When it comes to diet, calories and energy regulation, there’s always something new being brought to the table.

Rachel Carmody, a Harvard researcher is out to update the system currently used to measure calories in our food.  She says that the calorie values on food labels don’t account for digestive processes that are typically lower for processed foods and higher for unprocessed.  In other words, your body digests mashed potatoes more efficiently, thereby using less energy in the process, than it does to digest that same amount of raw potato.

Practically it makes sense.  Chewing a raw potato takes a lot of work compared to letting mashed spuds melt in your mouth and slide down your throat.  Not that I’ve ever chewed up a raw potato.  I may be Irish, but I like my potatoes cooked.

“So although two foods might have the same number of calories on paper, these calories are not necessarily equally available to the body. In some cases, reported calorie values could differ from actual energy harvest by as much as 50per cent.”

Interestingly, on the same day I came across this research, I also discovered a free e-book called “Fuck Calories” that parallels much of what I read in Michael Pollen’s Food Rules.   Both author’s capitalize on listening to your body, eating as close to nature as possible and avoiding highly processed foods (especially sugar).

How did eating become so complicated?