How Many Calories Do You Really Need in a Day?

Have you ever wondered how calorie intake is actually calculated? We run through the basics here, as well as sharing some helpful advice on building good habits at meal times.

What is a calorie?

The precise scientific term kilocalorie (or kcal) is technically defined as the amount of energy needed to increase the temperature of one litre of water by 1°C, at sea level. This is the familiar figure displayed on the nutritional information of packaged foods, and is used to calculate energy intake. While one kilocalorie is actually equal to 1,000 calories in scientific terms, the word ‘calorie’ is more usually used to refer to kilocalories when we talk about nutrition. To avoid confusion, this article will use the term ‘calories’ throughout when referring to kcals.

So how many calories do we actually need?

The honest answer to this question — although admittedly not the most satisfying — is that it depends on the person. Not everyone has the same energy requirements, as these will vary depending on an individual’s age, gender, weight, height, activity level and health status (Osilla, Safadi & Sharma, 2021). Caloric needs are calculated based on your total energy expenditure (TEE) which refers to the amount of calories/energy burned on a given day. TEE is made up of a combination of resting energy expenditure, activity energy expenditure and the thermic effect of food. The majority of calories burned in a day are from your resting energy expenditure (REE) and used in homeostasis, or the maintenance of essential bodily functions such as breathing, blood circulation, thermoregulation, moving components in and out of cells and other physiological processes.

Activity energy expenditure (AEE) refers to how much activity you do in a day and at what intensity level, e.g. whether you’re going to the gym or walking every day, or living a more sedentary lifestyle. The final component in making up our energy expenditure refers to the thermic effect of food (TEF). This is the energy your body uses to digest and absorb the food you have consumed (Hall et al., 2012). Some foods require more energy to digest than others, and we’ll touch on this later in the article.

Taking all of this information into consideration, government guidelines in Ireland suggest that the average woman requires approximately 1,800-2,000 kcals a day depending on activity level, with more sedentary people fitting into the lower end of this bracket and more active individuals at the higher end. The same concept applies to men, but the suggested range for them lies between 2,000 and 2,500 kcals a day (FSAI, 2011). It is important to understand that these figures are not set in stone, but are merely averages to use as general guidelines. Someone like an intercounty athlete may require far more calories than what is recommended above, while an individual who does not exercise, has a very sedentary job or has some form of a disability may require less.

There are many energy equations available to calculate a more individual caloric requirement, such as Mifflin St. Joer (1990), which has been shown to be a reliable predictive equation (Frankenfield, Roth-Yousey & Compher, 2005). Equations like this take into account body weight, height, age and gender to calculate your RMR. Additional activity energy requirements can then be added on via physical activity levels (PAL); this can be easily accessed in the Nutritics app. If you are unsure of your current activity status, it always helps to keep an activity journal for a week and record your normal routine.

Where do these calories come from? The bulk of these calories come from the three main macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. One gram of carbohydrate or protein contains four kcals, while one gram of fat has nine. Once you know how many of these macronutrients are in any given food, you can calculate how many calories — or how much energy — that food contains. For example, a 40g chocolate bar has 215 kcals. These are made up of: 22.9g of carbohydrates (22.9 x 4 = 91.6 kcals) 2.9g of protein (2.9 x 4 = 11.6 kcals) 12.4g of fat (12.4 x 9 = 111.6 kcals) Total calories (91.6 + 11.6 + 111.6 = 214.8 kcals), which rounds to 215 kcals.

Knowing which macronutrients make up your food can potentially lead to better food choices.

Why do I need to know how many calories I need? Knowing how many calories you need in a day allows you to maintain a healthy weight and to support bodily functions, balancing the number of calories you consume through food and drink with those burned through physical activity. Think of a carefully-balanced see-saw: if the see-saw leans one way, you lose weight, and if it tips the other, you gain weight. Your maintenance levels are also useful when choosing to lose or gain weight; eating 300-500 kcal above or below your maintenance level is recommended to achieve the desired weight goal (Raynor & Champagne, 2016 & Iraki et al., 2019).

5 tips for building good habits at meal times

1. Know your food choices. Being aware of what is in food is very important in controlling your calorie intake. Foods containing high amounts of fat can lead to a high calorie count — something as small as one teaspoon of peanut butter has 85 kcals — so it may be wise to portion them out tactically or opt for low-fat dairy products and leaner meats. You should also be mindful of portion sizes when it comes to sauces, as they may contain fat and sugar. When consumed in liquid form, it’s easy for calories to go unnoticed. Drinking still/sparkling water instead of sugary fizzy drinks or other calorie-dense beverages will save a lot of extra calories at meal time. It’s also important to remember that alcohol contains calories too; in fact, every gram of alcohol contains 7 kcals, more than either carbohydrates or proteins, so be aware of how much you drink with your meal.

Nutritics’ recipe function has a built in traffic light system to provide detailed information of the nutritional profile of a dish. Click the light bulb icon beside a nutrient to see suggestions provided for ways to reduce the amount of this nutrient in your recipe, e.g. as seen with fat in the image below.

2. Know your labels. Being able to read labels can also help you make smart food choices, based on their calorie content and nutritional profiles. A useful way of monitoring this is the ‘traffic light’ colour coding system.

  • Green means this food is a healthy choice, likely to be low in fat, salt and sugar. If you buy a food that has all or mostly green on the label, you know straight away that it’s a healthier choice.
  • Amber indicates neither high nor low levels, so you can eat foods with all or mostly ambers on the label most of the time.
  • Red on the label means the food is high in fat, salt and/or sugars. These are the foods that should be cut down on and monitored.

The labels on packaged foods can also provide you with helpful information around ingredients, macronutrient breakdown and fibre content, and can even suggest a suitable serving size per person to avoid consuming too many calories.

