The Best And Worst Ways To Cook

Karen Lennox Author: Karen Lennox Time for reading: ~6 minutes Last Updated: November 04, 2022
The Best And Worst Ways To Cook

There are many ways of cooking, but not all of them are good for health. The spectrum of useful and harmful properties of dishes that we will get as a result of cooking in one way or another is very different. Here are the best and worst cooking methods, ranked from least to most useful.

There are many ways of cooking , but not all of them are good for health. The spectrum of useful and harmful properties of dishes that we will get as a result of cooking in one way or another is very different. For example, deep-frying can cause serious health problems in the long term, while steaming helps most vegetables retain the most nutrients. There are also less obvious results — for example, one cooking method can increase the nutritional content of some foods , but significantly reduce the nutrition of others. 

If you want to get the most out of your meals , you should learn more about different cooking methods  and their effects on different products .



What makes cooking methods good

The best cooking methods are those that not only allow you to get delicious dishes , but also ensure the preservation of the maximum amount of nutrients. One cannot disagree with the fact that healthy cooking methods help to preserve the natural nutritional properties of products , while at the same time creating a pleasant taste and aroma of dishes . Baking and stewing in a small amount of water or oil can be considered good options. Roasting, for example, can help improve both the flavor and nutrient content of some vegetables.

Unfortunately, this does not work for all products and not always. For example, heat treatment of foods can reduce the amount of heat- and light-sensitive nutrients and vitamins, such as vitamin C and some B vitamins, etc. That is why it is best to change the cooking methods depending on the products , as well as to alternate them from time to time. However, make sure that you choose healthy options: it is better to refuse the addition of saturated fats - butter, margarine, lard or cream, and also to limit the amount of salt.

What makes cooking methods bad

Some of the worst ways to cook food are those that increase saturated fat and salt, and increase the likelihood of carcinogens. For example, pan-frying and grilling, smoking with the addition of large amounts of fat and salt, especially if the food is fried to a brown crust, can be harmful. Consumption of products prepared in such ways increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Also, it is known that excess saturated fat and sodium in the diet can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and that burnt food can actually increase the risk of some types of cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research has published guidelines for cooking food and grilling to avoid negative properties and cancer-causing substances.

Here are the best and worst ways to  cook food , listed in order from least to most useful.


Deep frying

Deep-frying can be called one of the most harmful ways of cooking . When we fry or eat fried food - especially deep-fried - it almost never benefits our health or our figure. According to the medical journal The BMJ, regular consumption of fried food is associated with an increased risk of premature death among postmenopausal women. The same journal found that regular consumption of fried foods also increases the risk of serious heart disease and stroke. If you fry food , make sure you use minimal oil, and choose safer oils like olive oil or avocado oil.



Smoking food , especially meat, can have a serious negative impact on human health if such products are consumed regularly. In the course of one of the studies, a connection between cancer of the digestive tract and frequent consumption of smoked food was discovered . Because of this, it is important to control the amount of smoked products in the diet.


Cooking on the grill

Grilling makes food tastier and can help preserve nutrients and reduce fat. However, there is an important point: do not cook meat and other foods on the grill until they are burnt or charred. According to research conducted by Harvard Health, grilling can expose foods to cancer - causing chemicals found in smoke. Another study by the same institution found that grilling and cooking at high temperatures may be associated with increased blood pressure.


Cooking in an air fryer

If you want a healthier alternative to frying, an air fryer is a great option. You can cook dishes that taste similar to fried food, using no or minimal oil at all. For example, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, french fries, chicken and salmon cooked this way will taste great. A multi-oven is a device quite popular recently, which is a combination of a grill and an air fryer.


Cooking in a microwave oven

Surprisingly, the microwave does a pretty good job of preserving vitamin C in foods , as well as other nutrients that are often destroyed by heating. Scientists conducted a study in which they found that microwaving and steaming best preserved the flavonoids found in broccoli. Harvard Health Publishing explains that it often takes less time to cook foods in the microwave.



Frying is a very tasty way to cook food , especially vegetables and meat, but a lot depends on the oil you use. For example, one study conducted in Spain showed that frying broccoli in olive or sunflower oil helps preserve more vitamin C in the vegetable.



Baking can be a way of cooking that helps to enhance the taste of foods and also increase the nutritional content. Roasting vegetables with a pinch of salt and a little oil can enhance flavor and increase the availability of nutrients such as beta-carotene, lycopene, a carotenoid that helps reduce the risk of heart disease, and calcium. In this case, the cooking process manifests the beneficial properties of food . However, it depends on the products , because steaming can increase the benefits of some, but reduce the benefits of other dishes .



Sous vide involves cooking dishes in vacuum packaging at low temperatures for a long time and allows you to create real culinary masterpieces. This method of cooking not only preserves moisture in products , as a result of which we get juicy dishes , but also has many health benefits. The main one is that the low cooking temperature and vacuum preserve water-soluble vitamins such as C and B.

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