Cooking is an art and one who masters it knows not only to satisfy the tongue, but also to care for the good health. As the popular saying goes ‘eat to live’, we should always ensure that the foods that we eat help us in living healthy. It is a known fact that our body needs all the essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins in our daily diet, in order to maintain good health.
Among the above nutrients, protein is the one which is usually found in all the food sources (including plant and animal), and they are usually found in vegetables, diary products, eggs, fish, meat, poultry and legumes. We usually cook our food because it not only satisfies our taste buds, but also makes the food easy to digest.
But, while cooking usually the protein based ones, great care is needed so as to avoid the extremities in cooking, which may either be harmful or result in the loss of protein content in the food. Cooking is something which has the capacity of altering the nutritional values of the food; hence, a right technique of food preparation should be followed, in order to retain the nutrition even after cooking.
While some foods could be eaten raw, some may be harmful if eaten uncooked. Hence, it is necessary to maintain a balance between the two and the person who cooks should necessary know how to keep up this balance. Thus, by cooking foods in the following ways you may be able to retain the protein content to the maximum.
6 Techniques Of Cooking To Retain The Protein In Foods
This may sound something unrelated to cooking, but there are certain foods especially some kind of vegetables, which are best if consumed raw in order to get the maximum protein contents from them.
The best way to cook animal based protein foods such as fish, poultry and meat is grilling. Grilling usually does not take much of oil when compared to deep frying. Hence, you can be sure that you are not adding too much fat to your foods. But you should also see to it that you do not overcook or char the food, or you may lose the proteins instead of retaining it.
Baking Or Broiling
Apart form grilling, baking or broiling is also a good option to cook animal food sources. By broiling or baking foods like sea foods and poultry, you will be causing only the least amount of damage to the proteins and hence, it is in fact a better way to cook the non-veggies than grilling.
Stir frying is another option for cooking to retain the proteins in the food. You can try this method for both veggies and non-veggies. However, you may have to take care of two things. The first one is that you should always choose some healthy oil for stir frying such as olive oil or canola oil, and the other one is that you should maintain a medium heat and cook the food for a long time. By following the above two rules, you will not only be able to retain the proteins in the food, but also can make your dish delicious and healthy.
Steaming of course is better than frying, and it is mostly preferred by the health conscious people due to its oil free mode of cooking. Generally, those foods which cannot be either baked or grilled can be consumed after steaming.However, as this option is considered to leach out considerable amount of proteins in the food, it can be tried as a last resort for those items, if none of the above options seems to be possible.
Though not a popular method of cooking, pressure cooking is of course a healthier option for retaining the proteins in the foods. The reason behind this is that it takes only a short duration to cook food in a pressure cooker, and as the food is exposed to the heat for a lesser time, this will help us in preserving the essential proteins in the food.
Moreover, it is best suited to cook hard meats, stews and soups. Usually, foods that are rich with high proteins are not safe to be consumed undercooked. On the other hand, overcooking should also be avoided. Hence, it is necessary to know the right methods of cooking, as each type of food needs to be cooked in a different way.
Thus, the above are some of the methods which you can try as per the requirement of the situation, and still retain the nutritious values of the food. Being aware of these healthy cooking techniques will also help you in breaking the myth that ‘cooking destroys proteins’, and you can prove it otherwise.