3. Consider your cooking methods. Choose to grill, steam and boil foods instead of frying them — oil contains a lot of fat and hence a lot of calories. If cooking with oil, try not to add more than one teaspoon per serving and use nonstick cookware. Not only does this eliminate the need for lots of oil, but it’s easier to clean, too.

4. Focus on satiety. Include more whole grains at meal time to regulate appetite. The fibre content in these complex carbohydrates means they take longer to be digested and will keep you full for longer (Barber et al., 2020). This can also be said for protein, the most satiating macronutrient — meaning it takes the most amount of energy to metabolise fully, and helps you feel satisfied for longer after eating (Leidy et al., 2015).

5. Know how to build a calorie-friendly meal. When building a calorie-friendly meal, National Healthy Eating Guidelines are designed to help you. Not only do they help guide your portion sizes, but it also acts as a checklist, reminding you to include those all-important vegetables and whole grains. Different countries provide different guidelines and visual representations, e.g. Ireland uses the Food Pyramid and the UK uses the EatWell Guide.


  • Osilla, E. V., Safadi, A. O., & Sharma, S. (2021). Calories. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.
  • Raynor, H. A., & Champagne, C. M. (2016). Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Interventions for the Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 116(1), 129–147.
  • Iraki, J., Fitschen, P., Espinar, S., & Helms, E. (2019). Nutrition Recommendations for Bodybuilders in the Off-Season: A Narrative Review. Sports (Basel, Switzerland), 7(7), 154.
  • Hall, K. D., Heymsfield, S. B., Kemnitz, J. W., Klein, S., Schoeller, D. A., & Speakman, J. R. (2012). Energy balance and its components: implications for body weight regulation. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 95(4), 989–994.
  • Frankenfield, D., Roth-Yousey, L., & Compher, C. (2005). Comparison of predictive equations for resting metabolic rate in healthy nonobese and obese adults: a systematic review. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 105(5), 775–789.
  • Food Safety Authority of Ireland. (2011). Scientific recommendations for healthy eating guidelines in Ireland. Food Safety Authority of Ireland
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture & U.S. Department of Health and Human Services . (2020). Dietary guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025 (9th ed.).
  • Leidy, H. J., Clifton, P. M., Astrup, A., Wycherley, T. P., Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S., Luscombe-Marsh, N. D., Woods, S. C., & Mattes, R. D. (2015). The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 101(6), 1320S–1329S.
  • Barber, T. M., Kabisch, S., Pfeiffer, A., & Weickert, M. O. (2020). The Health Benefits of Dietary Fibre. Nutrients, 12(10), 3209.

A Hash Brown typically contains around 80-115 kcal per serving. The amount of calories can vary greatly depending on the size of the Hash Brown and how it is prepared. For example, a large Hash Brown prepared with butter, oil, or margarine can have up to 160 kcal.

Deep-fried Hash Browns can also have higher amounts of calories due to the added oil and fat used in the cooking process.

How much does 1 Hash Brown weigh?

A portion of one Hash Brown is typically served as a single patty and generally weighs about 59 grams. On average, each Hash Brown patty provides 110 calories, 5 grams of fat (including 1. 5 grams of saturated fat), 15 milligrams of sodium, 16 carbohydrates, 5 grams of sugars and 2 grams of protein.

A typical Hash Brown patty also contains 9 grams of dietary fiber.

Are hashbrowns good for weight loss?

Hashbrowns can be a good part of a healthy and balanced diet that is conducive to weight loss. Hashbrowns contain carbohydrates and some fat that can help provide fuel and energy to your body so you can stay active throughout the day.

While they may not be the healthiest food in terms of their fat content, they are low in calories and contain fiber, which can help keep you feeling full longer. You can also make healthy swaps such as opting for sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes or baking your hashbrowns rather than frying them.

Ultimately, when it comes to weight loss, it is important to maintain a balanced diet full of nutritious foods and stay active. Eating hashbrowns in moderation, while still including other nutritious foods, can be part of a successful weight-loss plan.

Are hash browns healthier than pancakes?

The short answer is that it depends. If you’re looking to maintain a balanced, healthy diet, you need to keep an eye on the ingredients you use to make each dish, as well as the cooking method. Generally speaking, pancakes can be a healthier option if they are made with whole wheat flour, while hash browns can also be made healthier if you use healthier cooking methods such as baking or air frying.

If you make them with the same ingredients, both hash browns and pancakes can provide a balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, although the portion size does make a difference. Hash browns tend to contain more calories and carbohydrates than pancakes, although overall nutrient content may vary depending on the ingredients you use.

When it comes to healthier cooking methods, hash browns can be made healthier by baking or air frying rather than deep-frying as this reduces their fat content. Pancakes, on the other hand, can be a healthier option if they are made with whole wheat flour rather than white flour as this will increase their fiber and nutrient content.

Overall, both of these dishes can be part of a healthy diet but it is important to choose the right ingredients and cooking methods. Additionally, portion sizes should be taken into consideration in order to maintain a balanced and healthy diet.

Which is healthier rice or hash browns?

When comparing rice and hash browns, it is important to take into account the overall nutritional value, calorie count, and potential health benefits.

Calorie-wise, a cooked cup of white rice contains 242 calories, while a cooked cup of hash browns contains a slightly higher amount of 360 calories. Therefore, depending on the individual’s caloric intake needs, white rice is the better choice for someone looking to maintain a lower calorie diet.

Nutrition-wise, white rice provides a decent source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, iron and a variety of vitamins and minerals, while hash browns provide a comparatively low-nutrient meal, with fewer vitamins and minerals.

White rice is also a gluten-free, whole grain option, which can help regulate digestion and reduce inflammation. On the other hand, hash browns are deep-fried in oil, which can contribute to inflammation if consumed in excess.

