subscribe Signup for our Newsletter expand Expand Browser
Calorie Count Blog

Big Calorie Deal: Baked vs. Fried Foods


By +Carolyn Richardson on Aug 08, 2012 10:00 AM in Healthy Eating

It's common knowledge that fried foods have more fat and calories than baked versions, but sometimes its hard to determine if the difference is such a big deal. Simply put, it is. Here's a list of some of America's favorite fried foods with their fat grams and calorie counts alongside their baked option.

Chicken 1 leg or ~4 ounce serving bone removed

Roasted. Skin removed - Total Fat  8g Calories 181

Meat and Skin, Fried with Flour - Total Fat 16.2g Calories 284

The difference between baked and fried chicken is 103 calories and 8.2 grams of fat.

Fish 3 oz. serving

Baked Tilapia - Total Fat 2.2g Calories 109

Fried - Total Fat 10.5g Calories 197

The difference between baked or fried is 88 calories and 8.3 grams of fat.

Shrimp 1 ~6 ounce serving or about 6-8 shrimp

Boiled or Steamed - Total Fat 4g Calories 220 Sodium 310mg

Fried and Breaded- Total Fat 25.8g Calories 470 Sodium 1500mg

The difference between baked or fried is 250 calories and 21.4 grams of fat.

Oysters 6 medium or ~3 oz. serving

Raw
- Total Fat 2.1g Calories 57

Fried - Total Fat 11g Calories 225

The difference between baked or fried is 168 calories and 8.9 grams of fat.

French Fries Small or ~3 oz. serving

Baked (Home-prepared from frozen) - Total Fat 6.5g Calories 170

Fried - Total Fat 14.5g Calories 271

The difference between baked or fried is 101 calories and 8 grams of fat.

Onion Rings 9 onion rings or ~3 oz. serving

Baked - Total Fat 6g Calories 177

Deep Fried - Total Fat 15.5g Calories 276

The difference between baked or fried is 99 calories and 9.5 grams of fat.

Spring Rolls 1 roll (about 84g)

Steamed - Total Fat 2.4g Calories 97

Fried - Total Fat 12g Calories 200

The difference between baked or fried is 103 calories and 9.6 grams of fat.

What about Pan Frying?

We didn't include information about pan frying because the amount of calories that pan-frying adds to certain foods depends heavily on how much oil is added to the pan, the calorie count of the oil added, and how much the food being cooked absorbs. If you want to find out just how much oil is absorbed into the food you cook, you can measure the amount of remaining oil in the pan after you cook and compare it to the amount of oil originally added.  So you know, the addition of just one tablespoon of olive oil, margarine, or butter is 120, 87, or 102 calories respectively. 


Your thoughts...

What foods have you switched to baked only to save calories? If you have recipes for baked options that maintain the texture of fried, share them below.



Comments


I think I do not realy understand what the article refers to as frying .... if not pan frying. Can anyone help me?



Original Post by: litu_maria

I think I do not realy understand what the article refers to as frying .... if not pan frying. Can anyone help me?


I would suspect they are referring to deep fried foods



Original Post by: litu_maria

I think I do not realy understand what the article refers to as frying .... if not pan frying. Can anyone help me?


I think they mean deep frying, where the food is completely submerged in oil



Maybe deepfat frying like they do in resturants?



The chicken comparisons were not "apples to apples" since the skin was included in the fried version. Skin has quite a few calories.


Original Post by: bonnieyagiela

The chicken comparisons were not "apples to apples" since the skin was included in the fried version. Skin has quite a few calories.

I agree.  It would be a better comparison if everything was the same. Breaded chicken breast skin off on fried and one baked. Same with the fish and shrimp.  With deep fried foods where is most of the fat?  If the oil is hot enough it is only the coating that should absorb all the fat.  the meat should be fine.  This could be a myth. If you don't eat all the coating how many calories and fat are you saving?

 



They also compared raw to fried.

While I understand the point of the article, it is poorly written by not being consistant with the comparisons.



Original Post by: litu_maria

I think I do not realy understand what the article refers to as frying .... if not pan frying. Can anyone help me?


the article is referring to deep fried foods.



in terms of deep fried foods, i would be more worried about the batter :P lots of carbs.



