That’s right, you are likely destroying the food you eat – and unfortunately, so is just about everyone else. That means you’re putting bad things (toxins) into your body. If you were superman, this might be your kryptonite.
Have you ever stopped to think that what you put in your body could be causing your health problems? Do you ever wonder if the way you prepare and cook your food is healthy and safe? What about the people you cook for? Your family, friends and loved ones.
You could be unnecessarily increasing the inflammation in the body – which is associated with many chronic illness, like: chronic pain, obesity, ADD/ADHD, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, migraines, and cancer.
How You Eat
The next time you prepare or cook a meal, keep this in mind:
It’s not just about WHAT you eat – it’s about HOW you eat (and cook and prepare) it. If you buy the right foods but then go home and char them to death (like on the outdoor grill / BBQ), you aren’t doing any body (yours or anyone else) much good. How you cook your food can be just as important as choosing the right food to cook in the first place.
The problem is that a lot of toxins are formed in food during certain cooking methods. It turns out that how you go about preparing and cooking your food plays a large part in the amount of inflammation that food causes in your body.
When you overcook your food, you are changing its structure. This is important to consider especially with proteins and fats. If you heat it too high or for too long, you are damaging the proteins and fats. With proteins, the more they cook, the more they denature and the less effective they are when you digest them.
Fats will oxidize when they reach a certain temperature. And different fats oxidize at different temperatures. Polyunsaturated fats are highly reactive to heat, as well as other stressors, and, when heated, they produce dicarbonyls that cause cell mutations (and may contribute to cancer).
Smoking, frying and grilling meat produces carcinogens. One of those carcinogens, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), is the same that is produced by the exhaust of your car and from cigarette smoke.
Okay, you get it. You need to prepare your food so that it doesn’t hurt you. But how?
Less is More
There’s no need to get in a hurry when prepping and cooking your food. In general, you want to turn down the heat and cook your food LESS – or don’t even cook it at all if it’s safe to eat raw (like many vegetables, grass-fed animals and wild-caught fish).
Here are some specifics to keep in mind the next time you prepare and cook your food:
- Do not fry, smoke or grill. Unless, that is, you’re okay with smoking and sucking on cars’ tailpipes.
- Do not microwave. Microwaves destroy the food from the inside out and produce harmful radiation. Double whammy.
- Bake at 320 degrees or less. This will minimize the amount of carcinogens produced and will also minimize inflammation caused by oxidized fats.
- Steamed al dente. This is a great way to lightly cook your food.
- Boil or poach. Boiling prevents oxidation of fats and proteins because it displaces the oxygen.
Cooking and Food Containers
What to cook and store your food in?
Glass. Yes, you can buy glass cookware and, once you learn to use it, it works amazingly well. You can go from cooking to freezer and back again – all in the same pot.
Ceramic. This can work as well – but beware of what it’s coated with….
No non-stick. Non-stick is code for putting harmful chemicals in your body.
If you use metal (like stainless steel or iron) be sure to cook slow and low and not scratch it (so as to avoid over-consuming the metals).
How do you prepare and cook healthy food?
Leave a comment and let us know!
Jason Ryer helps people improve their health and their lives – so that we have the STRENGTH to make the world a better place – with simple, actionable steps they can take to improve the body, mind and spirit. He offers realistic, science-backed ways to sleep and eat well, exercise, boost energy and lower stress.
He’s the creator of Zen Strength – strength of Mind, Body and Spirit
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