Therefore, taking into account their nutritional values and calorie count, white rice is generally a healthier choice over hash browns.

Are potatoes OK for fat loss?

Potatoes can be included as part of a healthy diet for fat loss, as long as they are eaten in moderation. Potatoes are a good source of complex carbohydrates and contain a surprising amount of dietary fibre, vitamin C and potassium, making them a nutrient-dense food choice.

Because potatoes are considered a starchy vegetable, they should be consumed in moderation as part of a reduced-calorie diet. Eating a moderate portion of potatoes (2–3 servings per week) should not hinder your efforts to lose fat, as long as you are mindful of your overall caloric intake.

While potatoes are a nutrient-rich option, they should be eaten with caution because they can quickly become a calorie-dense food choice when cooked and served with toppings such as butter or sour cream.

If you are aiming to lose fat, it is important to pair your potatoes with lean proteins, low-fat side dishes, and healthy fats such as olive oil or avocado.

What are the benefits of eating hash browns?

Eating hash browns is a great way to enjoy a savory and nutritious meal. Hash browns are typically made by combining potatoes, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and other seasonings. This versatile dish can be served as a side to a main course, as part of a traditional breakfast, or as a snack at any time of day.

Hash browns are a great source of carbohydrates, making them an excellent fuel for the body. Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy, providing the fuel that keeps us energized throughout the day.

Hash browns also contain a good amount of dietary fiber, which helps with digestion and keeping you feel fuller longer. Fiber can also help to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes.

In addition to being a delicious and versatile dish, hash browns are also rich in essential nutrients. Hash browns are a good source of potassium and vitamin C, both of which are important for maintaining overall good health.

Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and helps protect against heart disease and stroke. Vitamin C helps to boost the immune system by protecting against infection, and helps to strengthen blood vessels.

Overall, hash browns are a great way to enjoy the flavors of potatoes and other seasonings in a nutritious and energizing meal. They are an excellent source of essential nutrients and provide a great boost of energy for any meal.

What is the healthiest type of fries?

The healthiest type of fries would be baked or air fried fries. Baked fries are made by baking potato wedges in the oven while air-fried fries are made in an electric air-fryer. Both methods require much less oil than deep-frying and are much healthier options.

Baked or air-fried fries contain more vitamins, minerals, and fiber as they are not cooked in oil. Additionally, baking or air-frying fries will reduce fat, cholesterol, and sodium intake.

The best type of potato to use for baked or air-fried fries is the russet potato. It has a higher starch content, meaning it will crisp up quicker and cook faster. The most important thing for making crispy chips is to cut the potato into evenly sized and shaped slices.

Cooking the potatoes at a high heat is key for achieving crispier chips with a golden brown finish. For optimal health benefits and flavor, season the chips with olive oil or coconut oil, coarse salt, herbs, and spices before baking them.

Is a Mcdonalds Hashbrown healthy?

Generally speaking, McDonalds Hashbrowns are not considered to be a very healthy food choice. Hashbrowns are made from white potatoes, which are high in carbs and starch and low in fiber. Potatoes are also high in fat and sodium, which can contribute to high blood pressure.

The amount of oil and butter used to prepare the Hashbrowns also makes them high in unhealthy saturated fat. In addition, McDonalds Hashbrowns also contain a range of other ingredients, including wheat and potato starches, maltodextrin, dextrose and natural flavors.

These additional ingredients can add to the unhealthy nature of the Hashbrowns. In conclusion, while Hashbrowns are an occasional treat, they should not be consumed regularly as part of a healthy diet.

What can I eat with potatoes to lose weight?

Eating potatoes can be an effective way to lose weight, but you have to be conscious of the type and amount of food you are eating in order to achieve this goal. While potatoes are a great source of fiber, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals, they can also be a calorie dense food.

To make sure you’re getting the most nutrition out of your potatoes and steadily losing weight, pair them with lean proteins like fish, shrimp, or chicken breast. Adding in some high-fiber vegetables, like kale, spinach, or broccoli, can also help fill you up faster while providing essential vitamins and minerals.

If you’re looking to add in a healthy dose of healthy fats, try topping the potatoes off with some olive oil, avocado slices, or chia seeds. Finally, if you’re looking to give the potatoes a bit of sweetness ,try adding in some fresh berries or a drizzle of pure honey.

Keeping your meals balanced with equal parts of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats will help you reach your healthy lifestyle goals without feeling deprived.

Do hashbrowns count as a vegetable serving?

No, hashbrowns do not typically count as a vegetable serving. Hashbrowns are typically potatoes that are shredded, shaped into patties, and fried in oil. While potatoes do contain nutrients that are part of vegetables, the frying methods used to make hashbrowns can add unhealthy fats and calories, making them an unhealthy choice for a vegetable serving.

Vegetable servings should generally be composed of foods that are lightly cooked, steamed, raw, or boiled. Eating a balanced diet with a variety of healthy foods is important for nutrition, so while hashbrowns are not a poor choice, they should be consumed in moderation.

Additionally, look for lower fat preparations of hashbrowns, such as baking them instead of frying them.

Are frozen hash browns just shredded potatoes?

Yes, frozen hash browns are just shredded potatoes. Most often, frozen hash browns are potatoes that have been shredded, pressed into larger chunks, and then frozen into a solid form. Hash browns typically contain potatoes that have been shredded, coated in oil and seasonings, and then fried until golden.

The shredded potatoes are typically frozen for convenience, meaning that they have already been prepared and can easily be cooked.

How do you make frozen hash browns not soggy?

To make frozen hash browns not soggy, it is important to make sure that you cook them correctly. First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the frozen hash browns in a single layer on a lightly oiled baking tray.