Original Post by: tammyspies

Original Post by: bonnieyagiela

The chicken comparisons were not "apples to apples" since the skin was included in the fried version. Skin has quite a few calories.

I agree.  It would be a better comparison if everything was the same. Breaded chicken breast skin off on fried and one baked. Same with the fish and shrimp.  With deep fried foods where is most of the fat?  If the oil is hot enough it is only the coating that should absorb all the fat.  the meat should be fine.  This could be a myth. If you don't eat all the coating how many calories and fat are you saving?

 


I thought so too...they should have compared it baked and fried with skin or both without skin to give a more accurate comparison.



The main issue with fried in my opinion is the oxidation of fats not the calories or fat....but I'm in the high fat low carb lifestyle group.  If you look around you can find plenty of research on fat not being the enemy.  Long before the governments of the world started demonizing fat people were eating much more and remained healthy.

Butter is a natural thing....sure butter from a conventionally raised cow pales in comparison to grass fed(natural diet of a cow) butter but its still more natural than the frankenfoods such as Vegetable oil and Margarine.  How does a man made creation even make sense as something that is better than a food naturally made to sustain.

The current book I'm reading called The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living details many of the arguments against Low Carb/High Fat and refutes them all.  There are plenty of other good places you can read about this issue.

 



I agree with a lot of comments how this article is a bit confusing.  I myself eat fried foods sometimes, I just eat less in each sitting.  And not because it's fried food, but because no matter what I eat, I simply eat half of it...that way I don't have to drive myself crazy trying to figure out fried calories, fat oxidization issues, breaded soaking up more oil, non-breaded fried but with Pam, too many carbs, not enough carbs, AHH!  No thanks!!!  I don't have time for that!

I simply got used to eating half!

I also don't like how I feel after eating greasy food--sluggish and gross, lol!

Jim



I agree with raiken! You "don't get fat by eating fat"! I just lost 39 lbs since January, ten to go, following a lo-carb, hi protein diet, with calories kept below 1100. I make sure I have fat in my meal since it doesn't raise your insulin levels and is needed for proper brain and blood vessel health. I just finished lunch and added a tablespoon of coconut oil to my tea. I also took a flaxseed oil capsule. Yes, fat has calories, and I still keep an eye on those, but it's the carbs that have been a downfall for me. I pan fry chicken and use butter on my veggies. The weight continues to come off regardless of the fat I use in my diet.


I agree Bonnie, I am now down 35 and my husband down 38 since January eating the same way.

 



The main thing I have found with weight loss is do what work for you.  I follow the Canada Food guide for what I should eat in a day and vary it up with the all the food I like.  (I like a lot of food hehehe) The key is watching portions and moving.    I will say though that some High fat foods do raise your blood sugar.  I know I test my blood and record what I eat.  For my blood sugar to be at a healthy number my meals are balanced with veggies protien and carbs.  I have found this has works for me.  Congrats to everyone losing weight with what works for them and not jumping form one fad diet to the next :)

 



When pan-frying, is it the amount of oil that is absorbed by the cooking that gets added to the caloric count?  For example, if I start off with 2 teaspoons of oil, and end up with about one teaspoon left in the pan, then my caloric addition is 120 calories, which is consistent with one teaspoon of oil?



Original Post by: bonnieyagiela

I agree with raiken! You "don't get fat by eating fat"! I just lost 39 lbs since January, ten to go, following a lo-carb, hi protein diet, with calories kept below 1100. I make sure I have fat in my meal since it doesn't raise your insulin levels and is needed for proper brain and blood vessel health. I just finished lunch and added a tablespoon of coconut oil to my tea. I also took a flaxseed oil capsule. Yes, fat has calories, and I still keep an eye on those, but it's the carbs that have been a downfall for me. I pan fry chicken and use butter on my veggies. The weight continues to come off regardless of the fat I use in my diet.

