calories in nigerian food

Calories in Nigerian food

Interestingly, I found this beautiful post on calories in Nigerian food by Carid Health Limited, Lagos. It was so insightful I couldn’t help but share. I promise to discuss Calorie in the next post but you totally have to check this out.

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet:
Normal cholesterol intake per day is 300mg – if you have high cholesterol or high LDL – cholesterol intake per day is to be 200mg or less. How much is a serving? A serving is about the palm size of your hand. Shocking but true.

Basic Nigerian Dishes
The basic Egusi Soup enriched with few chunks of stockfish and two pieces of meat contains a total of roughly 700 calories per serving!!! Imagine eating it with about 3 wraps of pounded yam which is about 600 calories…
The largest food group it contains is Fat. Egusi is very high in fat content. It has about 60% fat. And imagine the more calories for those who love adding lots of palm oil to our egusi soup. It also has about 11 percent carbohydrates. Proteins make up 30 percent while other elements make up the rest. Cholesterol – 306mg.

Okra Soup
okra2Okra soup with about one or two pieces of fish and a minimal amount of palm oil would be very good. Okra soup alone contains about 105 calories only per serving. So imagine how many calories you are saving by eating Okra Soup on its own. Here is a summary of what it contains:
Okra has about 2.8g of Fibre per serving, 3g of Fat, 4g of Carbohydrates and 11g of Protein. So for those trying to lose weight, why not try okra soup ALONE any time you are tempted to eat your Pounded Yam or Eba.

Ewedu Soup
eweduEwedu is one of the good soups for weight loss. If you are looking for a low calorie meal, you can count on Ewedu, especially considering the fact that her brother Gbegiri is also low in calories. A serving of Ewedu alone without meat contains only 97 calories!

Let’s break down each of the food groups:
Fat content of 4g out of which 10% is cholesterol. The Carbohydrate content is 300mg (0.3g) and Protein is 18g. When thinking about a low-carb meal, Ewedu comes first to mind. Ewedu leaves are also called Jew’s mallow and have been used for many medicinal purposes.

The calories in snail aren’t always too accurate, because different snails come in different sizes. This, however, is an estimate of the average snail which weighs about 100 grams. 1 snail contains 90 calories. Of this, 1g is fat, 16g is protein and Carbs comes to 2g. So while it is a healthy food; relatively low in Carbs and Fat, remember it;s high in calories. Try to limit your consumption to 1 or 2 with your meals so as not to have too many calories.

Moi Moi 
These are the calories in moi moi using the following ingredients:

  • White beans 1/2 cup (peak evaporated milk cup): 189 calories
  • 1/5 teaspoon of curry powder: 1 calorie
  • 1 tbsp salt: 0 calories
  • 1/2 tbsp groundnut oil: 60 calories
  • 1/4 slice onion: 16 calories
  • 1 oz Crayfish
  • x1 Maggi Cube: 5 calories

I don’t know what else you guys add to your Moi Moi, but using the ingredients above, the calorie content of a serving would be: 256 calories. Remember it all depends on what you add to it and how you mix it, how much water you add etc.

Fried Plantain
1 Slice of Fried plantain contains 68 calories

Wheat Flour
1 cup of wheat flour contains 455 calories and the nutritional values are as follows. Carbohydrates 96g, Protein 12.9g and Fat 1.2g.

Boiled or Roast Corn 
A large corn cob between 7 to 9 inches in length contains 123 calories of which 80 percent is Carbohydrate. In a medium sized cob of corn, between 6 and 7 inches in length, you can expect about 88 calories and 80 percent Carbs. In a small corn cob, about 5.5 to 6 inches in length, there are about 63 calories.

Eko, Pap, Akamu or Ogi 
Eko/Pap/Akamu/Ogi is a meal made from corn. Eko is the solid form of pap, and is usually eaten with vegetable or stew as desired. For Eko, the calorie content depends on the way it is made and its consistency so it is difficult to quantify, but we can come up with an estimate based on the values of Pap. Since everyone prepares their Pap to different consistencies, we can appropriate the calorie content of the raw pap (the thick one that you store in the fridge and take from when you want to cook). 1 tablespoon of raw Akamu/Ogi/Pap contains 91 calories of which 99.7% is purely Carbohydrate.