Bake for 20 minutes, flipping the hash browns halfway through to ensure even cooking. Once golden brown and crispy, remove the hash browns from the oven and serve. Additionally, you can also cook frozen hash browns in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of oil.

Make sure to significantly reduce the cooking time, stirring frequently to ensure they don’t get soggy. If you find the hash browns are starting to stick or are cooking too quickly, reduce the heat and add in a bit more oil.

Once golden brown and crispy, remove the hash browns from the skillet and serve.

tsp. (4.6 g)
tbsp. (10.0 g)
oz. (28.3 g)

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Yes, you heard correctly – low calorie desserts under 100 calories!

We have taken on the challenge of finding low calorie dessert recipes that don’t derail your weight loss goals if that is what you’re working on.

If weight loss isn’t your thing, then easy healthy dessert recipes still make for a yummy little sweet treat to round off a big meal!

Low calorie puddings can take many forms. Of course, keeping desserts under 100 calories limits your options to an extent – but not as much as you might think!

For example, sorbets present endless possibilities for healthy desserts for weight loss. Sweet, fresh and cooling, a light sorbet is the perfect low fat dessert for a summer day!

You can use choose your favorite fruit to make sorbet; from pineapple, to peach to watermelon. Delicious!

If you’re after something richer, silken tofu makes for an indulgent, yet blissfully light chocolate pudding.

Have your cake and eat it, with low calorie desserts under 100 calories!

This list includes low calorie baked desserts, cookies, no bake sweets and frozen desserts. Enjoy trying out these delicious recipes.

Low calorie baked desserts and cookie recipes

Bonus: healthy and weight loss friendly

With only two ingredients in just 25 minutes, you could be staring at a fresh batch of mouthwatering healthy vegan banana oatmeal cookies (one of our all time favorite healthy banana recipes)!

Bonus: a real healthy treat to re-energize you

Fast and Fluffy Cream Cheese Cookies. Great tasting, healthy and perfect to take wherever you go. 7 minutes prep time only. They’re just really good.

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Protein: 2gCalories: 87kcalReady in: 25 minutesRecipe by: iFoodRealBonus: easy to make and versatile

Healthy Pumpkin Cookies are soft and chewy with crisp exterior! Wholesome ingredients, naturally sweetened, and packed with fall flavor.

Protein: 3gCalories: 100kcalReady in: 3 hours (15 min prep)Recipe by: VeryVeganishBonus: creamy, firm and not overly sweet

Looking for a vegan crustless mini pumpkin pie recipe (the perfect one to add to you plant-based thanksgiving menu). Or, have some leftover pumpkin pie filling that you need to use? Make 6 ramekins with the full recipe or just a single serving, if you only have a little bit of filling leftover.

Protein: 2gCalories: 87kcalReady in: 5 minutesRecipe by: JarOfLemonsBonus: can be easily made dairy-free and vegan

These yummy cookies are made with almond flour, only have 7 ingredients, and are topped with a delicious dark chocolate drizzle!

Protein: 4gCalories: 85kcalReady in: 16 minutesRecipe by: MyPlantifulCookingBonus: freezer and meal prep friendly, easily portable, simple ingredients

Soft and chewy, these healthy PB2 peanut butter cookies are lower in fat and calories than the traditional ones (if you like these, some filling low calorie oatmeal biscuits might also be up your alley)! These delicious, rich cookies also happens to be vegan, dairy-free and high protein. Ready in 20 minutes and only 5 ingredients needed.

Protein: 1gCalories: 100kcalReady in: 22 minutesRecipe by: PrimaveraKitchenBonus: a great last minute dessert

These Paleo, gluten and dairy-free Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies are so delicious and soft. The perfect little treats for anyone with dietary restrictions or are looking for a healthier chocolate chip cookie!

Protein: 1.2gCalories: 95kcalReady in: 30 minutesRecipe by: VegBuffetBonus: super indulging, crispy and crunchy

Sweet Potato (locally called Shakarkandi) Pie are amazing desserts made using wheat flour to make the tart shells and the boiled sweet potato for the pie filling.

Protein: 1gCalories: 13kcalReady in: 1 hour 5 minutes (20 min prep)Recipe by: BeyondTheChickenCoopBonus: light and delicious

A very light and elegant meringue cookie that melts in your mouth and will satisfy your sweet tooth. These chocolate meringue cookies are gluten free and have less than 15 calories per cookie!

Protein: 1gCalories: 70kcalReady in: 20 minutesRecipe by: KidgredientsBonus: no added refined sugar

Apple and Raspberry Puff Pastry Pies are perfect for when you need a quick and easy, yet super delicious dessert. Because they are made using puff pastry you can cook them in the airfryer in only 10 minutes or in the oven in 20!

Low calorie no bake desserts

Protein: 2gCalories: 44kcalReady in: 10 minutesRecipe by: MyPlantifulCookingBonus: you can easily swap out any ingredients

This vegan dark chocolate dessert hummus is super creamy, fudgy and sweet, making it the perfect healthy high protein dip to have on hand!

Protein: 3gCalories: 90kcalReady in: 10 minutesRecipe by: DebraKleinBonus: creamy texture, gluten-free, egg-free and dairy-free

5-ingredients and 5 minutes is all you need to make creamy vegan chocolate pudding. Rich and chocolaty, dairy-free and delicious.

Protein: 3gCalories: 98kcalReady in: 35 minutesRecipe by: iFoodRealBonus: a handful of inexpensive ingredients needed

Carrot Cake Truffles combine carrots, raisins, and warm spices into healthy energy balls. Portable springtime snack energy for hours!

Protein: 2gCalories: 76kcalReady in: 5 minutesRecipe by: IHeartUmamiBonus: fresh fruit goodness, you can swap melons for pineapple, mango, or fresh berries

Juicy Watermelon Fruit Salad w/ cantaloupe & honeydew over a bed of crushed mint-lime ice! A winning combination for the best summer watermelon mint salad!

