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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the best/healthiest method for cooking vegetables?

    Related Topic
    Steaming? Pan frying?
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  • Joanna Baker

    Nutritionist, Registered Nurse

    Everyday Nutrition founder Joanna Baker has been working in healthcare for 2o years. As an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and a Registered Nurse, she has seen … View Profile

    Great Question. We all know eating veggies is good for us and that according to the National Nutrition Survey Australians as a whole don't eat enough! But how should we cook them?
    Points to consider:

    • Some vitamins, particularly water soluable C and B group are damaged by heat or submersion in water when cooking - so briefly cooking so they are still crunchy is probably better than cooking them until the are soft.
    • Some methods involve added fat, such as pan frying, grilling or baking/roasting. Type of fat used can be considered here, saturated vs poly or mono unsaturated. Saturated fat is best minimised while Mono and poly unsaturated are considered healthy. We all require some fats in our diet and the latter two are better choices, however, if you are trying to lose weight they are still calorie dense (about 120 cal per tablespoon) and there can be too much of a good thing.
    • Some vegetables are goitregens (can have an effect on the thyroid) and are neutraised in cooking.
    • Some taste better cooked or uncooked
    • Variety keeps food interesting and enjoyable

    My personnal opinion, I get enough fats in my diet from nuts, oily fish (healthy fats) and meat (saturated fat) and I don't really need extra. Although I do enjoy veggies cooked a variety of ways on a regular basis, I think the “healthiest” option would be either raw (as in a salad) or a light steam without adding extra fats (oils or butter).

    Hope that helps
    BHSc. RN divI. GC human nutr.

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