Weighing foods: Raw vs Cooked

One of the most common questions I see on the forums is:

For tracking calories, do you weigh food raw or cooked?

In my opinion, always weigh it raw if you have the choice.

The nutrition label on the packaging usually indicates the caloric yield for one serving of the raw ingredient and in the case of unlabeled foods the calories for raw ingredients are readily available on the internet. On the other hand, cooked food weight and calories tends to vary depending on cooking method and ingredients added during cooking (eg. water, sauces, oils).

However, the process does become complicated if you are cooking many portions at once (eg. for meal prep). So I have made a calculator to help you with it!

EXAMPLE:
When cooking pasta, the box says a serving size is 60g and has 150 Calories. If I cook 120g of raw pasta, how many calories does a serving of 30g of cooked pasta have?

Let’s say after after cooking, your pasta weight 300g.

Hence calories for one serving of 30g of cooked pasta will be

= [(120/60)*150]*(30/300)
= 30 Cals

Hope this helps 🙂

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