Protein: 2gCalories: 82kcalReady in: 40 minutesRecipe by: CleanPlateMamaBonus: stay well in the fridge and are great for freezing

These chocolate covered peanut butter balls are made from real, wholesome ingredients. Made with only 6 ingredients, they are an easy and healthy no-bake dessert that everyone will love!

Protein: 2gCalories: 82kcalReady in: 10 minutesRecipe by: SomebodyFeedSebBonus: perfect for using up leftover egg whites

Low calorie, low fat and low in refined sugar, this Blueberry mousse is as simple as it gets. Made with frozen blueberries, this mousse is cold and refreshing on a hot summer day, when you’ve run out of ice cream in your freezer!

Protein: 4gCalories: 80kcalReady in: 10 minutesRecipe by: MyPlantifulCookingBonus: chewy, decadent, and perfectly sweetened with a boost of energy

These matcha balls are the perfect snack to have around! They are chewy and sweet yet super easy to throw together. All you need are 7 ingredients and 10 minutes to make this recipe!

Protein: 0.5gCalories: 72kcalReady in: 20 minutesRecipe by: CinnamonAndKaleBonus: quick and easy to make

There’s something very comforting about stewed pears. Naturally sweet (even with no sugar in the recipe), soft and delicious, they are perfect for a healthy pear dessert or breakfast. They are also incredibly easy to make.

Calories: 100kcalReady in: 2 minutesRecipe by: BrooklynFarmGirlBonus: a super easy dessert in 2 minutes

100 CALORIE brownie is a healthy single serving brownie recipe! This easy recipe makes a fudgy chocolate brownie for one in the microwave in 1 minute! These low calorie brownies are perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth!

Protein: 1.8gCalories: 85kcalReady in: 15 minutesRecipe by: WhollyTastefulBonus: no refined sugar or bad-for-you ingredients

Chocolate Bliss Balls are a healthy sweet snack that will satisfy your chocolate craving (if you like these, be sure to check out our veggie protein balls too). Made with dates, cashew nuts and cocoa powder, they are soft, rich, chocolatey and nutritious.

Protein: 1gCalories: 52kcalReady in: 10 minutesRecipe by: ASweetAlternativeBonus: can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days

This pumpkin spice hummus is a delicious dessert dip that tastes like pumpkin pie. It would make a great Thanksgiving dessert served with apple slices or cookies for dipping. This pumpkin hummus is vegan, gluten free, and refined sugar free.

Protein: 3.5gCalories: 81kcalReady in: 5 minutesRecipe by: SummerYuleBonus: perfect as a healthy breakfast or snack

This low-calorie peach pineapple smoothie is whipped up to be SO CREAMY that you’ll want to eat it with a spoon! Only 81 calories and no added sugar!

Low calorie frozen desserts

Bonus: tangy, refreshing, light

Pineapple Sorbet with Mint. A refreshing summer sorbet full of fruity goodness, made from just 2 ingredients and ready in 5 minutes. Stacked with vitamins A, C, B6 and no cholesterol! Try it now, it’s super simple 😉

  • Drain the tin or chop up the real pineapple and put in bowl in freezer (it should take around 2 hours to freeze). Save a few chunks or a ring for garnish.
  • When it’s frozen use a hand blender or food processor to blend, along with mint (also keep a few mint leaves aside).
  • If you’re using fresh pineapple then I suggest blending first and freezing after, it seems to work better.
  • When nicely mixed, place in bowls and garnish each with the remaining chunks and leaves.
  • Serve immediately or put back in freezer until needed.

Please note: You need to throw the chopped pineapple in the freezer for about 2 hours before you can make your sorbet!

IF YOU LIKED THIS RECIPE: Then you also need to check out these super easy 3 ingredient cinnamon baked pears! Also, if you’re into scrumptious vegan ice cream creations, have a look into this Raw Vegan Banana Ice Cream eBook by my blogging friend Natalie!

32 Easy Low Calorie Desserts under 100 Calories (2023)

Amount per Serving

% Daily Value*

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Protein: 6gCalories: 97kcalReady in: 2 hours (5 min prep)Recipe by: HealthfulBlondieBonus: refreshing frozen treat, packed with protein

These no-bake frozen yogurt berry granola bars are the perfect healthy summer treat. They’re gluten free, refined sugar free, and made in your freezer. Each square has 6 grams of protein!

Calories: 38kcalReady in: 4 hours 10 minutes (10 min prep)Recipe by: SimplyLowCalBonus: a great treat for adults and kids

Fresh strawberry popsicles are the perfect way to use up your fresh summer berries. Made with only 3 ingredients and no added sugar.

Protein: 1gCalories: 21kcalReady in: 2 hours 40 (2 hours freezing time)Recipe by: Binky’sCulinaryCarnivalBonus: healthier and creamy without the added fat and calories

If you’ve got a ton of peaches, make this easy Peach Sorbet! It is super easy, vegan and the perfect no-guilt end of summer treat! You can make peach sorbet with or without an ice cream maker! No cutting up peaches either!

Protein: 4gCalories: 49kcalReady in: 10 minutes prep + overnight freezingRecipe by: FoodMeanderingsBonus: creamy, refreshing, easy

This healthy and Weight Watchers friendly Raspberry Bliss Frozen Yogurt Bark is made with 0 % Greek yogurt, frozen raspberries and pantry items like mini chocolate chips, toffee bits, unsweetened coconut and low sugar raspberry jam so it’s quick and easy to make!

