cooking oil

Here’s How Many Calories Are Really in a Spray of Oil

It’s fewer than you think, but a lot depends on how long you spray
cooking oil

Measuring your oil used to be the only real way to know how much you're using.

Oil spray has remained a nutritional mystery for a very long time — companies that produce cooking spray are permitted to claim “0 calories” on the label under the guise of an unreasonably short spray time, creating the illusion of a calorie-free alternative to dense cooking oil. However, this “0 calorie” label is far from accurate — who really sprays cooking oil for only a fourth of a second? Is that even humanly possible?

The idea behind the zero-calorie claim is that, were you to only spray for a fourth of a second, the amount of oil released would amount to under five total calories — a negligible amount for inclusion on nutrition facts. The oil itself, though, is far from calorie-free.

But when you spray a continuous stream of olive, coconut, or some other oil on your pan, you’re spraying tons of calories all over your food without realizing the true amount. So if you’re nervous about portion control for your oil, it could be smarter to just spoon out tablespoons.

Pam’s new product, however, shed some light on how many calories we’re really spraying. It only releases oil in individual sprays — so now, you can keep track of the amount of fat you’re adding to your meal.

In five individual, fourth-of-a-second spritzes, there are 10 calories of olive oil. So each quarter second is 2 calories.

The veil has been lifted and the mystery revealed. Going by these numbers, in theory, if you’re spraying for five total seconds — 20 sprays — you’re releasing 40 calories of olive oil.

Spray for 10 seconds and you’re hypothetically releasing 80.

Not bad, Pam. Not bad.


Regardless, this sheds some light on how much oil comes out when you hit the nozzle. Another one of the things we didn’t know about our oil has been demystified.