How to account for fat drained away in cooking?

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Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 24

Posted: 13 Oct 2010, 13:06
For example, if I have premade frozen burgers that have 330 calories and 28g of fat, but cook them on a grill and drain away some of the fat.

Or similarly, buying raw ground meat that's 90% lean and draining some fat in cooking.

I've been adding it to my diet calendar without reducing the fat at all, but as a consequence I don't think I'm eating enough on days when I cook this kind of food--I'm always starved by the end of the day, even when I've gone over my RDI.

Any ideas?
Steelers Fan...

Joined: Oct 10
Posts: 213

Posted: 13 Oct 2010, 13:20
You have to remember when eating high fat, high calorie foods, you aren't going to feel full. Example ~ you can eat a 700 calorie cupcake but you'll be hungry in 15 minutes. In general, the pre-sized 330 calorie burger accounts for the drain off in the calorie and fat content listed on the package. As you can't determine exactly how much liquid fat comes off a burger, you need to just stick with the calories listed on the package.

I love a good burger, but they do leave me hungry. Supplement with lots of veggies on the day you eat burgers, but don't play with the fat content as you may end up underestimating your calories on those days.

Calories don't change from uncooked to cooked, especially on pre-sized burgers. That's just not how it works. You still have the same amount of meat ~ think "add season package to one pound ground beef" ~ you weigh that meat before cooking, not after to get your "one pound." A McD's Quarter Pounder is "weight before cooking." Calories are based on weight before cooking. Weight after is not accurate.
Don't let the ticker fool you ~ I started this journey at 250 pounds a year ago. This is a lifestyle change for sure ~ I've never been on a diet that lasted this long and worked this well.

Don't ever apologize when you know you're right. The truth hurts, some people just need to get over it.

So I don't have to keep repeating myself ~ I'll just put it here.....The team is the STEELERS, not Steeler's. I am a STEELERS fan, not a Steeler's fan.
Nikita 007

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 88

Posted: 14 Oct 2010, 13:28
I'm afraid I must disagree calories as well as carbs often do change with cooking. Whether you choose to adjust the calories are a personal preference.

For meats, my understanding is that the calorie count numbers are for cooked weight. A 4 oz raw piece of chicken becomes about 3 oz cooked weight. It loses water as it cooks, so the calories by weight are higher in the cooked food. When I work from uncooked weight, I assume 25% weight loss to get the cooked weight for meats.

For starches (rice, pasta, potatoes, beans, cereal, split peas), the dry food gains water while it cooks. And as a result, the calories for the cooked weight are a lot lower than dry weight. But something else happens, too. When heated the starch granules rupture, releasing the starch in a form that is more easily digestible. So the more you cook a starch, the higher the calories and glycemic index are. If you were to crunch up a handful of uncooked rice or oatmeal or a raw sweet potato, the calories would be way lower than eating it cooked. [It's very hard to find information on the magnitude of the cooking effect. However, the following link gives information on digestive sugar release from starchy mung beans The sugar release from completely cooked (pressure cooked) beans is twelve times higher than from uncooked - for normal cooking it is only five times higher, suggesting a significant "al dente" effect.] In theory the same thing happens when you eat spaghetti al dente, but I don't know how to adjust the calories down for undercooking. I use the number listed on the package (which for spaghetti is based on the dry uncooked weight). That gives a safe calorie number, on the high side of reality - only really accurate if you're eating canned spaghetti.

To convert a dry starch food weight to a cooked one, I'd use a four to one weight ratio as a general rule. An ounce (27g) of dry pasta or rice is about four ounces cooked (100g, or volumetrically about a packed half cup measure), and about 100 calories.

According to the USDA 1 unit (yield from 1 lb ready-to-cook chicken) of raw chicken breast meat has 78 kcal, and 1 unit (yield from 1 lb ready-to-cook chicken) of stewed chicken breast meat has 86 kcal.
Things that make you go Hmmm....

. If you ate pasta and antipasta would you still be hungry?
. If one synchronized swimmer drowns. Do the rest have to drown too?
. If space is a vacuum, who changes the bag?
. What is another word for Thesaurus?
. Is there an imaginary cure for hypochondria?

Just wondering....


Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 378

Posted: 14 Oct 2010, 16:36
This was very enlightening, thanks for posting!
God made man before women because you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece (stolen from Coach's journal).

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 24

Posted: 17 Oct 2010, 12:08
But at the end of the day... if I have 1oz of butter, heat it, and drain away some of the melted butter, I'm not left with 1oz of butter in the pan. I wasn't thinking that cooking was changing much about the calories in fat, I was wondering how much I was changing the actual amount of each ingredient I was eating.

If you were just losing water in cooking, the calories and fat in 3oz of cooked beef should be higher than in uncooked beef (more calories/oz). I think my box of frozen burgers gives nutritional information based on what's in the patties - they know there's x grams of fat in there as packaged, and when I weigh the frozen patty it is as listed on the box. So if I grill it and see tons of oil pouring off the grill, that must be fat included in the nutritional data that I'm not actually eating (and some water, too, of course).

I guess I'll just know I must be losing a few grams of fat and allow myself to go over the RDI a bit on those days.

Personally, I find fat very satiating--if I eat 180 calories of nuts, I'm going to be full a lot longer than if I eat 180 calories of a sugary cupcake.

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