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# Does cooking technique change calorie content?

I started calorie counting in late January. It's working. With daily exercise (30 - 60 minutes of cardio) I'm down 13 pounds since. I am spending anywhere from 30 - 90 minutes a day on this web site and others calculating and tracking everything.

Here's my question... do calories into a recipe equate to calories out? So if I dry heat cook a 4 oz piece of chicken at 110 calories, I assume that it will come out of the oven a fraction under 4 oz (due to evaporation of moisture) but it will still be 110 calories.

Similarly, if I cook that same piece of chicken in a pan with a 1 tsp of Olive Oil (44 calories), does it come out with 154 calories (understanding that some of the oil stays in the pan, but I'd rather over-estimate my calorie intake than under-estimate it)?

I know this sounds like a silly, basic question, but I just want to be sure. - ck

12 Replies (last)
The only time calorie count changes is if you add something to the food, like the olive oil in your example, but it sounds like you are correctly accounting for everything!
I usually count the entire measurement of oil that I am cooking with, even though I know I'm not eating ALL of it.  Like you I'd rather overestimate a little than underestimate a little.

The food details nutrition facts are inconsistent regarding this. Have a look at eggs - it's really confusing. Including shell, or not?

Egg, whole, raw, fresh - 72 kcal per 50g

Egg, whole, cooked, hard-boiled - 78 kcal per 50g

Egg, whole, cooked, scrambled - 85 kcal per 50g (I converted this to 50g)

Egg, scrambled - 105 kcal per 50g (I converted this to 50g)

If you do scrambled eggs in a microwave, then why would the calories increase?

Weights do vary depending on how you cook it. Some cooking methods cause foods to lose moisture (and weight) and others make them gain moisture. It doesn't affect the calorie content, though.

In the case of eggs, I always log the calories for a whole fresh egg. If you are weighing your eggs after you scramble them, you should use the scrambled egg entry.

Personally, I enter everything in the raw, fresh state because it is harder (messier) to weigh things after you cook them.

but anything that changes the weight WILL change the calories per 50g, so maybe thats why the user above got so many variations.

An example of cooking method changing the calorie content would be frying, broiling, & deep frying.

If you deep fry something some oil will penetrate the food, adding calories.

If you fry a hamburger in a pan on the stove, it will have a few more calories than if you broil or grill it. The reason is that the fat that comes out of the meat drains off with grilling or broiling, while more of stays on with frying.

If you roast on a rack so the fat drips off, the meat will have fewer calories than if you roast without a rack. I don't know how significant the difference would be.

Coincidentally, I was checking brussels sprouts and 1 cup raw = 38 calories but 1/2 cup boiled, no salt, = 28 calories (or 56 per cup). ??????????????? So why does just boiling, as with the hard boiled egg, raise the calorie count?

probably because brussel sprouts condense when they're soft and cooked, so more fit into a cup.

Eh, only a small difference, don't worry about it just log it at its fresh state.

Original Post by edgepath:

The food details nutrition facts are inconsistent regarding this. Have a look at eggs - it's really confusing. Including shell, or not?

Egg, whole, raw, fresh - 72 kcal per 50g

Egg, whole, cooked, hard-boiled - 78 kcal per 50g

Egg, whole, cooked, scrambled - 85 kcal per 50g (I converted this to 50g)

Egg, scrambled - 105 kcal per 50g (I converted this to 50g)

If you do scrambled eggs in a microwave, then why would the calories increase?

The last entry for scrambled egg you found in the database accounts for the oil calorie count placed in for scrambling the egg on the stovetop.  If you did not use additional oil, you should log it as just a raw, fresh egg.

If anybody is wondering why the cooked egg has more calories per 50g, it is because as the egg is cooked, it loses water, so in 50g of cooked egg, there is more egg than water than just a regular, uncooked egg, therefore adding to the amount of calories.

Finally, if anybody cares, the amount of calories/nutrients in every serving of egg will vary because a) no egg is exactly the same, and b) the longer you cook the egg, you will be continuously decreasing the water content, so the weight after you cook it is always going to be different if you cook for different amounts of time, even if you always use the same egg.

Hope that helps!

12 Replies
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