Thursday, April 29, 2010
Weighing Your Food Raw vs Cooked
This is a great question! One I have spent a lot of time researching myself in the past. This is what I learned.
When you see references to weight when looking at points or calories for meat, they are referring to cooked weight, not raw. So how do you know how to calculate your points or calories when you buy chicken, beef, pork or fish? The most accurate way to do this is to weigh your meat before and after. Meat shrinks when cooked but the calories remain the same. A good rule of thumb I use for meat is, 4 oz of raw meat will usually yield 3 oz.
For most accurate results, always look for the nutritional information for raw meat if available, and weigh/calculate the meat based on that.
When it comes to grains like rice, quinoa, pasta, etc., the nutritional data listed is the uncooked weight. These grains expand to more than double since they absorb a lot of water, so if you measure it after it's cooked, you'll be way off.
If you don't have a food scale, you should buy one. I have an inexpensive scale that is about $25 by EatSmart. It's easy to use and has a tare feature where you can eliminate the weight of a plate.