Raw foods yield less calories than cooked foods.

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    Dec 09, 2011 4:43 AM GMT
    Pretty interesting article.
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2011/12/08/why-calorie-counts-are-wrong-cooked-food-provides-a-lot-more-energy/
    [...]
    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.

    Part of the reason this had never been addressed before was that several areas of research had been overlooked, even by nutritionists. Especially fascinating were the physiological studies on people who subsist only on raw foods. I was impressed to learn that raw-foodists are thin compared to those eating cooked diets, given that in most cases they are eating domesticated foods with lots of nutrients, are processing them in machines like electric blenders, and of course, living as most do in the developed world, never suffering through seasonal food shortage. Yet despite all these advantages over anyone who might try eating wild foods raw, the average woman on a 100% raw diet did not have a functioning menstrual cycle. About 50% of women entirely stopped menstruating! When a raw-foodist’s reproductive system does not allow her to have a baby even when her diet is composed of processed, high-quality, agricultural foods, the obvious explanation is that she is not getting enough calories.
    [...]
    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.

    To study how cooking (and processing, like pounding or chopping) affected calories, we turned to mice. They are a good species for this because their diet choices are rather similar to human food preferences. They like grains, roots, fruits and even meat; in the wild, there are populations of mice that get most of their food by eating live albatrosses [video]. Rachel Carmody led a study in which mice were given regular mouse pellets for six days at a time, interrupted by four days of eating sweet potatoes or beef. Half the time the sweet potato or meat was presented raw, and half the time cooked; half the time it was also pounded and half the time unpounded. She and Gil Weintraub carefully measured the exact amount of food eaten by the mice, and then calculated the animals’ gain or loss of weight over four days as a function of the weight of food eaten, using both wet weights and dry weights of food to check the results. For both meat and sweet potato, Rachel found that when the food was cooked the mice gained more weight (or lost less weight) than when it was raw. Pounding had very little effect.

    We suspect that there are two major reasons for cooked beef providing more calories than raw beef. In cooked beef, the muscle proteins, like the sugars in cooked starch, have opened up and allowed digestive enzymes to attack their amino acid chains. Cooking also does this for collagen, a protein that makes meat difficult to chew because it forms the connective tissue wrapped around muscle fibers. However, we do not know the exact mechanisms. What we do know, though, is that the mice had a spontaneous preference for eating cooked meat over raw meat, and their choice made sense, given that they fared better on it.

    Mechanism aside, though, what the experiments indicated was some serious discrepancies in how calorie counts are measured. The USA uses the Atwater Convention for assessing calories in food, a century-old system that treats food as being composed of a certain number of components, each of which has a fixed calorie value–such as 4 kcals for a gram of protein, 4 kcals for a gram of sugars, 9 kcals for fats [ed: kcals are popularly called "calories"]. Modifications to the original convention allow advances in nutritional knowledge to be incorporated, such as better estimates for some specific types of carbohydrate. The system gives a good approximation for foods that are highly digestible and demand very little work by the digestive system, such as candy bars. It is convenient because it produces standardized numbers that everyone can agree on.

    But the Atwater Convention has two big flaws. First, it pays no attention to the extent to which food has been processed. For example, it treats grain as the same calorie value whether it is eaten whole or as highly milled flour. But smaller particles are less work to digest, and therefore provide more net energy. Second, it treats foods as equally digestible (meaning, having the same proportion digested) regardless of processing. But cooked foods, as we’ve seen, are more digestible than raw foods.

    These flaws matter. According to the Atwater Convention raw foods have equal calorie content to cooked foods. So people can be deluded into thinking that feeding their children on 100% raw foods is a healthy practice, whereas I believe it would be dangerous for them.

    The more highly processed our foods, the more calories we get out of them. If you want to gain weight, make sure you eat highly processed and well-cooked meals. If you want to lose weight, do the opposite. You can eat the same number of measured calories, but if the foods vary in how finely they have been ground or whether they have been cooked, the calorie counts will not tell you what you want to know.

    The next wave of research will decide how profound the effects of cooking are. My best guess, based on studies of the increased digestibility of starch or eggs eaten cooked compared to raw, is that the increase in net calorie gain from cooking will prove to be in the region of 25­­–50%. That is only a guess, but I am confident it will be much higher than 10%. It is going to be exciting to find out.
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    Dec 09, 2011 4:54 PM GMT
    big surprise icon_rolleyes.gif
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 09, 2011 5:19 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidWell, that bites.

    Now I'm confused and don't know how much I'm eating.

    I has a sad. icon_sad.gif


    it's ok, fat or skinny lesbians have no problems finding lifelong partners
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 09, 2011 11:26 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidWell, that bites.

    Now I'm confused and don't know how much I'm eating.

    I has a sad. icon_sad.gif



    It's okay. Cock still has the same amount of calories. icon_cool.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 10, 2011 1:52 AM GMT
    Meh, I could care less about calories. Hell I cook with lots of oils [the good ones] just for the extra calories cause I need'em. icon_lol.gif
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    Feb 07, 2013 11:27 AM GMT
    People eat raw beef? o_O
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    Feb 07, 2013 12:19 PM GMT
    If by 'less calories' you mean 'fewer calories', then perhaps.
  • amidon7

    Posts: 139

    Feb 07, 2013 12:36 PM GMT
    redsoxfan791 saidIf by 'less calories' you mean 'fewer calories', then perhaps.