You sure it isn't a low carbohydrate moderate protein high fat diet?  That is what Paleo is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mc5wX-_w2g

Watch this video it has five parts I think.  If you've ever heard that high fat low carbohydrate is unhealthy this may give you some food for thought.  :)

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/protein-kidneys/#axzz22ynlxCR n

Some people have it wrong on protein the amounts that some say are too much are off base but you can still get too much.  How much protein are you eating?



I don't weigh the protein I eat but I'd say it's about 30 gm per meal. It is roughly a chicken thigh, or a half a steak, or a about 3-4 oz of fish. Whatever seems about right. Protein keeps me from being hungry, and so does fat, plus the fiber from the veggies. I try to avoid the carbs as much as possible, except for the half slice of whole wheat toast in the morning with peanut butter. I use a scoop of unflavored protein powder in my coffee in the AM which keeps me full and gives me extra protein.


Original Post by: ljashdown

I agree Bonnie, I am now down 35 and my husband down 38 since January eating the same way.

 


Did you say coconut oil in tea? I have coconut oil but never  tried it with tea. Do you put it in regular tea while it's hot and do you add sweetner when you do this? Please share . sounds awesome. thanks

 



I wonder about the idea that most calories from fat are to be avoided. I am 6'4" and my weight went up to 221-223 a while back. I started eating low fat foods that were purchased ready made and really cut calories, but my weight stuck right over 220.

Now I eat meals I make from scratch with really simple recipes and ignore the fat content while increasing fiber and my new sticking point is around 212 pounds, and I feel a lot better. I fry fish and chicken in olive oil, usually, and sometimes I fry eggs in butter, but these meals don't seem to make me gain weight nearly as much as low fat frozen foods.

I have a feeling that in 20 years we are going to look back on our low fat fads and think, "How could they have believed that?"



I will scoop out about a tablespoon of coconut oil and let it melt in my mug of tea. I sweetened it with Stevia drops. I love the slight coconut essense it gives to the tea. Coconut oil has wonderful health benefits. There are lots of brands to choose from at the health food store in our community. I picked Natures Way brand since they are so reliable with their supplements.


hmm, my calorie counter only says about 20 calories different between roasted skinless chicken breast and  fried skinless chicken breast. Nothing like padding the facts to suit your story Wink

 



it really doesn't matter if it is baked or fried it is how much you eat



Toroneh, that is right, but I wonder if eating foods that have 30% of their calories from fat might satisfy my hunger faster than foods that have 5% of their calories from fat, thereby letting me feel fuller faster when I eat foods that have a bit more fat and fiber.

I don't know this for a fact, but I know that if I eat low fat I weigh more even though I try to eat less and when I eat high fiber/medium fat content to the point where I feel full, I weigh less. Not a weight I am happy with, but a weight that is better than what I end up at when I diet.



Original Post by: toroneh

it really doesn't matter if it is baked or fried it is how much you eat


Exactly! We don't get fat because we eat fat. It's because too much of anything is bad. Everything should be in moderation.



I noticed that too. I wonder why they did that.



Original Post by: piotr

in terms of deep fried foods, i would be more worried about the batter :P lots of carbs.


You're right about the article being poorly written. Someone else here also mentioned that it didn't compare "apples to apples" which does make a big difference. I myself always try to bake instead of fry as long as the taste of the food is not compromised; however if pan frying creates a better product then I go with that. I actually HAVE measured the oil used for frying before and after cooking a food item and as long as the oil is hot enough then the food will NOT absorb that much oil. For instance, I have made empanadas both baked and fried and have measured the calories for both and the difference was only about 15-20 calories.



Original Post by: bonnieyagiela

I don't weigh the protein I eat but I'd say it's about 30 gm per meal. It is roughly a chicken thigh, or a half a steak, or a about 3-4 oz of fish. Whatever seems about right. Protein keeps me from being hungry, and so does fat, plus the fiber from the veggies. I try to avoid the carbs as much as possible, except for the half slice of whole wheat toast in the morning with peanut butter. I use a scoop of unflavored protein powder in my coffee in the AM which keeps me full and gives me extra protein.

Oh ok I don't consider that high protein that's moderate. 



