Food & Drink

How to read the nutrition info on canned food?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 4th, 2016 11:50 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 13, 2008
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How to read the nutrition info on canned food?

When I read the nutrition label on canned beans, it often say something like for "250ml drained", there is 150 calories let's say. So for a 540ml canned beans, the calories per can should be less than (150/250)*540 = 324 (since there is water in the can)? How do I find out how much calories per the whole can?
24 replies
Deal Fanatic
Apr 20, 2011
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Drain the beans, collecting the water in a measuring cup. Subtract that from 540mL

At least they're specific. Look at nutrition info for say, frozen burgers, and they'll just say per patty (not specifying cooked or uncooked)
But you can work out it is uncooked by the weight.
But then what is the nutrition content of the cooked burger? You know it's less as a lot of grease likely came out while cooking. But how much? Good luck on that one.
The beans are easy :)
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
6057 posts
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kcal info is very imprecise...it's always rounded and the government rounding rules don't follow standard math rules, so any math you do is going to give you a very rough answer.

Your estimate is great.

You may also like the USDA Food Composition Databases which is shared info with Canada and has all kinds of data and lets you calculate kcal by volume or weight

https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/
Deal Addict
Jun 21, 2016
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Read what the label says the can contains, multiply by the nutritional information. The 540ml relates to the nutritional information, ie. it contains 540ml of 'drained' beans.

540/250 * 150 = 324 calories per can

It's a lot harder to calculate the calories for a serving, but it's easy to calculate for the whole can.
aqnd wrote:
Sep 29th, 2016 9:16 pm
Drain the beans, collecting the water in a measuring cup. Subtract that from 540mL

At least they're specific. Look at nutrition info for say, frozen burgers, and they'll just say per patty (not specifying cooked or uncooked)
But you can work out it is uncooked by the weight.
But then what is the nutrition content of the cooked burger? You know it's less as a lot of grease likely came out while cooking. But how much? Good luck on that one.
The beans are easy :)
Well if it says the patty is 200calories, it's going to be 200 calories whether its cooked or raw lol cooking food doesn't decrease the calories of food....
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 13, 2008
4045 posts
27 upvotes
I guess my question is, since it says "250ml drained" = 150 calories, for a 540ml can with beans AND water in it, the calories per can must be less than 540/250*!50 = 324, right? Is there an easier way or rule of thumb to know how much % of the can is water vs. beans?
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
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henrycao8 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 9:32 am
I guess my question is, since it says "250ml drained" = 150 calories, for a 540ml can with beans AND water in it, the calories per can must be less than 540/250*!50 = 324, right? Is there an easier way or rule of thumb to know how much % of the can is water vs. beans?
They are not counting the water: you can ignore it.

How many calories are you expecting to knock off from water anyway? The mathematical error in your math with rounded numbers and variation etc. is likely a greater error.

It is a total fallacy that you can be precise with nutritional info.

One error: your calories should be 320 as the nutritional info only has two significant digits.
Deal Addict
Jun 21, 2016
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henrycao8 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 9:32 am
I guess my question is, since it says "250ml drained" = 150 calories, for a 540ml can with beans AND water in it, the calories per can must be less than 540/250*!50 = 324, right? Is there an easier way or rule of thumb to know how much % of the can is water vs. beans?
so you measured the can and it was 540ml with beans and water? the 540ml is beans, not water
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Aug 14, 2007
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toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 7:41 am
Read what the label says the can contains, multiply by the nutritional information. The 540ml relates to the nutritional information, ie. it contains 540ml of 'drained' beans.

540/250 * 150 = 324 calories per can

It's a lot harder to calculate the calories for a serving, but it's easy to calculate for the whole can.
aqnd wrote:
Sep 29th, 2016 9:16 pm
Drain the beans, collecting the water in a measuring cup. Subtract that from 540mL

At least they're specific. Look at nutrition info for say, frozen burgers, and they'll just say per patty (not specifying cooked or uncooked)
But you can work out it is uncooked by the weight.
But then what is the nutrition content of the cooked burger? You know it's less as a lot of grease likely came out while cooking. But how much? Good luck on that one.
The beans are easy :)
Well if it says the patty is 200calories, it's going to be 200 calories whether its cooked or raw lol cooking food doesn't decrease the calories of food....
Of course it can. Look at a package of bacon the next time you buy it. It will say something like 250 calories per 2 uncooked strips.
Now when you fry bacon you see that big puddle of grease left in your pan? That is about 150 calories worth. So depending on if you use it for something else or not (frying eggs/hashbrown) you are eating less then 1/2 the amount of calories then the package says.

So his burger point was that if the patty says 450 calories, but then as you are grilling it on the BBQ and a bunch of the fat melts and drains into your BBQ you might actually only be eating 350-400 calories worth...
Deal Addict
Jun 21, 2016
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Vladimir wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 12:16 pm
toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 7:41 am
Read what the label says the can contains, multiply by the nutritional information. The 540ml relates to the nutritional information, ie. it contains 540ml of 'drained' beans.

