Eli5 how does heat make meat more digestible?

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Eli5 how does heat make meat more digestible?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

It breaks down the proteins and other bacteria that would otherwise require higher metabolic rate. Technically, protein has the highest metabolic rate (compared with say carbs), so heating it up helps you expend less energy to digest it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Imagine you have an old shed in your backyard and you want to get rid of it. You could go to work it on with a hammer and saw, prying and cutting it apart so you can throw the pieces away, but it’s difficult. Let’s say you set the shed on fire and let it burn for a while. The structure gets weaker and it’s going to be much easier to take it apart. That’s essentially what’s happening. Heating food destroys the structure to some degree making it easier for the digestive system to break apart the rest.

Most body tissue is held together by a particular grouping of amino acids forming a type of protein called collagen. It’s providing the framework that hold the rest of the tissue together. Connective tissue like tendons and ligaments are primarily collagen, but nearly every part of your body has some collagen in it to provide structure. Heating collagen turns it into a gel and it loses its strength making the tissue easier to break apart.

Humans are omnivores, we can eat most anything, but initially our ancestors mostly ate fruit. The body is pretty good at digesting fruit, but isn’t capable of easily dissolving proteins. Heating the protein to break the structure holding it together is “pre-digesting” the food so our body can do the rest.

In vegetables it’s a similar process. The structure of vegetables isn’t a protein, it’s a carbohydrate called cellulose which is particularly resistant to acid, our bodies can’t break it down easily. Cooking vegetables destroys the cellulose and the food becomes softer, making it easier to digest.