A recent study concluded that food labels are significantly underestimating the calorie content of cooked or processed foods as opposed to raw food. Energy content of food is typically based on an accepted calculation of the calories in uncooked and unprocessed food. Heating or processing the food will significantly increase the calories present, but most food labels base the energy content on calculations of raw food.
People who rely on these values are miscalculating their energy intake, which can obviously lead to fat gain. To stay or to get lean, all processed foods should be avoided in favor of whole foods, whether they are cooked or raw.
Regardless of whether your goal is to loss fat, gain muscle, or just live a healthy life, avoiding processed foods as a rule and focusing on raw food is the best method to achieve all of the above. When the option is a packaged and processed ‘food’, or an uncooked food, the choice is painfully clear as to which your body will most benefit from.