    +1
    icon_smile.gif
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    Feb 07, 2013 1:07 PM GMT

    I call bullshit on women on pure raw food diet not having functional menstrual cycle.
    If can result of diet severe unbalance (that mean lacking some important type of nutrient and/or starving).
    But the article precisely point out that cooking is just about better absorption of carbs and protein.
    So you need to eat a bit more of the same food raw to absorb the similar amount of carbs/proteins out of it.
    Forgetting that the inverse is true for some vitamins, partially of completely destroyed by the cooking.

    And the author even create a problem where there is not : nobody pretend that food composition tells you how much of it will be used by your body, it's actually the exception to have 100% bioavailability (percentage of what quantity of a product goes from mouth to blood).

    I guess the fact that cooking allow you to get more out of the food you eat, and in addition reduce the risk of bacteria poising, has been discovered some hundred of thousands years ago, alongside inventing fire.
    The blog writer may be didn't saw the memo.
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    Feb 07, 2013 1:12 PM GMT
    JRaRJ saidPeople eat raw beef? o_O


    Raw beef (or lightly singed in some sriracha sauce), raw fish, and raw eggs.

    All good stuff. icon_smile.gif
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    Feb 07, 2013 2:54 PM GMT
    AlphaTrigger said
    JRaRJ saidPeople eat raw beef? o_O


    Raw beef (or lightly singed in some sriracha sauce), raw fish, and raw eggs.

    All good stuff. icon_smile.gif


    careful.. too many raw eggs can lead to biotin deficiency

    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=42
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 07, 2013 3:01 PM GMT
    Reckon I need to add some Swiss Chard to get that biotin
    on. ;)
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Feb 07, 2013 3:14 PM GMT
    JRaRJ saidPeople eat raw beef? o_O


    Ever heard of beef tartare?

    AlphaTrigger saidReckon I need to add some Swiss Chard to get that biotin
    on. ;)


    Excess raw eggs don't reduce biotin absorption, they block it. You can't eat more and expect it to counteract. Eat less raw eggs...
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    Feb 07, 2013 3:28 PM GMT
    Well that just puts a crimp in my day.

    I eat about 8 raw eggs on a workout day (2-3x week) and 2 raw eggs on my off days. Generally they get mixed in with my protein and other supplements.

    Cooking the eggs would make that an unbelievably messy affair, although I suppose I could fry up a plain omelette and eat it cold after I finish my workout.
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    Feb 07, 2013 3:49 PM GMT
    redsoxfan791 saidIf by 'less calories' you mean 'fewer calories', then perhaps.
    LOL, you beat me to it, you bitch!
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    Feb 08, 2013 2:32 AM GMT
    JRaRJ saidPeople eat raw beef? o_O
    Yes. My favorite coworker is the default cook for our BBQ's...excellent chef...but doesn't eat his own cooking. Instead, he saves a pound of raw hamburger meat for his own burgers after every one else is fed. icon_lol.gif
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Feb 08, 2013 2:36 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    JRaRJ saidPeople eat raw beef? o_O
    Yes. My favorite coworker is the default cook for our BBQ's...excellent chef...but doesn't eat his own cooking. Instead, he saves a pound of raw hamburger meat for his own burgers after every one else is fed. icon_lol.gif


    That seems... Unsafe.
  • MidwesternKid

    Posts: 1167

    Feb 08, 2013 2:47 AM GMT
    Time for sushi then!!!
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 08, 2013 2:54 AM GMT
    These flaws matter. According to the Atwater Convention raw foods have equal calorie content to cooked foods. So people can be deluded into thinking that feeding their children on 100% raw foods is a healthy practice, whereas I believe it would be dangerous for them. icon_eek.gif

    The more highly processed our foods, the more calories we get out of them. If you want to gain weight, make sure you eat highly processed and well-cooked meals. If you want to lose weight, do the opposite. You can eat the same number of measured calories, but if the foods vary in how finely they have been ground or whether they have been cooked, the calorie counts will not tell you what you want to know.

    The next wave of research will decide how profound the effects of cooking are. My best guess, based on studies of the increased digestibility of starch or eggs eaten cooked compared to raw, is that the increase in net calorie gain from cooking will prove to be in the region of 25­­–50%. That is only a guess. but I am confident it will be much higher than 10%. It is going to be exciting to find out.


    Dangerous is rather dramatic...

    I was just talking to friends about this and they say that Weight Watchers counts calories differently between raw and cooked foods.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 08, 2013 5:02 AM GMT
    Medjai said
    paulflexes said
    JRaRJ saidPeople eat raw beef? o_O
    Yes. My favorite coworker is the default cook for our BBQ's...excellent chef...but doesn't eat his own cooking. Instead, he saves a pound of raw hamburger meat for his own burgers after every one else is fed. icon_lol.gif


    That seems... Unsafe.
    I know, right? It could be totally disastrous...like...he could die and then we wouldn't be able to enjoy his awesome grilling and tequila. icon_sad.gif
  • thadjock

    Posts: 2183

    Feb 08, 2013 5:23 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidWell, that bites.

    Now I'm confused and don't know how much I'm eating.

    I has a sad. icon_sad.gif


    you look pretty healthy to me,

    whatever you're doing is working,

    carry on.