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A calorie isn't just a calorie?

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SparkPoints: (64,795)
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Posts: 2,166
11/8/12 2:09 P

Actually minerals are not affected by cooking. Also, vitamins are generally quite stable up to boiling temperature of water, with a few exceptions (most notably vitamin C). Exposure to air and light is more destructive for some vitamins than temperature.

Posts: 5,070
11/8/12 1:29 P

FELZCAN, cooking does not help in all cases. Through my raw food chef there are some things that do have to be cooked, but when many veggies and other foods are heated over 118 degrees it can tend to kill essential vitamins and minerals that the body needs. The body needs to recognize the vitamins and minerals you are ingesting. If it knows them, it also knows how to process them. When you kill the vitamins and minerals through cooking the heck out of them, your body comes across things that it doesn't know what to do with and will store it as fat.

Posts: 1,493
11/8/12 8:41 A

What I found interesting about the article was this statement:
'In general, it seems that the more processed foods are the more they actually give us the number of calories we see on the box, bag or other sort of label. This applies not just to cooking and pounding but also to industrial processing. '

This means that the calorie count you see on a box of food (or can) is actually the calorie count you can depend on. Food manufacturers are allowed some leeway, but mainly because different sources of the raw products may differ enough to affect the final calorie count - but not much.

This is actually a good thing, in my opinion, because I WANT the calorie count to be something I can tally myself when I put my food in my online log. It's interesting that some foods take more energy to digest, and that's all good, but not dependable enough to make me want to adjust calories in my log. This reminds me a lot of the 'celery is negative calories because it takes so much energy to digest' school of dieting. It may be true that celery is difficult to digest, but hard to quantify for every person.

What the article told me is that what's reported on the box is reliable. Any more energy digested for a food, resulting in a slight deficit, will be all to the good. I'd be much more concerned if the article said you actually augment calories in a measured processed food by cooking it!

There's a vegan-friendly restaurant in my area that prepares mainly raw foods and the cuisine is excellent!

Posts: 123
11/8/12 8:30 A

I wonder if that applies to other nutrients too? I know spinach has more available potassium when it is cooked than when it is raw. Does cooking make it easier to access vitamins and minerals?

Posts: 16,783
11/8/12 8:08 A

This may explain why I gain weight on a high carb 1800 calorie diet, but lose on a 2600 calorie high fat, low carb diet. Carbs are more easily digestible, but more importantlythe most tampered with. We eat them as drinkable calories.. smoothies, shakes, soda. Protein is much harder to digest, and that is why carbs spike our blood sugars. They are meant to be used as fuel, so they digest easier.

It is very interesting because I can't say I eat 800 more calories and lose more weight. The laws of thermodynamics say that isn't possible. If it is because my body lets more of the food pass through our bodies when eating whole foods, or protein/fat, like non-digestible fiber does, that would explain a lot. Some days I like to argue, but most I do not, so I just enjoy the weight loss, and haven't tried to argue about a " metabolic advantage ". This makes sense to me.

Great article, thanks for posting

SparkPoints: (8,951)
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11/8/12 7:43 A

Please read this article.

What I get from this article is that the more processed food is the easier it is for the body to digest that food and therefore the body can use in some cases all of those calories to fuel itself.

Where as when you eat real whole foods and either eat them raw or prepare them yourself the calories that are available for the body to use is less and varied depending on cooking time and temperature.

It also depends what kind and how much gut bacteria you have as to how many calories you will be able to use from each given food.

I personally find this fascinating because I know that eating just 20 calories more than the body needs every day over a ten 10 year period will lead to a 10 pound increase in weight at the end of those 10 years (when you do the math). So it seems entirely impossible that somehow I am able to maintain my weight, without tracking, with that degree of precision over a long period of time. There just has to be more at work there.

I'm not saying calories aren't important. Just that more attention needs to be paid to the source of those calories. Whole, natural foods should be the staple of a healthy diet.

What do you think?

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