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Okay, it's my turn to ask the obvious. When, by various means of ours we convert starch to sugar, do we add calories?

Can a raw onion ever be made to create more calories? If I sauté raw onion with love, until it's peak of sweetness, will my wife grow more pleasantly plump?

asked by bugbitten over 3 years ago
12 answers 1142 views
926ee962 060e 44e6 a1d9 878262f34bf8  image
added over 3 years ago

That kind of a yes and no answer. You can release enzymes out of certain food and proteins of meats by cooking. Now is this going to change the caloric intake I would think not. Now can you strip away nutritional value and energy certainly. If I am wrong my mistake I would love to hear the explanation on it.

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 3 years ago


“Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”
-- Albert Einstein

E6f5e079 1551 4472 bc70 dcc35a71edc2  110
added over 3 years ago

Where does the heat from sweetening an onion go?

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added over 3 years ago

Sorry, badly asked. Does the heat that is necessary to turn an onion sweet make it more plumpening? That's what i meant to say.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 3 years ago

The heat changes the easy the onion looks & tastes, as well as heating the pan and the room, but the onion still has 3 Calories per gram as do all carbohydrates plus fat from the pan that clings to the onion has more than twice the Calories per gram, as do all fats, as I understand it.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 3 years ago

That should be the Way the onion looks…

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 3 years ago


I don't believe any of the thermal energy is converted into a digestible form if that's where you're heading. In a nutshell, starches are glucose molecules bound together. Under heat starches hydrate making it easier for enzymes to break them down into sugar. Our bodies run on sugar, specifically glucose, so in theory you're saving the body some work though I imagine any energy savings, thus net caloric gain, would be very small.

To put it another way, contrary to NYC mayor Bloomberg's way of thinking (if you can call it that), it doesn't really matter how much sugar one consumes, only the total caloric intake. 1000 calories of sugary drink + 100 calories of fat + 10 calories of carbs is exactly = 100 calories of sugar + 10 calories of fat + 1000 calories of carbs.

The cooking fat absorbed by the onion would far outweigh any other factor (so to speak) except perhaps more obtusely, since we're genetically programmed to seek sugar and saturated fat, one is likely to consume more of the cooked dish than if it were raw, thus increasing calories consumed.

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added over 3 years ago

Re the above "it doesn't really matter how much sugar one consumes, only the total caloric intake." Recent research has questioned that truism, and found that's not the case: http://opinionator.blogs....

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 3 years ago


I believe you're taking my statement out of context. The subject at hand is weight gain vis-à-vis starch vs. sugar. The very definition of a calorie is the quantification of energy potential, thus a calorie = a calorie. A popular myth is still a myth and there are many that revolve around this subject.

As for Bittman's piece, I can't comment on the study he refers to because I haven't read it and, just as importantly, I haven't heard the opposing analysis. I will say this though: Anyone who claims sugar is "toxic" is being sensationalistic at the very least. And anyone who calls for revoking fructose's GRAS status is either a zealot or out to sell his next book (or both). What are we supposed to do -- stop eating fruit? Or is fruit okay but "added" fructose is somehow different?

F91e24fe 9edf 4e15 ba6b 76906fc5f610  pasta fresca
added over 3 years ago

Cellulose is sugar just as starch and has same calories once burnt but does not give same claories on food as it is not digestible. That is why sugar maltose from starch has more calories.
www.cooking-class-authentic...

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added over 3 years ago


If you're saying what I think you’re saying, that some starches are resistant to digestion in the same way that cellulose is indigestible, I would argue this: The conversion of starch to sugar via cooking is the same process we use internally to convert starch to sugar, the enzyme amylase. In other words, starch that would pass through our digestive system unchanged would also be unchanged via cooking. Conversely, the starch that is converted to sugar via cooking would otherwise have been rapidly converted to sugar after consumption. Net zero.

F91e24fe 9edf 4e15 ba6b 76906fc5f610  pasta fresca
added over 3 years ago

You have not net the calories to cook. Amilase does not come free.
That is why we cook. Try to eat uncooked pasta or rice and see that. Or try to eat on ounce of sugar versus an ounce of bread or an ounce of paper!