Calories: 65kcalReady in: 10 minutes + 4 hours freezingRecipe by: BeyondTheChickenCoopBonus: cold, sweet, super easy to make

Protein: 1gCalories: 94kcalReady in: 5 hours 10 minutesRecipe by: ASweetAlternativeBonus: a great way to use up ripe bananas

These banana chocolate popsicles are an easy, refreshing, and delicious summer dessert. They’re vegan, gluten free, paleo diet friendly, and refined sugar free.

Protein: 1gCalories: 93kcalReady in: 1 hour 15 minutes (15 min prep)Recipe by: TheHonourSystemBonus: a hydrating, vitamin C-packed treat

Kiwi Sorbet is light, refreshing, and makes a great summer snack. This recipe is made with only two ingredients – kiwi and lime! This has to be one of the easiest kiwi recipes out there.

Protein: 1gCalories: 61kcalReady in: 5 minutes + overnight freezing timeRecipe by: NoSweatVeganBonus: vegan and dairy-free

Inspired by mango lassi, these lightly sweetened ice pops are made with cubed mango, creamy coconut yogurt, a touch of agave and lime juice, and the optional flavor boosts from turmeric and cardamom.

Protein: 1.1gCalories: 68kcalReady in: 10 minutes + 1 hour freezing timeRecipe by: MelissaTraubBonus: creamy, light, delicious with tropical vibes

Light and delicious dairy-free, no added sugar recipe without needing an ice cream maker! Perfect for a hot summer day.

An oasis in a dessert desert!

There are a million reasons to choose low calorie desserts under 100 calories (and a million reasons to cheese veggie low calorie lunches too!).

Maybe you find yourself craving a kick of sugar after a big meal, but don’t have room in your belly for a big dessert. Now you can get your fix without feeling stuffed to the gunnels!

Naturally, low calorie desserts under 100 calories are going to be beneficial if you are trying to lose weight, as many desserts can be quite calorific (it can also be good to have low calorie snacks to hand!).

In fact, if it was weight loss that brought you here, you should also check out our free 7-day vegetarian weight loss meal plan! We specialise in guiding vegetarians through a healthy process of weight loss.


I’m answering some of your questions here. Hope you find the answers you need!

Can I lose weight and still eat dessert?

Yes! Eating dessert won’t jeopardise your weight loss as long as the sweet treat has healthy ingredients and an appropriate number of calories (the same goes for snacking – try our high protein low calorie snack ideas!).

What is a good amount of calories for dessert?

It’s best to choose healthier desserts that have 100-200 calories and provide nutritional benefits.

How do I avoid sugar when trying to lose weight?

You can control your sugar intake by limiting packaged, processed foods that contain added sugars like soft drinks, fruit juices, cookies, cake, candy, granola bars and cereals.

Focus on whole foods instead. Fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, and seeds can be turned into yummy desserts to satisfy your sugar cravings.

You can also try incorporating cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger, mint and lemon to develop healthy recipes with richer flavors.

Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a plant belonging to the Convolvulaceae family, which includes bindweed and morning glory. It is a root vegetable with massive, starchy, sweet-tasting tuberous roots. While sweet potatoes and yams may look similar, yam is a tuber vegetable identical to a regular potato.

Sweet potatoes are known as superfoods due to their high vitamin content. Also, a single sweet potato delivers 400% of your daily vitamin A needs. In addition, they are rich in vitamin B and vitamin C content. It is also abundant in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and zinc. In addition, soluble fibre, insoluble fibre, and complex carbohydrates are present.

Sweet potatoes also come with vitamin A, which is beneficial to eye health. It lowers the risk of macular degeneration, the most prevalent cause of visual loss. Baked sweet potatoes contain soluble and insoluble fibre, which is beneficial to the intestines. Sweet potatoes are healthy for the immune system and can help prevent cancer and diabetes.

Nutritional Value

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. A single sweet potato provides 400% of your daily vitamin A requirements. B vitamins and vitamin C are abundant in them. In addition, they are high in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and zinc.

As per USDA, around 100 grams of baked sweet potato serving contains:

  • Calories: 90 kcals
  • Carbohydrates: 20.7 g
  • Fat: 0.15 g
  • Protein: 2.01g
  • Fibre: 3.3 g
  • Water: 75.8 g
  • Sugar: 6.48 g
  • Zinc: 0.32 mg

The HealthifyMe Note

According to the USDA, 100 grams of baked sweet potato contains 90 calories and 20.7grams of carbohydrates. However, since it comprises a good amount of carbs, it is not favourable for diabetes. Therefore, even though it has a low-glycemic index, nutritionists advise limiting its consumption. Moreover, sweet potatoes serve 475 mg of potassium per 100 grams. Thus, it must be limited to avoid hyperkalemia.

Health Benefits of Baked Sweet Potatoes

One of the best whole-food sources of beta-carotene is orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. Beta-carotene, a plant pigment that our bodies convert to vitamin A, protects your eyes from dryness and improves your night vision.

Studies show that orange sweet potatoes help prevent and manage vitamin A deficiency. Furthermore, sweet potatoes comprise elevated levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A. These can help reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss.

Boosts Immune System

Studies show that sweet potatoes are beneficial for the immune system. Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells (WBC), vital for keeping your immune system in good shape. Sweet potato can provide 25% of the daily required amount of vitamin C. Medical professionals have related low levels of vitamin A to decreased immunity. However, sweet potatoes have a high amount of vitamin A and can help with it.

Promotes a Healthy Reproductive System

Studies have proved that sweet potatoes boost fertility. Since sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A, it makes them ideal for women of reproductive age as they increase their fertility. Also, research has shown vitamin A to have a crucial role in improving reproductive success in animal models.

Prevents Heart Disease

A medium sweet potato provides 12 per cent of your daily potassium requirement. This mineral helps balance your salt levels, which is vital for heart health. In addition, it lowers blood pressure by causing you to eliminate more salt in your urine. It also relieves blood vessel pressure. Both of these items can also help you reduce your stroke risk.

