Balanced nutrition: The healthiest ways to cookBy Blair Morris
February 20, 2020
To ensure that our diet is as healthy and varied as possible, not only must we take into account the selection of food, but also the way it is prepared.
When it comes to following a healthy and balanced diet, not only the selection of the food and ingredients of the menu influences but also its preparation. Frying or cooking on the grill? Boiled or steamed? Did you know that cooking papillote is one of the healthiest forms? What is the way of cooking that best preserves nutrient from food? These are some of the questions that should be asked when choosing and planning a balanced menu.
Healthy and balanced diet
A healthy and varied diet, in which foods from all groups of the food pyramid are included, is the best way to keep our body protected from health problems and disorders.
How to follow a healthy diet? Taking into account the number of calories that we must include according to our age and our energy needs, knowing which are the best foods and which should avoid or reduce their intake and, last but not least, take into account the preparation or preparation of the dishes. And the way to cook is essential to get food to keep the largest number of nutrients in its preparation. Take note of the healthiest ways to cook:
Grilled: one of the healthiest ways
Cooking on the grill, especially foods such as meat and fish, helps to maintain the nutrients of the food, reduces the level of fats and facilitates their digestion. It is healthier than frying food, and in the case of foods such as vegetables, it conserves its nutrients better.
Although it is not recommended to maintain a healthy diet, when we opt for fried foods, it is best to opt for low saturation oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil, and never use steaming or burning oil. Making mention of olive oil, it is advisable to remember that it is one of the essential ingredients in what is considered to be the most balanced diet, the Mediterranean diet. It is true that pressing cold and raw is when olive oil provides all its nutrients and innumerable benefits.
Cooking food in boiling water is one of the best known and most used cooking methods. In general, it is considered a healthy way of cooking, but it is important to consider certain aspects.
In the first place, the food should be put in when the water is boiling, so that the food is sealed instantly and does not lose its nutrients and natural properties. If we throw food cold, we will encourage water-soluble vitamins, carbohydrates and mineral salts to dissolve in cold water. If we are going to conserve the water to take it, as in the preparation of a broth or stew, there is no problem, but if we only take the dry foods, we must take this detail into account.
In addition, it is advisable to take the minimum amount of water to prevent the nutrients from being diluted. Foods such as rice, pasta, legumes or eggs are the most advisable to be prepared in this way.
The steam cooking is one of the healthiest cooking methods. According to experts in dietetics and nutrition, this cooking method cooks food more slowly, so it helps to better preserve its nutrients, nitrates and aromatic principles.
Cooking in a pressure cooker has detractors and defenders. While detractors say that the rapid cooling of food causes them to lose their nutrients, advocates believe that reducing the cooking time of food helps to conserve much better nutrients and vitamins from food. In addition, the pressure cooker is a great energy and time-saving.
Cooking in the oven
Another interesting way to prepare the menus is baked, yes, it is better to do it at a moderate temperature than at high temperatures so as not to lose the properties of the food, although the preparation time is longer.
One of the healthiest cooking techniques is the papillote. It basically consists of wrapping the food in brown paper (never in aluminum) and placing it in the oven for a maximum of twenty minutes. Before baking it can be seasoned with lemon juice or spices. A form of preparation that is advisable with almost all kinds of foods, such as vegetables, fish (without spines), meat (without bones), potatoes and fruit (in this case, try apples, peaches or pears).
Slow pots to cook healthily
Kitchen robots and slow cookers are taking off in new forms of preparation. Not only are they a clean and effective way of cooking, because it helps to invest better cooking times, but many defend that by having the possibility of regulating the temperature you can choose to cook food very slowly, which seems to better preserve its properties. In addition, this way of cooking requires much less oil than others.