19 Aug Best Cooking Methods To Retain Nutrients
When cooking food, apart from taste, the main consideration is to keep the vitamin and mineral content intact as much as possible. To preserve the precious nutritional content, cook at lower temperatures and if required, for a longer period of time. Try to avoid frying at high temperatures as this essentially destroys the nutrients.
|Ideal cooking methods||Minimise or avoid these cooking methods|
|Braising||Boiling, especially overcooking|
|Poaching||*Baking (if food becomes burnt)|
|Sautéing||*Barbecuing (if food becomes burnt)|
|Simmering||*Frying at high temperatures|
|Steaming||*Grilling (if food becomes burnt)|
*Burnt or charred food can cause inflammation which causes damage the gut wall. Remove burnt bits from food before consuming.
Fiona’s Tip: Avoid cooking with non-stick frying pans and saucepans as this contain a chemical known as Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Add dangers of …
Many homes rely on cooking in the microwave oven as a way to get food prepared and on the table quickly. There are some cautions to be mindful of when preparing food in this manner. One of the health concerns with microwave cooking is if the food is coming into contact with plastic, such as the container in which the food is cooked in and the other caution is plastic wrap is used to cover the container, is coming into contact with the food in the cooking process. The concern is that the chemicals in the plastic can be leached into the food when heated at very high temperatures.
When cooking in the microwave oven follow these simple recommendations to minimise the risk of chemical contamination:
- ✅ Avoid cooking food in plastic containers
- ✅ Do not cover allow food to come into contact with plastic wrap
- ✅ Cook in glass or ceramic containers using a glass lid if the foods has to be covered.
|Safe plastics with no known health hazards are coded 2,4 and 5.|
Most of the food we purchase is stored and packaged in either plastic bags, plastic containers or plastic bottles. On the underside of these plastic container there are numbers displayed and these code indicates if there are any known health hazards associated with that particular plastic. The plastics that have no known health hazards are coded 2, 4 and 5. These are the safest and only cause problems if they are ingested.
When storing food at home, where possible store food in glass containers. This is especially important if the food has a long shelf life and stored over long periods of time.
Fiona’s Tip: Wash used glass jars and re-use to store food.
Eating organic and other food sources
Organic food is more nutritious than ordinary produce because it is not sprayed with dangerous herbicides and pesticides. These foods naturally contain more vitamins and minerals because of better farming practices. The advantage of introducing organic food to children is to reduce their chemical load. Chemicals found in food in either from chemical sprays or chemicals added to processed and packaged food can interfere with the delicate balance between their immune system, gut and brain. These communication pathways are still learning to talk with each other and chemicals may be likely to interfere with this conversation.
For most, the choice of going totally organic is not an option because of the expense. However, because of increased demand, supermarkets are introducing more choice with organic foods both in the fruit and vegetable section and general produce. Choose organic products where you can especially when buying the Dirty Dozen foods. They include: apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries and potatoes.
Reasons to go organic:
- ✅ Organic food is produced to standards designed to keep the production more ‘natural’, using environmental and animal friendly farming techniques.
- ✅ Herbicides and pesticides are banned from use.
- ✅ Organic foods are not genetically modified (GM foods decrease immunity and can increase the likelihood of allergies).
- ✅ Farms have to meet strict guidelines to be certified organic.
Farmer’s markets are becoming increasing popular in big cities. The benefits of buying food from these markets is that the food is grown or produced by the farmer, picked when ripened and sold fresh. This is not necessarily the case with ‘fresh’ produce available in supermarkets. The fruit and vegetable are often picked before they ripen on the vine, which is a crucial stage at which the nutritient is passed into the food. Once they are picked they are stored in cool stores and semi-frozen for months before making their way to the supermarket.
Grow your own
Think about starting a small vegie patch in the backyard. It is a great way to get kids interested in food because they can observe the various growing stages as the fruit and vegies ripen and are finally ready to be picked. Keep the process as organic as possible and don’t use any harmful sprays