Original Post by: zivbnd

Toroneh, that is right, but I wonder if eating foods that have 30% of their calories from fat might satisfy my hunger faster than foods that have 5% of their calories from fat, thereby letting me feel fuller faster when I eat foods that have a bit more fat and fiber.

I don't know this for a fact, but I know that if I eat low fat I weigh more even though I try to eat less and when I eat high fiber/medium fat content to the point where I feel full, I weigh less. Not a weight I am happy with, but a weight that is better than what I end up at when I diet.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mc5wX-_w2g

Watch this it has 5 segments.  He points out that he believes low fat is the actual fad.  I personally believe the high fat low carbohydrate Paleo diet is the best for health.  You just have to get the right kinds of fats. 

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/definitive-guide-to-the-prima l-eating-plan/

http://jackkruse.com/brain-gut-6-epi-paleo-rx/

Epi-Paleo-Rx is great.



you hear a lot about this "fat doesn't make you fat"...and 1100 calories, no matter what they vare, shouldn't make you fat. i would be interested in blood work though, cholesterol and such. i've been thinking a lot on the fat question ( you can't trust books, nor studies funded by "interested" parties with something to gain). although i haven't lept to any conclusions just yet,

i'd be looking to get fat from nuts, olive and coconut oil. rather than plain ole' fat, or worse, animal fat. 

a memory that surfaced yesterday, was of my mum's friend dying of cancer who put on 18 kg. yes, PUT ON! how? by eating half a packet of butter for lunch on a slice of toast (probably did it at other times of the day too). 

actually, i now recall, my sister put on that same amount in 6 weeks after giving birth, by breastfeeding all day, and eating pesto. you have to look to living examples of people eating, and the outcomes.

balance, i think. i did the low carb thing (next to no starch), i lost weight, and i looked and felt great, and was not hungry. but looking back, it was low calorie (fruit or porridge for breakfast, a fry pan full of mushrooms and tomatoes for lunch, curried lentils with salad and feta for dinner, pasta once a week, oven po), and without starch, i didn't eat much fat,  as i am vegetarian. but you can lose weight on the twinkie diet, but what about your long term health?

dgrillo1975, you are right, if you deduct the amount of oil left from the oil you began with, you should save the difference, deduct it from your totals. if you are frying an egg, weigh your pan, record weight,  then turn scale off, leaving pan on it. it should read zero, add oil, record it. cook egg in it. remove egg, and weigh pan again. the total above pan weight, you could deuct from the oil weight at the start.

 

 

ps fat without carbs sounds like no fun anyway.



Re: pan frying suggestion.  That measuring technique will not work for you if you are pan frying something that gives off fat- like sausage, bacon or chicken skin. 



good point pezz. personally, i wouldn't deduct it anyway, unless it was quite a bit, because it's a slippery slope to deducting for crumbs and sauces...

what matters really is the scale, the results.



How about just viewing eating with moderation? If you eat less sugar, less fat, less calories, you will be eating less. 4 lowfat ice cream bars is still alot of fat; 3 hamburgers give plenty of protein, but it's still alot of food. I find if I just focus on better choices and less overall food, I cant help but lose weight. Too much of anything is too much. Splitting hairs over whether to use stevia, splenda, honey, agave, sugar, asparatame, ect., has less importance if one is consuming copious quantities of either. I choose to usually use splenda, but have forced myself to learn to enjoy my drinks unsweetened, and save the sweetener for when I really desire a sweet. Mint tea, coffee, and black tea all taste okay to me without sweetener (Although I try to consume these in moderation, too.) We just want to be able to eat as much as we can get away with, so we look for shortcuts, but ultimately we know what we need to do. If it's working, it works; if it isn't, it doesn't. I take my dieting advice from people who are thinner than me; my heavy friends always want to educate me on the newest fad diet. Do it for a year...then tell me how it works.



I Love breaded fried fish so instead of pan frying, I use a small baking dish and coat. The bottom with about half tsp of oil and the use that oil to lightly coat both sides of the fish. Then I top it with My favorite Pablo bread crumbs and season the top. It cuts way down on the oil and only one side is breaded. Happy compromise!


Oops to previous post! Panko bread crumbs . . . Not Pablo !


