Allow me to make this very clear: cooking sprays are a great alternative to using butter or oil if you want to save calories. But, they don’t actually contain zero calories.
It’s easy to get confused here. The label says 0 calories, but you know that oil contains calories, so what’s the deal?
The FDA makes the rules, and they say that if a serving contains under 5 calories, you can round down to 0 on the label. In this case, a serving has about 2 calories, so they display 0. Problem is, a serving size is assuming you’re spraying for 1/4 seconds. I think you’d need to be some kind of sorcerer to spray for only 1/4 seconds.
So let’s say you spray your pan for 4 seconds, which is pretty generous- that is still only about 30 calories! Just because cooking spray does indeed contain calories, it doesn’t mean you need to be afraid of them. The impact is still very minimal!
I never count cooking spray in my macros, because 20-30 extra calories is going to be evened out by other labels rounding up or down throughout your day of eating. If you’re stressing out about an extra 30 calories, we need to help you repair your relationship with food!
This concept can be applied to other foods out there- mustard, hot sauce, and Walden Farms products, to name a few. But rest assured that a label saying 0 calories means that the caloric impact is still very minimal. So even though a food is not technically calorie free, it’s still incredibly low in calories!