This article, A calorie isn't a calorie claims:

Starch becomes more resistant to digestion when it is allowed to cool and sit after being cooked, because it crystallizes into structures that digestive enzymes cannot easily break down. So stale foods like day-old cooked spaghetti, or cold toast, will give you fewer calories than the same foods eaten piping hot, even though technically they contain the same amount of stored energy.

Unfortunately, the papers they cite seem to be behind paywalls, but is there really that significant of a difference just from bread going stale? Or is this more like the assertion that drinking cold water increases metabolic rates, but the values are so significant as to be lost in the noise?

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    Related (re. pasta rather than toast): Is reheated pasta less fattening? – ChrisW Jan 12 '15 at 21:11
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    The bit about cooked food delivering more calories is true at least (scientificamerican.com/article/cooking-up-bigger-brains/?page=2). Apparently it's a net-calorie thing: takes a lot more effort(calories) to digest raw food than cooked food. Don't know about the other claims though. – RBarryYoung Jan 12 '15 at 21:46
  • @RBarryYoung wasn't that why we started cooking food in the first place, yea back before history began? Cooked food -> more nutrients -> less food needed to sustain tribe -> less time needed to hunt/gather -> more time to do other stuff like develop language, culture, tradition, civilization? – Shadur Jan 13 '15 at 6:08
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    @Shadur: That and it represents major health benefits from elimination of parasites in meat to elimination of the poisons in the vegetables. – Sean Duggan Jan 13 '15 at 10:58

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