The calorie density (or energy density) of a food is a measurement of the average calories per gram of that food.
It is useful in that it is a way of comparing the number of calories gained from equal volumes of different foods. For example, 100g of chocolate has far more calories than 100g of lettuce. This means that chocolate has a higher calorie density than lettuce.
The biggest factor in determining calorie density is the water content of a food. Water increases volume without adding calories.
Calorie density of foods influences hunger, satiety and food intake. By eating foods with lower calorie density, you will feel full - but have eaten fewer calories.
When you perform a search in our food database, you will see stars appearing next to some foods. These stars are a general guide to the calorie density of the food. Here is what the stars mean:
|Icon||Stars||Calorie density range|
|Four stars||0.0 - 0.6 cal/g|
|Three stars||0.6 - 1.5 cal/g|
|Two stars||1.5 - 4.0 cal/g|
|One star||4.0 - 9.0 cal/g|
Important: Some foods do not have calorie density stars at all. For these foods the calorie density is unknown. It does NOT mean that they are low (or high) in calorie density. For drinks in particular, the above rules do not apply.