Nutritional labels are based on raw food, but a recent study has determined that cooking meat and potatoes increases their calorie count.
The calorie count found on the Nutrition Facts tables on food packaging may be incorrect.
Why? Because nutritional labels, even those for meat and potatoes, are based on raw, not cooked food, and a recent study has determined that cooking meat and potatoes increases the amount of energy they can provide (in other words—their calorie count).
Researchers speculate the increased energy may be because cooked food is easier for the body to digest. The study also suggests that because the same amount of food provided more energy when cooked, cooking food played a key role in the evolutionary success of humans.
What does this mean for a raw food diet?
The jury may still be out when it comes to raw food advocates who claim that uncooked food provides more nutrients and is a healthier choice. A raw food diet does not include meat (cooked or uncooked) and the recent study only examined the energy gain of meat and sweet potatoes.
What is known is that cooking food also kills many potentially harmful bacteria and pathogens, meaning a lesser burden on our immune systems.
What does this mean for a weight loss diet?
If you choose your food by counting calories based on food labels, you may be consuming more calories during the day than you think. It’s too early to say whether food labels will be changed, but in the meantime, strict calorie-counters may want to keep this finding in mind.