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Good Calories Bad Calories - What to Eat

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Food NameCarb %Calories 
Milk, human6.8970
Milk4.7150
Milk, cow's, fluid, whole4.5260
Milk, cow's, fluid, whole, low-sodium4.4661
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, whole4.5160
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, 1% fat4.9942
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, skim or nonfat4.8535
Milk, cow's, fluid, other than whole ("lowfat")4.8144
Milk, cow's, fluid, 2% fat4.6850
Milk, cow's, fluid, acidophilus, 1% fat4.9942
Milk, cow's, fluid, acidophilus, 2% fat4.6850
Milk, cow's, fluid, 1% fat4.9942
Milk, cow's, fluid, skim or nonfat, 0.5% or less butterfat4.9634
Milk, cow's, fluid, filled with vegetable oil4.7463
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Usage Notes

  • Carbohydrate is in percentage by food weight (calculated according to the general rules of a successful reducing diet as described in Taubes's Good Calories, Bad Calories, p. 314). Calories are calculated per 100g of food.
  • This Good Calories Bad Calories food database contains approximately 7,000 most common food items.
  • Click on column header to sort foods by name, by carb percentage, or calories.
  • Pie chart shows relative contributions to total calories from carbohydrate, protein and fat (and alcohol, if exists).

Gary Taubes Good Calories Bad Calories Diet

Now that you've finished reading the impressive 600-page treatise on diet by Gary Taubes, how are you going to apply the principles you've gleaned from this massive work? You've come to the right place.
This website provides a convenient searchable and sortable food database for you to select the optimal foods according to the reducing diet principles described in Gary Taubes's Good Calories Bad Calories.
In one sentence, Gary Taubes argues that the best diet is one loaded with protein and fat but very low in carbohydrate. In other words, calories from protein and fat are good and calories from carb are bad.


The Key Principles of Reducing Diets Described in Taubes's Good Calories, Bad Calories

  • Do not eat sugar, honey, jam, candy or syrup.
  • Do not eat fruits canned with sugar.
  • Do not eat cake, cookies, pie, ice cream.
  • Do not drink sugared soft drinks such as Coke, ginger ale, root beer.
  • In summary, diet should minimize high carb content foods such as rice, bread, potato, macaroni, pies, cakes, sweet desserts, sugar, candy, cream, etc.
  • The plant foods allowed in the reducing diets are determined by their carbohydrate content. For example, potatoes are almost 20% carb by weight so the potatoes are known as 20-percent vegetables. Green peas and artichokes are 15-percent vegetables, and so on.
    Lettuce, cucumbers, spinach are mostly water and have even lower carb percentage by weight.
    You can easily see the carb-percent values of all foods in our database above. Foods can be searched by name or browse by category. Especially useful is the ability to sort foods by carb-percentage. This makes choosing optimal foods for Good Calories Bad Calories diet particularly simple.
We also have an online database to use in conjunction with Gary Taubes's Why We Get Fat and What to Do about It.

The 100 Bad-Calorie Foods

Based on Good Calories, Bad Calories principles, the 100 foods below are the worst: highest in carb and in sugar contents. Carb and sugar are in grams per 100 grams of food weight.



High-Carb High-Sugar Foods Carb Sugar

Sweeteners, tabletop, fructose, dry, powder 100.0 92.7

Sugars, granulated 100.0 99.8

Sugar, turbinado 99.8 99.2

Sugars, powdered 99.8 97.8

Strawberry-flavor beverage mix, powder 99.1 95.5

Orange-flavor drink, breakfast type, powder 98.9 92.3

Candies, hard, dietetic or low calorie (sorbitol) 98.6 93.0

Tea, instant, sweetened with sugar, lemon-flavored, without added ascorbic acid, powder 98.6 95.3

Tea, instant, sweetened with sugar, lemon-flavored, without added ascorbic acid, 98.6 95.3

powder, decaffeinated

Sugars, brown 98.1 97.0

Candies, hard 98.0 62.9

Lemonade-flavor drink, powder 97.6 97.2

Whiskey sour mix, powder 97.3 97.3

Lemonade, powder 97.2 94.7

Chewing gum 96.7 66.1

Puddings, tapioca, dry mix 94.3 65.0

Drink mix, QUAKER OATS, GATORADE, orange flavor, powder 94.1 80.5

Candies, jellybeans 93.6 70.0

Apples, dehydrated (low moisture), sulfured, uncooked 93.5 81.1

Puddings, vanilla, dry mix, regular 93.5 79.3

Candies, fondant, prepared-from-recipe 93.2 88.9

Puddings, banana, dry mix, regular 93.0 74.3

Puddings, vanilla, dry mix, instant 92.9 92.9

Puddings, banana, dry mix, instant 92.7 76.6

Candies, nougat, with almonds 92.4 83.3

Candies, taffy, prepared-from-recipe 91.6 68.5

Sweeteners, tabletop, sucralose, SPLENDA packets 91.2 80.3

Candies, MARS SNACKFOOD US, SKITTLES Sours Original 91.0 73.2


High-Carb High-Sugar Foods Carb Sugar

Sugars, maple 90.9 84.9

Chocolate-flavor beverage mix for milk, powder, without added nutrients 90.9 83.9

Candies, MARS SNACKFOOD US, SKITTLES Original Bite Size Candies 90.8 75.8

Candies, MARS SNACKFOOD US, SKITTLES Tropical Bite Size Candies 90.8 75.8

Candies, MARS SNACKFOOD US, SKITTLES Wild Berry Bite Size Candies 90.8 75.9

Gelatin desserts, dry mix 90.5 86.0

Candies, butterscotch 90.4 80.5

Chocolate-flavor beverage mix for milk, powder, with added nutrients 90.3 81.8

Popcorn, sugar syrup/caramel, fat-free 90.1 64.7

Sweeteners, tabletop, saccharin 89.1 85.2

Sweeteners, tabletop, aspartame, EQUAL, packets 89.1 80.7

Candies, divinity, prepared-from-recipe 89.1 79.0

Candies, gum drops, dietetic or low calorie (sorbitol) 88.0 70.0

Puddings, chocolate, dry mix, instant 87.9 67.9

Malted drink mix, chocolate, powder 86.9 66.7

Snacks, candy bits, yogurt covered with vitamin C 86.9 65.0

McDONALD'S, Honey 86.4 74.3

Coffee, instant, with sugar, cappuccino-flavor powder 85.9 69.2

Malted drink mix, chocolate, with added nutrients, powder 84.6 70.6

Cocoa mix, powder 83.7 65.6

Frostings, glaze, prepared-from-recipe 83.7 80.4

Malted drink mix, natural, with added nutrients, powder 83.6 63.4

Puddings, coconut cream, dry mix, instant 83.5 64.0

Candied fruit 82.7 80.7

Honey 82.4 82.1

Cranberries, dried, sweetened 82.4 65.0

Candies, fudge, vanilla, prepared-from-recipe 82.2 79.8

Puddings, coconut cream, dry mix, regular 81.8 80.5

Candies, YORK BITES 81.6 75.0

Candies, YORK Peppermint Pattie 81.0 63.8

Candies, sweet chocolate coated fondant 80.4 71.4

Our Sugar-Related Nutrient Databases

Individual sugars: Fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose.
Multiple sugars: Fructose, glucose and sucrose.
UK Nutrient Databank: Glucose, galactose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, lactose and total sugars in foods commonly available in the UK.




High-Carb High-Sugar Foods Carb Sugar

Candies, NESTLE, AFTER EIGHT Mints 79.5 66.6

Candies, MARS SNACKFOOD US, 3 MUSKETEERS Bar 77.8 66.9

Candies, fudge, peanut butter, prepared-from-recipe 77.8 73.4

Baking chocolate, mexican, squares 77.4 69.4

Candies, caramels 77.0 65.5

Gerber graduates Fruit Strips Real Fruit Bars 76.6 68.7

Candies, fudge, chocolate, prepared-from-recipe 76.4 73.1

Sweeteners, tabletop, fructose, liquid 76.1 76.0

Candies, MARS SNACKFOOD US, POP'ABLES 3 MUSKETEERS Brand Bite Size Candies 75.9 67.0

Dates, deglet noor 75.0 63.4

Cocoa mix, NESTLE, Hot Cocoa Mix Rich Chocolate With Marshmallows 75.0 65.0

Dates, medjool 75.0 66.5

Syrups, sorghum 74.9 74.9

Candies, fudge, vanilla with nuts 74.6 71.0

Whey, sweet, dried 74.5 74.5

Currants, zante, dried 74.1 67.3

Whey, acid, dried 73.5 73.5

Cream substitute, powdered, light 73.4 73.4

Cookies, coconut macaroons, prepared from recipe 72.2 70.7

Frostings, glaze, chocolate, prepared-from-recipe, with butter, NFSMI Recipe No. C-32 72.2 64.3

Candies, MARS SNACKFOOD US, POP'ABLES MILKY WAY Brand Bite Size Candies 71.9 61.1

Candies, fudge, chocolate marshmallow, prepared-from-recipe 71.3 64.1

Syrups, malt 71.3 71.3

Candies, MARS SNACKFOOD US, M&M's Milk Chocolate Candies 71.2 63.7

Litchis, dried 70.7 66.1

Pears, dried, sulfured, uncooked 69.7 62.2

Syrups, table blends, cane and 15% maple 69.5 68.2

Candies, MARS SNACKFOOD US, M&M's MINIs Milk Chocolate Candies 68.4 62.5

Baking chocolate, MARS SNACKFOOD US, M&M's Milk Chocolate Mini Baking Bits 68.4 62.5

Candies, milk chocolate coated raisins 68.4 62.2

Candies, sugar-coated almonds 68.3 62.5


High-Carb High-Sugar Foods Carb Sugar

Candies, ROLO Caramels in Milk Chocolate 68.0 63.9

Candies, fudge, chocolate, with nuts, prepared-from-recipe 67.9 63.4

Frostings, vanilla, creamy, ready-to-eat 67.9 63.1

Frostings, cream cheese-flavor, ready-to-eat 67.3 63.5

Candies, confectioner's coating, butterscotch 67.1 67.1

Syrups, maple 67.0 60.4

Beverage, instant breakfast powder, chocolate, not reconstituted 66.2 65.8

Cookies, chocolate sandwich, with creme filling, regular, chocolate-coated 66.1 63.4

Candies, toffee, prepared-from-recipe 64.7 63.5

Candies, confectioner's coating, yogurt 63.9 62.4

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