These Cooking Methods Are Making Your Food Toxic
What you eat is important. But how you cook is equally important. Some nutrients are water-soluble and some are heat-sensitive, these may be completely destroyed by some cooking methods.
Method of cooking affects the nutritional value of the food
- How you cook food is as important as what you eat
- Some cooking methods denature the proteins and render them useless
- Best cooking methods are those which lead to minimum nutrient loss
Read on to find out which cooking methods you should be avoiding:
Smoking your meat gives it a mouth-watering flavor but it sure has some health risks. Smoked meats are associated with a high risk of certain cancers due to the presence of carcinogens such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from wood smoke. Also, nitrosamines which are by-products of curing agents such as nitrites and nitrates are also carcinogenic. Smoked meats are also high in sodium and are best avoided.
While barbecuing meat makes it taste great, it does pose some health issues too. When fat from the meat drops on the charcoal, it produces carcinogenic and inflammatory substances like PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and HCAs (hetero cyclic amines). Most barbecue sauces have hidden sugars and MSG too. Make barbecues an occasional treat and don't overcook/ char your meats.
3. Charring due to grilling at high temperature
Charring the food while grilling oxidizes the fat and produces inflammatory substances. It also denatures the protein rendering them useless and in some cases even harmful. More grilling means more glycation and more AGEs. AGEs can be mutagenic, carcinogenic and inflammatory too. Grilling should be done to an extent when the outside of the food is barely brown and the inside is grilled minimum to rare.
Deep frying oxidizes oil and results in the production of trans fat. Deep frying any food not only makes it bathe in oxidized oil, it also denatures protein because of the high temperature and results in the production of AGEs.Deep fried foods are high on calories too. If you still want to deep fry occasionally, chose desi ghee (or clarified butter) as your cooking medium since it has one of the highest smoke points and doesn't oxidize easily.
The use of microwave tends to create high amounts of electromagnetic fields in the kitchen. The use of microwave should be limited to a few convenient tasks and shouldn't be used for cooking entirely. Better still, cook your veggies and reheat them in your karahi; for baking, use a convection oven.
The best cooking methods are those which lead to minimum nutrient loss by exposing food to medium-high temperature for minimum duration and don't result in production of toxic substances. Depending upon the food item, one should chose from boiling, sautéing, stir-frying, steaming, poaching, fermenting, sprouting, and grilling(just enough so that the food is light brown from outside and cooked properly from the inside). Include a good helping to raw or uncooked food items like fruits and veggies in your diet too.
Also read: Is Cooking In An Air Fryer Healthy?
(Pooja Malhotra is a city-based nutritionist)
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