• If you listen to the Brits, a cup is 250 ml. If you listen to the Americans, a cup is 240 ml. But don’t let the 4% volume difference throw you off. Bakers use the 240 ml standard for ingredients.
• The cup measure is relevant for a simple reason: lot’s of calorie intake numbers are readily available for this measure.
• You can find a plastic or steel measuring cup for 1 cup and 1/2 cup measures at any local utensil shop.
• Find out how the cups and servings used at home size up against the measuring cup.
Here are some standard measures based on the measuring cup:
1 cup of wheat= 400 calories. This yields 6-8 rotis. So the average roti has around 60 calories and 2-2.5 grams of protein.
1 cup of cooked rice= 200 calories. 1 cup of uncooked rice contains over 700 calories.
1 cup of full cream milk=150 calories. 1 cup of skim milk= 90 calories.
1 cup of cooked chole= 200 calories with over 12-13 grams of protein.
1 cup of cooked veggies (not potato, yam or starch rich veggies) = 30-70 calories not factoring for oil added to prep the veggies
WHERE IT WON’T WORK
•Gravies, meat and any food with a lot of oil added to it can be hard to measure with a cup since fat coats the food and can be hard to estimate.
•Your best bet here is to control the amount of fat you are adding to the food during prep.
•Pasta comes in different shapes and sizes. Grains absorb varying amounts of water when you cook it. This can make it challenging to come up with a calorie estimate for some foods.
• Serve yourself 1/2 a cup of rice, 1 cup of dal and two cups of cooked veggies. Get a sense of how your served plate looks.
• Repeating this habit over days and weeks can give you a reasonable capacity to estimate how much food is on your plate.
• Repeat the habit a few times annually to keep the skill and sense of proportion intact. It’s very easy to drift away from this habit.