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Continued: Calorie numbers may not mean what we think they do

  • Article by: STACEY BURLING , Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Last update: November 1, 2013 - 6:32 PM

Carmody disagrees. She fed lab mice raw and cooked organic sweet potatoes or beef. They maintained their weight on cooked sweet potatoes, but lost on the raw. They lost about twice as much weight on raw meat as on cooked. Carmody, who is now at Harvard University studying gut bacteria, said cooking raised the effective caloric value of the meat by 10 to 15 percent and the potatoes by 30 percent.

Kaplan suggests another explanation. It’s not just how many calories we eat. It’s also how many we use. Foods may change that. “They may not have gotten more energy,” he said. “They may have burned more energy.”

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