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THAT's 1/4 cup???

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Old 06-02-2011, 10:02 AM   #1
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Default THAT's 1/4 cup???

Ok, I have a bone to pick with the "food industry"

AM I DOING THIS WRONG...?

Last night, I made a supposedly healthy dish consisting of brown rice, zucchini, diced tomatoes, chopped-up chicken breast, with oregano & a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. I was counting up the calories/fiber/fat/protein, etc in each ingredient. The serving of brown rice consisted of a 1/4 cup at 170 calories. A QUARTER CUP! - that was minuscule!!!! It was practically nothing! and 170 calories for THAT LITTLE ITTY-BITTY BIT OF FOOD?!?!?!?! OMG!

How is a person supposed to eat just a 1/4 cup of rice? (It did say on the package that it was 1/4 cup DRY (i.e. before cooking)... but then, I don't know the difference of how much it is before vs. after cooking, so I did measure it after it was cooked. (It was one of those Success Boil-in-a-Bag rice thingys).

Help?
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Last edited by Beach Patrol : 06-02-2011 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:11 AM   #2
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That 1/4 cup measure is before cooking. I think it works out to more like 1/2 cup cooked. I saw in another thread someone showing 2 oz of pasta, but they seemed to have had the same cooked versus uncooked problem. It's not no food, but a portion is smaller than most of us is used to. Most food calculators include it raw or cooked, although that too can be tricky. I've noticed that they occassionally add fat to the cooked version of things I wouldn't add fat to.

This is why, while I count calories, I don't count them very carefully. It's nearly impossible. Unless you never combine your foods, you just have to estimate how much of which ingredients you had.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:16 AM   #3
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Rice is about double once it is cooked.

Like 1 cup dry rice is going to end up as a fluffy 2 cups in the rice cooker.

So your dry 1/4 is like 1/2 cup cooked.

A.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:20 AM   #4
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I HATE HATE HATE that they don't tell you (on a lot of products) on the package if the calorie count is for the product prepared or raw!!! My rice tells me it's for prepared..but there are SO many that don't.

I have this problem with meat too (raw weight? cooked weight?), and so many other things. It's SO frustrating!
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:21 AM   #5
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The worst is the 1/2 cup or 125mL of ice cream. LOL.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:30 AM   #6
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I often weigh my meat uncooked and then cooked, just out of curiousity, its worth doing to see how much it reduces when cooked. Like approx 500g of mince beef raw, when cooked (Boiled first and fat/grease removed from water, then fried with no oil at all) was like 320g or something. This was bought at the meat counter also, not in a prepacked container. Ill be cooking a batch again (healthy Spaghetti Bolognese) the the next day or two Ill weigh it before and after again just to see.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:30 AM   #7
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If it's a boil in the bag thing, it'll be a measured portion size. Otherwise, just use a measuring cup to cook rice from dry. Either way, measuring is easy, and once you have found the information once you're set for the future.

The thing that drives me dotty is weight loss software which is fuzzy about whether it's talking about a raw or cooked ingredient, or which starts doing strange things to cooked ones. Yes, FitDay, I'm looking at you and your sneaky way of assuming we all add loads of fat and salt when we cook veg. I just list everything as raw now. If nothing else, that's the point at which I'm measuring it. The vitamins are probably a bit less with the cooked versions, but hey, I think my vitamin levels are OK overall, I'm taking a good multi, and I do not intend to get obsessed to the point of worrying over my daily dose of pantothenic acid.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:51 AM   #8
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Like others have said, the 1/4 cup dry is more than 1/4 cooked. One thing that I do for prepackaged food is look at the number of helpings in the "bag" and then divide the final cooked amount into that number of helpings. For example, if the label said that a serving is 1/4 cup and there are three servings in the bag, I would weigh the rice after cooking and divide the weight by 3 to get the weight of one serving. Also, look at the web site provided by the product. They will often tell you that x amount dry is y amount cooked.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishlad View Post
I often weigh my meat uncooked and then cooked, just out of curiousity, its worth doing to see how much it reduces when cooked. Like approx 500g of mince beef raw, when cooked (Boiled first and fat/grease removed from water, then fried with no oil at all) was like 320g or something. This was bought at the meat counter also, not in a prepacked container. Ill be cooking a batch again (healthy Spaghetti Bolognese) the the next day or two Ill weigh it before and after again just to see.

I often weigh my raw and cooked as well (I eat mostly chicken breast). Doing so has been a life saver when my husband has been "kind" enough to cook up a chicken breast for me when I am not home...and didn't weigh it first. I can usually get a decent approximate raw weight by the cooked weight. I just don't know, in terms of counting calories, if the sites, etc, are for the raw weight, or the cooked weight. I use the raw weight, to be safe, but the cooked weight makes more sense to me (since fat and juices get cooked out).
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:03 AM   #10
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Dry rice triples when cooked. Measure after it is cooked. However if you are using a Boil in a Bag it probably is giving you the amount after cooking. I have never used those so I am just surmising that would be true. By the way who says you can only eat 1/4 cup ? Why can't you have 1/2 cup then calories would be 340 for the dish, if you have a salad with it and maybe some fresh fruit , it wouldn't be that calorie laden.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:04 AM   #11
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Rice, even brown rice, is so calorie-dense that I find myself more and more skipping it entirely and bulking out my meal with greens instead.

That said, the others have it - 170 calories sounds like about 3/4 cup cooked rice, or about 1/4 cup before cooking.

I promise this will get easier the more you do it - you will start to develop a feel for the number of calories in foods you eat a lot, and labeling will become less puzzling as that happens.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beach Patrol View Post
Ok, I have a bone to pick with the "food industry"

AM I DOING THIS WRONG...?

Last night, I made a supposedly healthy dish consisting of brown rice, zucchini, diced tomatoes, chopped-up chicken breast, with oregano & a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. I was counting up the calories/fiber/fat/protein, etc in each ingredient. The serving of brown rice consisted of a 1/4 cup at 170 calories. A QUARTER CUP! - that was minuscule!!!! It was practically nothing! and 170 calories for THAT LITTLE ITTY-BITTY BIT OF FOOD?!?!?!?! OMG!

How is a person supposed to eat just a 1/4 cup of rice? (It did say on the package that it was 1/4 cup DRY (i.e. before cooking)... but then, I don't know the difference of how much it is before vs. after cooking, so I did measure it after it was cooked. (It was one of those Success Boil-in-a-Bag rice thingys).

Help?
I thought you may find this interesting...

http://www.successrice.com/faq/3/Nut...rvingSize.aspx
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:38 AM   #13
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Keep in mind that that one serving is one of maybe 6-12 "starch" servings most people hve in a day. Even moderately low-carb (under 100 grams carb/day) plans allow 1-2 servings of starch in a meal.

But yeah, I commiserate with you on how confusing the measuring is, and how small the portions. It's been an eye-opener for me to see how little rice or pasta I can eat for the calories (and the blood sugar spike, for me). More and more, like Carter, I find myself avoiding the rice altogether and serving the meat and veg over chopped cauliflower (cauli-rice) or greens.
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:01 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone, for your input!

I swear, THIS is why I HATE COOKING, lol!!! And would much rather just stick to my Healthy Choice frozen meals... soooo much easier to keep my calorie count under control that way!
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:13 PM   #15
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Wow, good to know! I think I know better now why calorie counting never worked well for me. I eat a lot of beans and rice and always assumed you measured after they were cooked... so it sounds like I was accidentally double my calories? That certainly explains why I was so hungry!
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