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how does cooking food increase the calories of that food?


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example: according to the calorie king calorie book a uncooked baked potato with skin 7oz is 154 calories. now take that same potato and bake it with skin nothing added on or to the potato is now 255 calories how is this possible it makes no sense to me???

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Cooking the food doesn't add more calories.  All of the calories entered in their database come from somewhere, probably sometimes from user input.  Sometimes data entry or the source of the data isn't very accurate.

When you cook a potato, it doesn't gain any calories, but it does lose water (making it weigh less), so the major difference is whether you weigh the potato before you cook it or after.

ETA: Though not that much of a difference.  I checked in cc's database, and the difference is about 12%.  It's not insignificant, but it's nothing compared to what you found.  Perhaps the baked potato they were talking about was loaded up with butter and sour cream.  Did any of those calories come from fat?

When cooking moisture (water) escapes. This concentrates the calories in to a smaller (weighs less) portion.

Enter calories either as cooked (if that is when you weighed it) or raw (if you weighed it prior to cooking).

the book said that the potato was plain and still 255 calories but that was just 1 example of what i found. no one eats raw chicken yet the book felt it important to show the difference between raw chicken and cooked chicken and of course there was a calorie difference. moisture makes a lot of sense i didn't think about that. i guess i will weigh my food raw then cook it that way i can be more accurate with my calorie intake

Could be errors.  It could also be that cooking some foods makes more components of them digestible, the heat having broken down molecular chains the human digestive system can't break by itself.  I know cooking some things makes more vitamins in them more easily taken up, so I'm theorizing the same could be true of calories.  No proof, I'm just musing.

Original Post by pbrownell:

the book said that the potato was plain and still 255 calories but that was just 1 example of what i found. no one eats raw chicken yet the book felt it important to show the difference between raw chicken and cooked chicken and of course there was a calorie difference. moisture makes a lot of sense i didn't think about that. i guess i will weigh my food raw then cook it that way i can be more accurate with my calorie intake

You would use the raw chicken when assembling a dish and writing/entering a recipe.

Original Post by jp5074139:

Could be errors.  It could also be that cooking some foods makes more components of them digestible, the heat having broken down molecular chains the human digestive system can't break by itself.  I know cooking some things makes more vitamins in them more easily taken up, so I'm theorizing the same could be true of calories.  No proof, I'm just musing.

i watched a documentary on why humans started cooking food and it found that you can absorb more calories from it.  mice fed cooked yams vs. uncooked yams run on their wheels a significantly longer distance.  so yeah you get more energy from cooked foods.

as for calories... not sure.  and "raw foodists" are crazy or if you dont like  crazy maybe "misinformed" would be better

Part of the reason may be the size/weight of the food before and after cooking (due to moisture like other posters mentioned).  For example, 1 cup of raw mushrooms is 15 calories and 1 cup of cooked mushrooms is 45 calories.  Cooking the mushrooms did not increase the amount of calories.  It's just that for 1 cup, you can fit a LOT more cooked mushrooms in there than raw ones.  So 3 cups of raw mushrooms cooks down to just 1 cup.  Same with chicken.  Weigh a piece raw and then weigh it again after it's cooked...it will weigh less.  So 4 oz. raw chicken is going to be less calories than 4 oz. cooked chicken because you are getting more actual chicken and less water in the 4 oz. cooked than raw.

You can add your calories either way, by weighing the raw form or the cooked form.  It can be helpful to have the info from both.  If I take a piece of fish home from a restaurant, I'll weigh it cooked (obviously).  If I make it myself, I'll weight it raw.  Just an example, but people do use both.

The potato thing seems whack though.  But if the database didn't specify sizes, the cooked potato could be a large one and the raw potato could be a medium one, who knows.

Biological anthropologist Richard Wrangham is, among other things, a professor at Harvard University and an author. His recent book, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, is an essay on how learning to cook our food made humans more successful as a species.

Food as a Source of Energy

Cooked food has more energy available to our bodies. When eating raw foods, our bodies must work at recovering the energy. As a result, body temperature rises slightly and fewer calories are retained for the use of our muscles and for growth or brain power.

Humans have smaller mouths, teeth, and digestive equipment than animals with a similar diet that is taken raw instead of cooked. For example, the great apes have, in relative terms, larger mouths and teeth than humans. When given a choice between raw food and cooked food, primates will choose to eat cooked food.

