display becomes really hard to view. But otherwise, it's simple and does exactly what I need it to, no complaints.
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