Irish Potato

  • 128 calories in one small to medium size potato
  • 161 calories in one average medium size potato
  • 278 calories in one medium to large size potato

Calories in Beans
In Nigeria, Beans is one of our favourite meals. It is loved by weight loss experts because of its high protein content. This is the calorie content of Naija beans made with the following ingredients:

  • 1/5 teaspoon of curry powder: 1 calorie
  • 1 tbsp Salt: 0 calories
  • 1 tbsp Palm Oil: 120 calories
  • 1/4 of an Onion: 16 calories
  • 1oz Crayfish
  • 1 cup White Beans: 378 calories
  • x1 Maggi Cubes: 5 calories

This come to a total of 520 calories, and if you cook it without oil, you can cut out a further 120 calories.

Ugwu Leaf
Ugwu leaf is a good ingredient for cooking when trying to lose weight. A cup of chopped Ugwu contains only 14 calories of which more than 50% is Protein. Furthermore vegetables are good for weight loss and they help keep you feeling full.

A lot of us like Samosas; but they are loaded with far more calories than you would imagine possible for their size. The average sized vegetable samosa contains 80 calories! And if you think about how easy it is to keep reaching for them, it is clear that Samosas are not your friend for weight loss.

Tuwo (White Cornmeal)
One cup of white cornmeal (tuwo) is roughly 450 calories

Akara is one of our best-loved Naija foods. It is made from beans, tomatoes, pepper, onions and any other flavourful ingredients you might want to add. Should you omit Akara from your diet when losing weight? You decide. Each ball of Akara contains approximately 71 calories, but that is if you add just the basic ingredients mentioned above. The more you add, the more calorific it gets.

Of the 71 calories, Fat makes up just 5 calories. However this might vary as the amount of cholesterol contained depends on the kind of oil you used to fry it. If you use cholesterol free oil, then you have no cholesterol in it.

Pounded Yam (Iyan)
Iyan (Pounded Yam) is one of our highest calorie high carbohydrate foods. Imagine you are dividing the amount of pounded yam eaten into cups (milk tins), then one cup of pounded yam is about 400 calories. I doubt if anyone eats that small a serving, so if for instance you eat 2 milk tin-sized balls of pounded yam, you are already at 800 calories. By the time you tot up the value of your soup, you are looking at a very high calorie meal indeed.

Instant Noodles are a nationally popular food. They contains a lot of calories. One pack of a typical noodle-pack contains 342 calories. For many adults, you can double this figure as they consume two packs. Of these 342 calories in each pack, 48 percent is Carbohydrates. Therefore Noodles are a high Carb, high calorie meal. If you are aiming for weight loss, I would advise you to please stay away from Noodles.

Banga Soup
I am not an expert Banga soup maker, but these are the basic ingredients of Banga soup and their corresponding calorie contents:
Estimated oils from the palm kernel fruit: 360 calories
1/3 Maggi Chicken cube: 3 calories
1/4 of an Onion: 16 calories
1/10 of a Red Bell Pepper: 10 calories
1/4 Stockfish (cod): 45calories
1tsp of cray fish: 6 calories
This comes to a total of 440 calories. Remember that by the time you add your meat and your Iyan, you have added more calories.

Jollof Rice
Remember that the actual calories of your meal depend on what you add. These are the calories in Nigerian Jollof Rice using the following basic ingredients:
1 cup of raw white rice: 693 calories
1 tbsp Groundnut oil: 120 calories
1 Raw Tomato: 35 calories
1/4 of an Onion: 16 calories
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/3 of a Maggi Chicken cube: 3 calories
1/5 tsp of curry powder: 1 calorie
1/5 tsp of Thyme: 0.04 calories
The calorie total comes to 868 calories.

Calories in Eba/Garri
To calculate how many calories there are in your Eba or your raw Garri that you drink, here is the calorie content of a cup of Raw Garri. Garri has 360 calories of which 99% is Carbohydrate.

These is the calorie content of your basic Nigerian Stew using the following ingredients:
2 tbsp Groundnut Oil: 239 calories
x1 Raw Tomato: 35 calories
1/3 Maggi Chicken Cube: 3 calories
1/4 of an Onion: 16 calories
This makes a total of 293 calories. Whatever you add determines the final calorie content of the stew, but these are just the basic ingredients to give you an idea of how many calories there are in Stew.


Isn’t it as insightful as I promised? Thank very much CardiB.