I do the same with chicken and a panko/crushed corn flakes mixture. I spray it with olive oil spray and I use McCormick Original Chicken Seasoning. It tastes like Kentucky Fried! ( By the way, my auto correct tried to change panko to Pablo, too!).


I agree with others that the most important thing isn't whether you bake or fry, but about eating with moderation. Healthy fats from things like coconut oil, eggs, avocado, fish and nuts will not damage your health so long as you eat them in moderation (thus managing total calories) - and are in fact vital to healthy brain functions, etc.

 

HOWEVER, it is not true to say that so long as you only eat 1100 calories or 1200 calories or whatever that you will be healthy. Large amounts of transfats and saturated fats from things like fatty meats, chips and deep fried foods will build up in your arteries, increasing your blood pressure and your risk of many diseases like heart attacks, stroke, etc. This can be the case even if you are a healthy weight. That's why CC recommends <15g of saturated fat per day.



yep, you can drop dead of a heart attack, while thin. i heard that was what happened to kate beckinsale's dad (of "porridge" fame) because he only ate meat. 



You can actually be perfectly healthy and fit eating only meat.  If the meat your eating is raised eating its natural diet and on a pasture.  Grass-fed and grass-finished beef, chickens eating bugs worms grass and insects, pigs eating fruits and bugs and worms.

Basically if you feed an animal a diet that is natural and let it live naturally its healthy to eat it.  Conventionally raised animals are a far cry from naturally raised ones.  The human stomach is designed to eat both meat and vegetables but humans can get all the nutrients they need from just meat.  If you include organ meats and some seafood.

Vegetables contain many valuable antioxidants and other good nutrients but are not required if you don't want to eat them. 



Original Post by: lisofby

yep, you can drop dead of a heart attack, while thin. i heard that was what happened to kate beckinsale's dad (of "porridge" fame) because he only ate meat. 


He had a congenital heart defect so was born with it.  High cholesterol doesn't necessarily mean anything.  What matters is the kind of cholesterol not just how high a certain amount is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqdzJLOQM2I

This has some of the details I can't find the other video I was thinking of I'll look for it some more.



If the foods are prepared the same, with breading on both, frying is not much different than baking if done right and compared properly.  If the oil is hot enough, and the temperature is properly maintained, and the product is pulled at the proper time and properly drained, the isn't much oil added to the product.

The biggest problem is, most of these people don't have a clue what they are doing with a deep fryer nor do they know what the proper procedure is to fry anything and keep it from soaking up a bunch of fat.

 

It's easy to make a style of cooking look bad if that is what you are after.



Calories comparison is something but isn't the fried food also filled with trans fat?



I personally thought the 'apples to oranges' in the comparisons made sense and were helpful.  To my mind, it was comparing an indulgent preparation of food vs a healthier idea that you might make if the calories aren't worth it to you.  

 

Fried chicken vs baked skin off chicken.  I personally wouldn't normally eat the skin on a baked piece of chicken so this comparison was more useful to me.

fried oysters vs raw oysters:  Baked oysters are somewhat uncommon, plus the baking doesn't add any fat (unless you decide to do that).  Boy does that classic, raw oyster delicacy look good now!

 This article is trying to make several points, beyond the headline that extra fat and calories get infused into your food when you deep fry it.  It also points out that when we fry foods we also bread them, and may prep them differently in other ways (like leaving the skin on), and that there are delicious, healthier, and preparations aplenty if the fried calories aren't worth it to you.  She doesn't say fried foods are bad.

I have been told that 'proper' deep frying doesn't add many calories.  But most people don't know how to do this, so I'm fine with the calorie totals here, since they probably better reflect what you'll really be getting.  It's all a ballpark estimate anyway...

So, yeah, I'm sticking up for the author - I think they did a fine job and the article was definitely NOT poorly written.  



Post Your Comment

Join Calorie Count - it's easy and free!
CREATE FREE ACCOUNT
Recent Blog Post
We are constantly told to consume low-fat dairy in order to save on calories and fat. However, studies have recently been concluding that the opposite habits may be beneficial for weight management. Eating creamy, higher calorie full-fat dairy products may

Continue reading...