Found this article in New Scientist. Have never been a calorie counter myself, all things in moderation I say (except chocolate – can never have too much of that!).
Our body uses varying amounts of energy to digest different foods and the food labels do not account for this. The example of a nutty muesli bar versus a brownie is discussed in the article. At first glance, the brownie has less calories than the muesli bar. What this calorie information does not include is the energy required by the body to digest each bar. The brownie is soft and readily digestible, the muesli bar contains ingredients that require the body to work harder to digest it. It also contains a higher percentage of fibre.
The article also goes on to discuss how cooking of foods changes the structure of food at the molecular level which can also increase the caloric potential of food.
I found it a very interesting read, the highly processed food that is readily available has a lot to answer for! As our food has changed so dramatically over the years perhaps the way we plan our diets and the nutritional information provided by manufacturers should change too?
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