Don't Waste Nutrients to Bad Cooking Skills


Pan on Fire

Most foods are processed before you eat them, and you may not realize that the nutrition in foods can be compromised by methods of storage, processing, or cooking. Today we process many foods to ensure that micro-organisms that may cause sickness are eliminated and to extend the shelf life of foods. To learn more about safe food preparation, you can check out the Federal Food Safe website, which includes minimum cooking temperatures for various foods.

What Causes Nutrient Loss?

Certain processes result in nutrient loss, and those that expose foods to high levels of oxygen, light, and head result in the most nutrient loss. Blanching can destroy B-complex and C vitamins, canning can affect water-soluble vitamin content, and dehydrating can reduce levels of vitamin C, although it can result in the concentration of other nutrients.

Certain vitamins are less likely to be affected by the processing than others are. Some of the more unstable vitamins are water-soluble B vitamins, such as folate, and vitamin C. A few of the more stable vitamins that hold up better during processing and cooking include vitamin D, niacin, vitamin K, pantothenic acid, and biotin.

Tips to Preserve Nutritional Value of Foods

You can take measures to preserve the nutrients in your foods so you enjoy the greatest nutrition possible. Here are a few tips to use to make sure you reap all the benefits from the foods you eat:

 Try cooking with very little oil to avoid the loss of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins E and A.

  • Reduce the amount of water used when cooking fruits and veggies high in vitamin C to reduce the loss of this sensitive vitamin.
  • Keep root veggies in their skins when cooking to retain vitamin C.
  • Serve veggies you cook quickly, since they can lose nutrients while being in the fridge.
  • Try steaming veggies instead of frying or boiling to reduce the loss of nutrients. 

Fresh fruits and veggies are always your best choice, but remember, not all additives are bad. Ascorbic acid, sulfites, BHT, and BHA can all help protect nutrients in your foods.

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