540/250 * 150 = 324 calories per can

It's a lot harder to calculate the calories for a serving, but it's easy to calculate for the whole can.
aqnd wrote:
Sep 29th, 2016 9:16 pm
Drain the beans, collecting the water in a measuring cup. Subtract that from 540mL

At least they're specific. Look at nutrition info for say, frozen burgers, and they'll just say per patty (not specifying cooked or uncooked)
But you can work out it is uncooked by the weight.
But then what is the nutrition content of the cooked burger? You know it's less as a lot of grease likely came out while cooking. But how much? Good luck on that one.
The beans are easy :)
Well if it says the patty is 200calories, it's going to be 200 calories whether its cooked or raw lol cooking food doesn't decrease the calories of food....
Of course it can. Look at a package of bacon the next time you buy it. It will say something like 250 calories per 2 uncooked strips.
Now when you fry bacon you see that big puddle of grease left in your pan? That is about 150 calories worth. So depending on if you use it for something else or not (frying eggs/hashbrown) you are eating less then 1/2 the amount of calories then the package says.

So his burger point was that if the patty says 450 calories, but then as you are grilling it on the BBQ and a bunch of the fat melts and drains into your BBQ you might actually only be eating 350-400 calories worth...
That is water that comes off, not oil / grease, unfortunately thats not how the world works...
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Feb 13, 2007
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toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 2:25 pm
That is water that comes off, not oil / grease, unfortunately thats not how the world works...
No... it's rendered fat, but thanks for coming out.
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Jun 21, 2016
3088 posts
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Astin wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 2:31 pm
toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 2:25 pm
That is water that comes off, not oil / grease, unfortunately thats not how the world works...
No... it's rendered fat, but thanks for coming out.
You can think that, doesn't make a difference in my life. Fat doesn't just magically come off meat because you cook it. Unless you added oil to the meat then what comes out the meat is water.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
6057 posts
2536 upvotes
toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 2:25 pm
Vladimir wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 12:16 pm
toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 7:41 am
Read what the label says the can contains, multiply by the nutritional information. The 540ml relates to the nutritional information, ie. it contains 540ml of 'drained' beans.

540/250 * 150 = 324 calories per can

It's a lot harder to calculate the calories for a serving, but it's easy to calculate for the whole can.



Well if it says the patty is 200calories, it's going to be 200 calories whether its cooked or raw lol cooking food doesn't decrease the calories of food....
Of course it can. Look at a package of bacon the next time you buy it. It will say something like 250 calories per 2 uncooked strips.
Now when you fry bacon you see that big puddle of grease left in your pan? That is about 150 calories worth. So depending on if you use it for something else or not (frying eggs/hashbrown) you are eating less then 1/2 the amount of calories then the package says.

So his burger point was that if the patty says 450 calories, but then as you are grilling it on the BBQ and a bunch of the fat melts and drains into your BBQ you might actually only be eating 350-400 calories worth...
That is water that comes off, not oil / grease, unfortunately thats not how the world works...
Astin wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 2:31 pm
toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 2:25 pm
That is water that comes off, not oil / grease, unfortunately thats not how the world works...
No... it's rendered fat, but thanks for coming out.
10123, Pork, cured, bacon, unprepared https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show ... sliced&ds=
I slice 28g = 117 kcal and 11g fat

10862, Pork, cured, bacon, pre-sliced, cooked, pan-fried https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show ... sliced&ds=
1 slice 11.5g = 57 kcal and 4g fat

The bacon loses both fat and moisture. Raw bacon is 85% kcal from fat; cooked bacon is 63% kcal from fat (where fat = 9 kcal/g)

If you compare equal weights of 28g raw to 28g cooked bacon, the raw has 1.4g more fat worth 13 kcal.
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Aug 22, 2006
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toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 2:25 pm
Vladimir wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 12:16 pm
toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 7:41 am
Read what the label says the can contains, multiply by the nutritional information. The 540ml relates to the nutritional information, ie. it contains 540ml of 'drained' beans.

540/250 * 150 = 324 calories per can

It's a lot harder to calculate the calories for a serving, but it's easy to calculate for the whole can.



Well if it says the patty is 200calories, it's going to be 200 calories whether its cooked or raw lol cooking food doesn't decrease the calories of food....
Of course it can. Look at a package of bacon the next time you buy it. It will say something like 250 calories per 2 uncooked strips.
Now when you fry bacon you see that big puddle of grease left in your pan? That is about 150 calories worth. So depending on if you use it for something else or not (frying eggs/hashbrown) you are eating less then 1/2 the amount of calories then the package says.

