The different ways in which foods are prepared lays the foundation of many diets. The raw food diet which proposes the consumption of foods that are not cooked for various reasons comes to mind. Cooking is the assembling of ingredients in a pot under the effect of heat to make a dish fit for consumption.Cooking has numerous effects on food which are said to affect general health including weight gain. Cooking is said to reduce the nutrients in food while destroying various necessary enzymes. The effect of heat on food depends on temperature, length of cooking and technique. Temperatures between 7°C to 50°C is said to boost bacterial activity. This temperature range will increase the amount of bacteria both good and bad to the body. However we should acknowledge that the main attribute of cooking is to help kill any bacteria and virus that may be dangerous to the body.
Some foods that are occasionally consumed raw provide numerous nutrients, chemicals and enzymes which are beneficial to our health. These foods are higher in these and should be consumed much more often for a healthier diet. Such include fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Methods of cooking
Baking is the process of cooking in an oven at high heat. This method is one of the better ones when we have weightloss in mind. The dish is covered with a lid or foil before cooking to preserve moisture. This method is viable for most of the foods we consume. However, the ingredients should be healthy. Use less processed or refined flours and sugars.
Broiling is also under high heat in an oven only that here we can use additives to add flavor. Such additives can include margarines or wine. For recipes that focus on losing weight we should watch for the content of this additives we may choose to use. It helps add more flavor in baking of poultry, fish and lean cuts.
Boiling is cooking in very hot water so as to soften food. This method when done for longer periods causes high nutrient loss. However, when done briefly it will help in preparing foods that have intact calories and fats. By intact I mean none are added by using additives such as cooking fats and others. There are several boiling recipes that may appeal to you. Methods like boiling and steaming that use water have high nutrients loss as compared to other methods.
Steaming is cooking in steam, which is produced by boiling water below the dish. It is very popular with rice. Steaming is also common with vegetables and is preferred to cook healthy nutritious. It is meant to preserve more nutrients when performed for shorter periods. The problem with boiling and steaming is related to vitamin loss. Vitamins are lost when foods are exposed to heat. To supplement this you can, and should, consume more vitamin rich foods.
Microwave cooking is a process that uses electromagnetic rays to heat/cook food. This is a process that takes the shortest time to prepare food. This leads to higher preservation of nutrients and minerals. Foods cooked on lower setting will thus preserve more nutrients.
Grilling is an open cooking method where the food is cooked over a source of heat. It is most popular with meats. It’s very unhealthy when you add up all the additives such as sauces which are high in fat and empty calories.
Deep frying and frying in general has never been known to be healthy. Greasy foods are the arch-enemy of weight loss. These foods are quite tasty and cause cravings when you don’t indulge after a long period. Most cooking fats are high in trans-fats which raise the level of blood cholesterol. They are found mainly in foods fried in hydrogenated fats.
When making the decisions on how to prepare foods, opt for shorter and more efficient methods so as to preserve more nutrients. Some types of cooking create more pressure on the digestive system than others. Simple meals will save time and energy. You could plan meals for the entire week and shop to that effect. These will reduce the chance of preparing unhealthy foods that will endanger your weightloss goals.