Prevents Cancer

Sweet potatoes include several antioxidants that may help protect against some malignancies. For example, in vitro studies, anthocyanins, a group of antioxidants in purple sweet potatoes, have been proven to delay the development of cancer cells in the bladder, colon, stomach, and breast. Similarly, a study showed rats fed purple sweet potato diets had decreased incidences of early-stage colon cancer.

The anthocyanins in the potatoes may protect you from cancer. Moreover, Vitro studies also discovered extracts of orange sweet potatoes and sweet potato peels to have anti-cancer potential.

Healthy for Your Digestive System

Sweet potato provides 4g of fibre and both insoluble and soluble fibre. Soluble fibre creates food for the healthy bacteria in your gut, generally known as your gut microbiome. In contrast, insoluble fibre improves bowel regularity, preventing constipation. According to a study, just two weeks of eating a higher fibre diet was enough to notice positive results.

Improves Brain Health

Sweet potatoes include a variety of antioxidants, including carotenoids and anthocyanins. This help reduces age-related reductions in brain function and the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. For instance, carotenoids in orange sweet potatoes decrease cognitive decline. At the same time, anthocyanins found in purple sweet potatoes increase memory, as noted in animal experiments.

Sweet Potato Provides Energy

Sweet potatoes have more energy than non-starchy vegetable alternatives, making them an excellent fuel source for everyday activities and sports performance.

Healthy for Skin and Hair

Collagen is a protein in the skin, hair, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones that keeps them healthy. It requires vitamin C for its synthesis. While the body’s collagen synthesis gradually slows as we age, eating adequate vitamin C is crucial to maintain its generation. Sweet potatoes include vitamin C and A, aiding skin and hair by preventing them from drying out.

Due to the presence of vitamin A and C, sweet potatoes helps in promoting eye health and strengthen the immune system. In addition, it also has anti-cancer properties. Moreover, it is beneficial for healthy skin and hair.

Easy Recipe to Make Baked Sweet Potatoes

Preparation time: 65 minutes


  • Olive oil: 2 tbsp
  • Dried oregano: 2 pinches
  • Salt: 2 pinches
  • Ground black pepper: 2 pinches


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Use just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a glass or non-stick baking dish.
  • Wash and peel the sweet potatoes.
  • Make medium-sized chunks out of them.
  • Turn the sweet potatoes in the baking dish to coat them with olive oil.
  • Sprinkle some salt & pepper to taste (to taste).
  • Bake for 60 minutes or until soft in a 350°F (175°C) oven.

Note: Baked sweet potatoes are healthy and delicious and complement every meal.

Baking sweet potatoes do not deplete their nutritional values and reduce health benefits. In contrast, frying them may decrease their nutritional benefits. Frying might also add more fats to the potatoes and cause harm. So, consuming baked sweet potatoes are a healthy way to reap all their health benefits.

Storage and Food Safety

  • Sweet potatoes don’t spoil for approximately a week or two if stored in a dry environment with plenty of airflows.
  • Raw sweet potatoes should not be refrigerated. Due to the low temperature, they will become firm in the centre and differ in flavour.
  • You should consume baked sweet potatoes immediately after preparation. However, you can store them in ziplock bags for no more than two days.

Storing Sweet potatoes for a longer period of time for instant usage:

Sweet potatoes can still be frozen, you just have to prepare them first.

One way involves dicing them or slicing them into whatever thickness you choose, boiling them until soft but still firm, typically for 10 to 15 minutes, letting them cool, and then freezing them in storage bags with all the air squeezed out. For this, a vacuum sealing system is perfect.

Precautions and Things to Keep in Mind

Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, which might lead to hypervitaminosis A (vitamin A toxicity), a condition wherein excess vitamin A accumulates in the liver. Furthermore, it might cause rashes and headaches.

Potassium Toxicity

Sweet potatoes are high in potassium. Thus, consuming too many of them might cause your potassium levels to spike. It makes you more vulnerable to hyperkalemia (potassium poisoning) and heart attack.


Sweet potatoes have a lot of oxalates. High oxalate levels in the diet can cause kidney and gall bladder stones. As a result, you should consume them in moderation.

Kidney Failure

If you have problems with your liver or kidneys, you should probably avoid them. Consuming them in excess might harm your liver and kidneys.


Sweet potatoes include mannitol, which can cause bloating, diarrhoea, and stomach discomfort. Therefore, it is best to avoid them if you are experiencing stomach pain.

Type 2 Diabetes

Sweet potatoes are abundant in carbohydrates. Also, cooking methods such as baking, roasting, and frying boosts the glycemic index of foods, causing blood sugar to surge. Therefore, if you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes must consult a doctor or nutritionist about safely incorporating this vegetable into your diet.


Solanine in sweet potatoes might cause allergic reactions. However, it is extremely rare. Common symptoms include sneezing, coughing, hives, itchy skin, difficulty breathing, and mouth, lips, or tongue swelling.


Baked sweet potatoes offer several health advantages. They are high in vitamin A, which is beneficial to eye health. Vitamin and mineral content is high. They are high in complex carbs, which help stabilise blood sugar levels and give long-lasting energy. These potatoes contain soluble and insoluble fibre, which are beneficial to the intestines. They are advantageous to the immune system and can help prevent cancer and diabetes. Furthermore, they promote a healthy heart, brain, hair, and skin.

