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Calorie experts?

I've been snacking on dehydrated sweet potatoes for the last few hours, and finished half a bag of the darn things. They're not great, but they're entertainingly tough and are satisfying for my sweet tooth.

Anyway, we got the bag in an Asian grocery store, and I'm having trouble with the nutrition information.

Net Wt: 1 LB
Serving Size: 100
ServingsPer Container About 23
Amount Per Serving
Calories 120

I'm not sure where the error is. Or what it means that the serving in question has 5 g of "prorien." I do know that a strict reading of this means that I've eaten roughly 1440 calories of yam, which doesn't seem likely. That's a lot of yam.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 8th, 2005 08:20 am (UTC)

Welcome back to Texas! How was Chi-town?

Having done the dried fruit/veg/meats thing, it is probably correct. When you dehydrate a fruit or veg, you get roughly a 3-8 fold increase in nutrient density, since the major contributor to weight beforehand is water, which does not provide nutrition. Meats are even more, with something like a 10 fold increase in nutrient density (meat is wetter than most veg, so you are driving out more water per unit mass).

Considering that sweet potatoes are a high calorie food to begin with (which is why they are such an important staple food in some regions, such as sub-Saharan Africa and the Orient), and you have concentrated their nutrition into a space roughly 1/3 of its original size and 1/4 or less of its original mass, you have a dense, ultra-nutritious snack.

A word of advice: drink plenty of fluids, since you will be getting less stealth-water from what you are eating.

Jun. 8th, 2005 08:28 am (UTC)
given that I've been drinking coffee and eating dehydrated yams all day, it's pretty likely that I'll be extremely thirsty round about lunch :) I'm still not sure that's right, because that would be something like 19 grams of yam, or yamgrams, having 120 calories. I'm not sure *sugar* has that many calories (4 cal/gram for sugar.) I'd expect anyone trying to gain body mass to be sucking yams :)

Chicago was nice, wonderful architecture, got to see the aquarium, had a few fights with my mother, but that's to be expected. I've got a lot of pictures. Was very happy to get back, though (nobody should have to spend 24 hours a day with their mother and/or sister for four straight days...)
Jun. 8th, 2005 08:40 am (UTC)

If you want, I can somehow arrange to be down there with the scientific equipment, and we can do some tests. Or not. Also, my numbers may be off, since I am going from memory and assumptions, without having actual numbers in front of me. I based the mass ratio on the low end of the range for dehydrated veg, since sweet potatoes are a fairly dry one to begin with. It could actually be a greater wet-to-dry mass ratio than I realized, which would explain why it has such a high caloric value. Also, remember that sweet potatoes have a lot of starch in addition to the sugar, which makes them a great source of ready, useable fuel. That said, when building muscle mass, a balance of high-calorie and high-protien needs to be kept up, so sweet potatoes are good, but sub-optimal for the job.

You've got to see the aquarium in New Orleans; it puts the various ones in Texas to shame. Remind me to send you a couple of pictures (only time in NOLA that I remembered to take the camera with me).
Jun. 8th, 2005 08:40 am (UTC)
If you've eaten 1/2 the bag, that's roughly 11.5 servings. We'll round down to be nice. So call it 11 servings.

11 * 120 = 1320 calories

You've probably eaten slightly over half your required caloric intake for the day. It's really not that much Yam when you consider that they are mostly starch (with slightly more dietary fiber than regular potatoes).
Jun. 8th, 2005 08:55 am (UTC)
I'm just a little shocked that anything not specifically manufactured to be high-calorie has more calories than sugar or lard. I wasn't really *quite* so much interested in the numbers and math involved as I was in whether or not Japlish was operating here--if it was 2.3 servings per bag, that would make a little more sense. Since there was a big blank in the "amount per serving" I have no idea what I'm actually dealing with. I'm not sure I believe that a little over a half an ounce is a legit serving.
Jun. 8th, 2005 10:32 am (UTC)
Well, when you break down the yams down to their base components, the uber-carbs of the dehydrated yammies become sugar.
Jun. 8th, 2005 11:27 am (UTC)
But it'd have to be, like, anti-splenda--highly refined with just the waist-widening component left. I wondered what happened when you took away all the sweet...
Jun. 8th, 2005 12:36 pm (UTC)
Point. I was presuming this was a large bag (like one of those big bags of chips you buy at the store). They can easily fill your daily caloric needs. You can always calculate the relative calories yourself.

4cal per gram of protein
4cal per gram of carbohydrates
8cal per gram of fat

(Note: These are rough values. Carbs actually have slightly more calories per gram than protein.)
Jun. 8th, 2005 10:24 am (UTC)
I say it was meant to read "2 - 3 servings".
Jun. 8th, 2005 11:12 am (UTC)
Re: Yamage
*nods* That makes the most sense...
Jun. 8th, 2005 10:35 am (UTC)
Sweet potatos are 101 calories a cup, or about 0.76 calories per gram. With dehydration, a 3-fold increase in nutrient density would give you 2.3 calories per gram; an 8-fold increase would give you 6 calories per gram. Either they're artificially jacking up the calories, or it's just poor printing.

Assuming that it actually is sweet potatos; outside of the United States, 'yam' and 'sweet potato' aren't automatically the same thing.
Jun. 8th, 2005 11:12 am (UTC)
Yeah, I've often been unclear on the difference between Yams and Sweet Potatoes. They're completely interchangable in the states, but I understand in Britain a sweet potato is actually a small bird, and "yam" is derived from a middle-eastern word meaning "underground rock."
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )