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Counting Calories in Fats

 How many calories are in two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil?

 All pure fats have 120 calories per tablespoon. Venturing into an area that frequently gets us in trouble – math – we're going to state for the record that 2 tablespoons of olive oil have 240 calories.

Butter, which includes water, milk solids (and often salt), has 100 to 108 calories per tablespoon. Margarine, of which there are now hundreds of varieties, has 100 to 108 calories for "standard" margarine. The hydrogenation process used to produce vegetable shortening, aerates it slightly, leaving it with 110 calories per tablespoon (if you melt it, it should go right back to 120 calories per tablespoon, since it is pure fat). Lard has 116 calories per tablespoon.

We could produce a chart that showed fat calories increasing as volume increases – 3 tablespoons at 360 calories, 4 tablespoons at 480 calories, etc. – but we don't trust ourselves when we get into higher math….

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