Cooked, not raw, food provides more energy
Contrary to popular belief, cooked food provides more energy than its raw version, which is particularly true of meat.
The finding suggests humans are biologically adapted to benefit from cooking, which played a key role in driving our evolution from an ape-like being into one that resembles humans today.
`It is astonishing that we don`t understand the fundamental properties of the food we eat,` said Rachel Carmody, evolutionary biologist at Harvard`s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports.
`All the effort we put into cooking food and presenting it – mashing it up, or cutting it, or slicing or pounding it – we don`t understand what effect that has on the energy we extract from food, and energy is the primary reason we eat in the first place,` added Carmody, according to a Harvard statement.
To examine those effects, Carmody designed a unique experimental model. Over 40 days, she fed two groups of mice a series of diets that consisted of either meat or sweet potatoes prepared in four ways – raw and whole, raw and pounded, cooked and whole, and cooked and pounded.