raw vs cooked nutrition and weight?
Foods often lose vitamins when cooked. To help me pick the correct description for items for more accurate nutrition, it would be helpful if Cronometer could develop a standard format for describing them. For example, sometimes I want to enter a weight or volume for uncooked rice in a recipe that I am about to cook.
Presumably the nutrition values listed are for cooked rice because pretty much no one eats uncooked rice. Some recipes call for rice which is already cooked, or I may be serving myself a portion of already cooked rice, in which case I am going to enter measurements for the cooked weight, so I would pick the entry for pre-cooked rice.
But let's say I'm eating some spinach. Spinach can be eaten raw or it can be eaten cooked. If I'm putting spinach into say, an omelet, then it is easiest for me to weigh out the raw spinach and enter that, rather than cooking it separately then weighing it. However the nutrition of cooked spinach should be different than raw. Does "Spinach, Cooked from Frozen" refer to the weight of the frozen spinach which I then cook? Or does it refer to a pile of standalone spinach that I've just say, steamed from frozen? ditto for "Spinach, Cooked from Fresh".
In other words, if I am putting some fresh spinach into a dish that I am cooking, should I weigh the raw spinach, enter that as "Spinach, raw", then cook it? Or do I need to enter that weight under "Spinach, Cooked from Fresh"? Or does that label require that I cook the spinach separately and then weigh it? The way that the foods are labeled are ambiguous in this regard so I end up confused as to what to pick and how to enter it. Thus far I have been entering the weight of raw spinach that I am cooking under "Spinach, Cooked from Fresh" but I'm not sure if that's correct and there may be times that I want to enter the weight of standalone already steamed spinach.
The nutrition for Spinach, Raw is for raw spinach and will have a bit of a different nutrient profile from Spinach, Cooked. The weights will also be different, mainly due to water lost when the spinach is cooked.
Ideally, you would record the weight of the cooked spinach and enter in the "Spinach, Cooked" food to your diary. It's a bit of a trade-off though, when making mixed dishes, between accurately weighing and measuring your cooked foods and the convenience of weighing and measuring raw foods. If you opt to measure your ingredients before they are cooked, then I would recommend entering in the raw versions of the foods when adding them to get the correct amount of the food you are eating.
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