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  1. #1
    Registered User Linkblaze's Avatar
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    How does cooking affect nutritional values?

    Hi all,

    I'm trying to put together a diet and I'm having a hard time figuring out how cooking food affects the nutritional value. Take something like oats, for instance. Usually the nutritional value on the side of the package is for uncooked oats. Looking at some online nutritional databases, it looks like cooking basically cuts the value of everything (calories, macros, etc) in half. Does that hold true for all food? For example...I like to cook my oats in the microwave with 1 cup of apple juice instead of water or milk. When counting the nutrients for my diet, should I divide the apple juice nutrients in half as well?
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    Extra classy TheSmack's Avatar
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    I'm not 100% sure, but it probably has something to do with when you cook oats (and a lot of other fibrous foods) they take on the water (or whatever liquid you're cooking them in) making them swell in size. So for example: if 1/2 cup of uncooked oats turns into 1 cup cooked oats, it would make 1/2 cup cooked oats actually only about 1/4 uncooked.
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    Originally Posted by TheSmack View Post
    I'm not 100% sure, but it probably has something to do with when you cook oats (and a lot of other fibrous foods) they take on the water (or whatever liquid you're cooking them in) making them swell in size. So for example: if 1/2 cup of uncooked oats turns into 1 cup cooked oats, it would make 1/2 cup cooked oats actually only about 1/4 uncooked.
    notsureifsrs
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    Registered User Linkblaze's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheSmack View Post
    I'm not 100% sure, but it probably has something to do with when you cook oats (and a lot of other fibrous foods) they take on the water (or whatever liquid you're cooking them in) making them swell in size. So for example: if 1/2 cup of uncooked oats turns into 1 cup cooked oats, it would make 1/2 cup cooked oats actually only about 1/4 uncooked.
    Thanks, see this is the heart of where my confusion lies. If I make a bowl of oatmeal with a half cup dry oats and 1 cup apple juice and cook it in the microwave do I just add up the nutrients on the labels? Does the nutritional value of 1 cup COOKED oatmeal simply equal a 1/2 cup UNCOOKED because they are taking into account the size swelling of the liquid? Or does cooking actually reduce the nutritional content significantly?
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    Registered User anna-maro's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Cooking food does not change nutritional values at all, fat, carb, protein or calorie content. Some foods have to be actually cooked, cause otherwise it wouldn't be digestable by humans. These include most of the grains. Cooking kills bacteria, so it's advised u cook meats. U have to be careful with fruits and vegetables tho... Some vitamins like vitamin C can be totally killed by cooking, some might get oxidized. If u boil vegetables, vitamins and minerals will leach into the cooking water. If u have to cook vegetables, make sure they r only cooked for short period of time and still stay crispy, and maintain their colour during cooking. This way u keep most of the vitamins and minerals.
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    Registered User Linkblaze's Avatar
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    Thanks Anna, just what I was looking for
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    Cooking does remove some nutritional values. For instance, in meat, sodium and cholesterol usually reduce. Protein can reduce, but usually less than a gram total. In fattier meats, fat reduces. Some minerals reduce as well.

    The rest Anna got right.
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