Sweet potatoes contain a lot of oxalates, which can cause calcium-oxalate kidney stones. Sweet potatoes are abundant in beta-carotene, which can induce hypervitaminosis A (vitamin A toxicity) when the liver stores too much vitamin A. Even though it has a low glycemic index, it might cause blood sugar difficulties in people with diabetes. They include mannitol, which can cause bloating, diarrhoea, and stomach pain. Eating too many of them may cause the body’s potassium levels to rise due to their high potassium content. The eventual effect is hyperkalemia and a higher risk of a heart attack. Excessive consumption might affect your liver and kidneys. Hence should be consumed in moderation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A. Yes, sweet potatoes are healthy. They’re rich in vitamin A, enhancing immunity and keeping skin and vision healthy. Also, sweet potatoes are exceptionally high in vitamins C and B6, beneficial to the brain and neurological system. They’re also high in potassium and magnesium, which aid in maintaining heart health by regulating blood pressure.

What are the benefits of eating a baked sweet potato?

A. Baked sweet potatoes have a lot of health benefits. They are rich in vitamin A and are very good for a healthy vision. Baked sweet potatoes have a lot of health benefits reduce the chance of macular degeneration, the most common cause of vision loss. They are rich in vitamins and minerals. Rich in complex carbohydrates is good for maintaining blood sugar levels and providing sustained energy. They contain soluble and insoluble fibre, which is good for the intestines. They help prevent cancer and are suitable for the immune system.

Are sweet potatoes good for weight loss?

A. Although sweet potatoes are starchy, they are good for weight loss. Sweet potatoes are pretty nourishing due to their complex carbs and fibre, providing long-lasting energy and contentment. They’re also nutrient-dense, which means they have a solid nutrient-to-calorie ratio. In other words, it implies many nutrients for a small number of calories. Purple sweet potatoes help you lose weight by reducing inflammation in your body and preventing fat cells from developing. However, portion control should be kept in mind. Excessive intake can cause weight gain.

Are baked sweet potatoes healthier than regular potatoes?

A. ​​While both varieties of potatoes are nutritious, sweet potatoes are richer in nutrients such as vitamin A, which may provide additional health advantages. However, baking tends to destroy the nutrients due to the high temperature.

What are the disadvantages of sweet potatoes?

A. Despite having a low glycemic index, it has the potential to induce blood sugar problems in people with diabetes. They include mannitol, which can cause bloating, diarrhoea, and stomach discomfort. Because they are high in potassium, eating too many of them might cause the body’s potassium levels to increase. Hyperkalemia and a heart attack are the results. Consuming them in excess might harm your liver and kidneys. Excessive consumption of sweet potatoes may result in vitamin A toxicity. It might cause rashes and headaches. Sweet potatoes have a lot of oxalates. High oxalate levels in the diet can cause kidney and gallbladder stones.

What is the healthiest way to eat sweet potato?

A. Boiling is the healthiest way to eat sweet potatoes. Vitamin A levels in children’s blood rise after eating cooked and mashed sweet potatoes. Boiling also improves blood sugar management and delivers sweet potatoes with a reduced glycemic index (GI) value compared to roasting or baking. Compared to other cooking methods such as baking or frying, boiling sweet potatoes maintain the beta-carotene and make the vitamin more absorbable. By restricting cooking time, such as boiling for 20 minutes in a saucepan with a firmly closed lid, you can keep up to 92 per cent of the nutrition.

Does baking sweet potatoes destroy nutrients?

A. When you bake sweet potatoes, the peel’s nutrition value decreases. Also, approximately two-thirds of the antioxidants are lost but microwaving or boiling is gentler. The remainder of the sweet potato is the same way. Baking can also reduce vitamin A levels by 80%, twice as much as boiling.

Is a sweet potato a Superfood?

A. Sweet potatoes are called superfoods because of the number of nutrients they have. One sweet potato provides 400 per cent of your daily vitamin A requirements. Also, they are rich in B vitamins and vitamin C. They are rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and zinc. They contain complex carbohydrates and both soluble and insoluble fibre.

Are sweet potatoes inflammatory?

A. No, sweet potatoes are not inflammatory. Sweet potatoes are abundant in vitamins C and E, making them ideal for an anti-inflammatory diet. They also include the carotenoids alpha and beta carotene, which help decrease inflammation.

Does sweet potatoes reduce belly fat?

A. Sweet potatoes are high in fibre, aiding in weight loss. Sweet potatoes’ high fibre content makes you feel ‘full’ after a meal, which helps you keep to a calorie-restricted diet. Resistant starch is another type of fibre found in the root vegetable. However, excess calories can contribute to weight growth independent of the dietary source. Whole, unprocessed potatoes are unlikely to cause weight gain when consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.

Is sweet potato high in sugar?

A. Yes, sweet potatoes have a significant amount of sugar. Even though sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, compared to other varieties, have a higher glycemic index. Therefore, increasing blood sugar levels rapidly. Nutritionists recommend patients diagnosed with diabetes restrict their consumption.

Which has more potassium, potato or sweet potato?

A. According to USDA, sweet potatoes contain 438 mg of potassium while regular potatoes contain 417 mg of potassium. Moreover, baked sweet potatoes contain 475 mg of potassium. Therefore, sweet potatoes have a higher potassium content.

Do sweet potatoes have side effects?

A. Sweet potatoes are high in oxalates, raising the risk of calcium-oxalate kidney stones. Sweet potatoes can cause hypervitaminosis A (vitamin A toxicity), a condition in which excess vitamin A accumulates in the liver since they are high in beta-carotene. Despite having a low glycemic index, it can potentially induce blood sugar problems in people with diabetes. They include mannitol, which can cause bloating, diarrhoea, and stomach discomfort. Because they are high in potassium, eating too many of them might cause the body’s potassium levels to increase. Hyperkalemia and a heart attack are the results. Consuming them in excess might harm your liver and kidneys.

Why are sweet potatoes not good for you?

A. Consuming anything in excess is not good. If limited to 2-3 per week, sweet potatoes will not cause any harm to a healthy individual. However, people with diabetes, liver, or kidney-related conditions, should avoid consuming sweet potatoes.

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