A week ago, I read this rather shocking news article about how certain food was tested for its caloric count and how much it actually varies from official listed caloric values.
The INCREASING calories of the same food…
Let me give you an example: A study by BAER and colleagues determined that the same foods have different caloric values depending on whether it is raw, cooked or finely processed. Now, we are talking the exact same size and weight of the food. For example, 1 raw Almond will have fewer calories than the same Almond after heat has been applied. And Almond butter made from that same almond will have more calories than both the raw and heat applied almond. They claim that is because of the Almond cell walls being damaged during heat and processing which allow for more of the almond to be absorbed during digestion.
And to further complicate everything they now determined that although an serving of almonds contain 170 calories, not all the almonds (raw in this case) get absorbed. After further test they determined that 40 calories (23%) is “wasted” calories that eventually go down the toilet with our stools.
Another study by Global Cashew Council last year found cashews to also have fewer calories than originally estimated.
Now these same people that concluded these studies (and found these shocking differences) now claim we do not have to worry since they believe caloric counts for most foods are fairly accurate. Hmmm, no I do not think a variable of up to 23% is even close to trustworthy or accurate!
SIGNIFICANT ERROR MARGIN
This means that there is a definate error margin of up to 23% (?) on all stated caloric values.
Does this apply to ALL foods? THAT is the question. Just looking at the above studies, it is understandable that people will now be concerned about official caloric values across the board. The variances are just to big.
Struggling to lose fat – lol, maybe it is time to blame it on the scientists!
But in all seriousness, this is a big concern. We blindly believe official figures. But it has already shown to be incorrect by up to 23%.
SHOULD YOU BE WORRIED?
But my fitness minded friends, don’t be too upset.
In the end the official caloric values is simply a fixed point of reference so that we can calculate total food values. These values are not going to be perfect, but that is not what is important. What is important is how we manipulate our diet to force results. And this is where the key lies for any health of fitness individual. Do not get worked up about values not being perfectly correct.
The power of any diet does NOT lie in the calories, it lies in how you monitor the bodies reaction to consumed calories every 14 days and then up or down the daily caloric values of your diet depending on these results.
For example (just basic examples):
- Fat and muscle gained – decrease calories with up to 10%
- Fat the same but muscle lost – increase calories with up to 10%
- Fat lost and muscle the same (or gained) – perfect, usually no change required.
Your good old body fat calipers, weighing scale and measuring tape (with a logbook) is your companions here and MUCH more powerful that food caloric values which might not be 100% correct. All that the official caloric values are is simply a fixed reference point for all your calculations and manipulations.
Here is the original news article by FOX news:
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