October 02, 2006
Food Facts That Puzzle Me
I went grocery shopping yesterday, and peanuts were on sale. I proceeded to buy 2 kinds, Honey Roasted, and Lightly Salted Dry Roasted. Shince I've been careing more about what I eat, I usually like to know how much calories something will give me after I eat it, important for both loosing wieght, and gaining muscle. It's hard to gain muscle if you don't eat more calories than you burn!
But that aside, the peanuts struck me as strange. I expected the Honey Roasted variety to have more calories in them than your plain dry roasted ones. Why? Well mostly because they have a delicious honey/sugar coating! Now for the same weight, The Honey Roasted have 170 calories, and the Dry Roasted have 180. Anyone Want to guess why? Answer after the break
First, I assumed sugar to be mroe energy dense than a peanut, which after thinking about it for a bit, I realized might be wrong. Sure, it's energy is in a more ready to use form, but peanuts are rather high in fat, actually about 50% of the calories in a peanut come from fat, which is harder to burn off.
I figured I needed to find out how many calories are in equal portions of Sugar and peanuts. 1 cup of Sugar has 770 calories. Peantus on the other hand have 854 Calories per cup. This is interesting, but I quickly realized that my scale was to large. I really doubt there will be a cup of sugar in my Honey Roasted peanuts. So a better question is how many calories are in one gram of peanut? Quick answer would be 180/28g (Serving size of the peanuts. That gives us 6.4 calories. A quick Google Search brings us to this page with a more scientific approach, which gives the conclusion that a gram of peanut has approximately 6.3 Calories in it.
That gives us a peanut, and a similar search for sugar provides me with the fact that sugar has about 4 Calories per gram. (Ahh! I can see the answer now!)
How much Sugar is in a serving of Honey Roasted Peanuts? Well, the normal ones have 5g of Carbs per serving, and Honey Roasted has 8g. Since sugar is basically pure carbohydrates, that means 3 grams of sugar are in one serving. That gives us 12 Calories from Sugar replacing 19.2 calories from peanuts. Net Calorie loss ~7.
Now you know where the difference in calories comes from! I bet you were holding your breath in anticipation weren't you.....? Okay, I didn't think so.