Is food less healthy when heated?
In each issue of Best Health magazine, we analyze whether some common assumptions are based on fact or fiction. In our Summer issue, we look at whether cooking causes foods to lose their nutritional value. Many people think it does. But here’s what we found out.
Some foods do lose their nutritional content when cooked, but to varying degrees. Generally, foods retain the most nutrients when they are steamed, stir-fried or microwaved.
Water-soluble vitamins like C and the B family leach into water and are damaged by exposure to heat, light and air. So to get the most benefit, you may want to minimally cook foods that are high in those vitamins – for example, sweet peppers and asparagus.
With meat, the fat and calorie content depends on how it’s prepared. Grilling and broiling will allow fat to drain away from the meat, and result in a leaner dish than one left to simmer in a sauce.
For more nutritional news and information on healthy living, check out Best Health, on newsstands now.