What Cooking Does to Food

Proteins that are cooked go through a process call denaturation. An egg that is cooked turns white when the protein in the clear albumen is cooked. This is a visible sign of denaturation. A cooked egg’s protein energy is 94% available for the human body, but a raw egg’s energy is only 55-64% available.

Raw starch molecules “open up” during cooking so that sugars can be broken off and digested. A calorie is not 100% available when the starchy food is raw.

Professor Wrangham says that it is likely that human ancestors cut meat from the bones of their prey and pounded it, much like tenderizing a steak, prior to their development of cooking techniques. Pulverizing food also makes it easier for the body to recover the energy. Another way to prepare proteins is to add acid, such as vinegar which is a mild acid, to the meat. Human stomachs contain a high level of hydrochloric acid for the purpose of digesting food.

Implications for Modern Humans

As interesting as the historical implications of these findings are, modern Americans will grasp the diet implications immediately. Raising the amount of raw fruits and vegetables in the diet and decreasing the amount of cooked protein will lower the total amount of calories available to the body while allowing the stomach to feel fuller.

Despite the implications for changing diets, Wrangham contends raw food is not our natural diet. He points to the adaptations humans have made over time. A human with a raw food diet will suffer chronic shortage of energy. Cooked food is safer in some ways, the process of cooking killing bacteria and reducing spoilage.

Still, many people who increase the raw fruit and vegetables in their diet feel better. He points to the possibility of food allergies and the presence of unwanted chemicals in some cooked food. A middle approach is to increase the raw veggies and decrease the meat intake without eliminating it. Individuals can learn by trial and error what balance is right for their bodies.

Resources:

How Cooking Made Us Human, Science Friday, National Public Radio, Interview by Paul Raeburn, August 28,2009

Why Are Humans Different From All Other Apes? It’s the Cooking, Stupid by Dwight Garner, New York Times, May 26,2009

taken from:

http://biology.suite101.com/article.cfm/cooke d_food_and_human_developement

7oz is a measurement of weight. When you bake a potato, you lose a certain amount of water as steam thereby making the potato lighter but more macro-nutrient dense by loss of water. Make sense?

7oz of unbaked potato (lots of water in there!)

7oz of baked potato (less water but more potato.)

 

The idea is that your 7oz baked potato must have started out as a greater weight, such as 8oz raw potato. 

 

Make sense? 

thank you for your response it makes a lot more sense knowing about the escape of moister and understanding how cooking your food helps your body to absorb and use food more affectionately.

i used to weigh 258 pounds I'm about 175-180 now and have kept the weight off  for 5 years now Ive watched every calorie that i have put in my mouth. i lost all that weight on my own no program or slim fast or bill just hard work and dedication to eating right. but this whole time i have never thought about cooked and uncooked food and the calories difference between the them. i guess it doesn't matter all that much if your able to loose weight and keep it off. again thank you

Congrats on your achievement.  It is awesome to hear of those folks doing this task the good old fashioned way.  It is possible and certainly maintainable as you are a fine example.  I do admire the way you are still concious of what you are putting into your body as the battle never ends.  I have tried most of my life to get this aspect of my life under control.  I have had several people around me try to push weight loss surgery on me, but I am not comfortable with that process.  I know I am lossing weight slowly, but losing none the less.  It has taken me 18 months to lose 30 pounds, but it has been through small changes that I can stick with.  

Thank you for your inspiration.  It is appreciated and commendable.

#13  
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Actually cooking food does increase caloric content... And its what caused us to become human... Folks should do more research... http://mblogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2011/ 12/08/why-calorie-counts-are-wrong-cooked-foo d-provides-a-lot-more-energy/
thhq
Feb 25 2012 22:08
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#14  
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That's interesting Jimmy. I've some done side-by-side comparisons of glycemic index of raw vs cooked on the same food. Cooking increases the GI of carrots dramatically, showing how much more digestible they are after cooking. I don't think the difference on the potato is due to this though, because no one eats potatoes raw. It's rare that any starchy food is eaten raw for that matter.
#15  
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I absolutely love raw potatoes! Actually, my entire family is known to snack on raw potatoes as they're being peeled. My mother and sister add excessive salt, I add none. Raw potatoes were my sister's pregnancy craving; she consumed 3-5lbs weekly of raw potatoes while pregnant. I'm sure my family isn't the only one that likes raw potatoes.

#16  
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Thhq i know folks in iowa love raw potatoes :-)

That is interesting. I was told cooked carrots were more readily digested and the body doesn't work as hard digesting it. 

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