How cooking food ups calorie counts

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2013-02-01 12:29:10 -0600
Started 2013-02-01 10:21:44 -0600

By GI News

I found this article very interesting and wondered to myself if this information might also change how carbohydrates are calculated. Cooked food or processed food offers more calories for the taking than the raw origins of the food. This is a huge link to our weight problems in the US, because we eat so much processed and then cooked processed foods…what a combination.

Anyway, take a look at this article. Very interesting.


‘Whether we are talking about plants or meat, eating cooked food provides more calories than eating the same food raw. And that means that the calorie counts we’ve grown so used to consulting are routinely wrong. Yet there were signs that cooking did affect the calorie counts of some foods. Starches, for instance, like those in wheat, barley, potatoes, and so on, are composed mostly of two sugar-based molecules, amylopectin and amylose, which, when raw, are tightly packed and inaccessible to digestive enzymes. Studies have found that cooking gelatinizes starch, which means that amylopectin and amylose are released and exposed to enzymes. Thus, cooked starches yield more energy than raw ones.

Rachel Carmody’s mouse study found that when the food was cooked the mice gained more weight (or lost less weight) than when it was raw. Over 40 days, two groups of mice were fed a series of diets that consisted of either meat or sweet potatoes prepared in four ways – raw and whole, raw and pounded, cooked and whole, and cooked and pounded. Over the course of each diet, the researchers tracked changes in the body mass of the mice, controlling for how much they ate and ran on an exercise wheel. The results clearly showed that cooked meat delivered more energy to the mice than raw meat. The same was true for sweet potatoes. In both foods, the energy gains from cooking were greater than those from pounding, and cooking increased the energy gained from pre-pounded foods. Preference tests also revealed that hungry mice strongly preferred cooked foods suggesting that the energetic benefits of a cooked diet were obvious to the subjects (i.e. the mice) themselves.

We suspect that there are two major reasons for cooked beef providing more calories than raw beef. Read more:

3 replies

GabbyPA 2013-02-01 12:20:01 -0600 Report

Yes, I found that it is very interesting, specially since the mice would automatically go for the cooked foods, as they needed the energy. I knew it would bring up sugars in some foods, but I didn't know that the break down of it made that much of a difference in the converting the calories.