So his burger point was that if the patty says 450 calories, but then as you are grilling it on the BBQ and a bunch of the fat melts and drains into your BBQ you might actually only be eating 350-400 calories worth...
That is water that comes off, not oil / grease, unfortunately thats not how the world works...
Unfortunately that's exactly how it works. While there is some water since most consumer bacon is wet cured, anything that's left over after cooking is oil because oil doesn't evaporate like water does.
toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 4:29 pm
Astin wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 2:31 pm
toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 2:25 pm
That is water that comes off, not oil / grease, unfortunately thats not how the world works...
No... it's rendered fat, but thanks for coming out.
You can think that, doesn't make a difference in my life.
There's no thinking. It's 100% true.
Whether or not it makes a difference in your life is irrelevant.
Fat doesn't just magically come off meat because you cook it. Unless you added oil to the meat then what comes out the meat is water.
It's not magical, it's called rendering.
If it was water, the heat of the pan would evaporate it leaving a dry pan.

Don't believe me? Put some water in a pan and crank it to high.
Then put some oil in the pan and do the same thing.

Then put a lump of suet or other animal fat and see what happens.

EDIT: Also if it was water, where does lard, tallow, duck fat, schmaltz, etc come from?
Unless you for some reason think it's pork water, beef water, duck water, chicken water, etc.
Deal Addict
Jun 21, 2016
3088 posts
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death_hawk wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 5:46 pm
toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 2:25 pm
Vladimir wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 12:16 pm


Of course it can. Look at a package of bacon the next time you buy it. It will say something like 250 calories per 2 uncooked strips.
Now when you fry bacon you see that big puddle of grease left in your pan? That is about 150 calories worth. So depending on if you use it for something else or not (frying eggs/hashbrown) you are eating less then 1/2 the amount of calories then the package says.

So his burger point was that if the patty says 450 calories, but then as you are grilling it on the BBQ and a bunch of the fat melts and drains into your BBQ you might actually only be eating 350-400 calories worth...
That is water that comes off, not oil / grease, unfortunately thats not how the world works...
Unfortunately that's exactly how it works. While there is some water since most consumer bacon is wet cured, anything that's left over after cooking is oil because oil doesn't evaporate like water does.
toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 4:29 pm
Astin wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 2:31 pm


No... it's rendered fat, but thanks for coming out.
You can think that, doesn't make a difference in my life.
There's no thinking. It's 100% true.
Whether or not it makes a difference in your life is irrelevant.
Fat doesn't just magically come off meat because you cook it. Unless you added oil to the meat then what comes out the meat is water.
It's not magical, it's called rendering.
If it was water, the heat of the pan would evaporate it leaving a dry pan.

Don't believe me? Put some water in a pan and crank it to high.
Then put some oil in the pan and do the same thing.

Then put a lump of suet or other animal fat and see what happens.

EDIT: Also if it was water, where does lard, tallow, duck fat, schmaltz, etc come from?
Unless you for some reason think it's pork water, beef water, duck water, chicken water, etc.
So if you cook butter, it loses fat? That is how logical your statement is to claim that cooking meat melts fat off it. Water comes out of the meat, not fat.

If you marinated the meat or added oil to it then yes, oil will be in the pan, it is not the fat from the meat.

Go trim the fat off beef, throw that in a pan, see if it dissolves and turns into oil...NOPE.
lecale wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 5:14 pm
toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 2:25 pm
Vladimir wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 12:16 pm


Of course it can. Look at a package of bacon the next time you buy it. It will say something like 250 calories per 2 uncooked strips.
Now when you fry bacon you see that big puddle of grease left in your pan? That is about 150 calories worth. So depending on if you use it for something else or not (frying eggs/hashbrown) you are eating less then 1/2 the amount of calories then the package says.

So his burger point was that if the patty says 450 calories, but then as you are grilling it on the BBQ and a bunch of the fat melts and drains into your BBQ you might actually only be eating 350-400 calories worth...
That is water that comes off, not oil / grease, unfortunately thats not how the world works...
Astin wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 2:31 pm
toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 2:25 pm
That is water that comes off, not oil / grease, unfortunately thats not how the world works...
No... it's rendered fat, but thanks for coming out.
10123, Pork, cured, bacon, unprepared https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show ... sliced&ds=
I slice 28g = 117 kcal and 11g fat

10862, Pork, cured, bacon, pre-sliced, cooked, pan-fried https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show ... sliced&ds=
1 slice 11.5g = 57 kcal and 4g fat

The bacon loses both fat and moisture. Raw bacon is 85% kcal from fat; cooked bacon is 63% kcal from fat (where fat = 9 kcal/g)

If you compare equal weights of 28g raw to 28g cooked bacon, the raw has 1.4g more fat worth 13 kcal.
Why would there be any fat in the cooked bacon if fat just melts off? What you're saying makes no sense at all, is there only a percentage of fat that can melt and the other percentage of fat can't?
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
6057 posts
2536 upvotes
toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 6:02 pm
Go trim the fat off beef, throw that in a pan, see if it dissolves and turns into oil...NOPE.
I regularly trim off beef fat and render it (cook out the liquid fat) to flavour soups and gravies and so forth.

Some of the fat will cook out, but not all of it.
toronto19850 wrote:
Sep 30th, 2016 6:02 pm
Why would there be any fat in the cooked bacon if fat just melts off? What you're saying makes no sense at all, is there only a percentage of fat that can melt and the other percentage of fat can't?
Exactly. Now that you understand that, it will be easier to follow.

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