2

votes

Overcooking your food?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 06, 2010 at 6:43 PM

How much quality nutrients are lost when we overcook our food (cooking and re-heating)? I enjoy my roasted veges slightly overdone, as well as my yams. Also, my lunch is also leftovers from the night before, and the only option is to reheat my food in the microwave. Any thoughts?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 31, 2011
at 10:48 AM

When comparing a random part of beef, cooked vs. raw, I saw a decrease of 50% in folate and a decrease of 15% in niacin. That's a whole lot.

Bc6aa0b0bcf04c9d937c4393262db8e5

on December 07, 2010
at 07:19 PM

Never went the whole cold meat route... here goes nothing.

Bc6aa0b0bcf04c9d937c4393262db8e5

on December 07, 2010
at 07:18 PM

Any suggestions as to how to bypass the evil microwave for someone who pre cooks meals? i do my cooking on Sunday for the week, no time to do it nightly sadly :(

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on December 07, 2010
at 04:48 PM

I love cold meat! Left over Bacon packed as a jerky type snack is great

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on December 07, 2010
at 08:26 AM

Ironically, health correlator (a great blog) had a post about pressure cooking the day before yesterday, wherein he seemed to list all the downsides of it, before giving a recipe... (http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/12/pressure-cooked-meat-top-sirloin.html)

C16d506f10d910db0736bfd0d0e3809a

(10)

on December 07, 2010
at 12:26 AM

Thanks for the link. Good to know that pressure cooking isn't such a great idea (saves me from spending money on that, anyway!).

C16d506f10d910db0736bfd0d0e3809a

(10)

on December 07, 2010
at 12:23 AM

Interesting question! I certainly haven't given up my microwave, but I do use it less (because I'm cooking everything but leftovers from scratch). I'm tempted by getting a pressure cooker and/or going way overboard with a sous-vide set-up. I'm not sure how much I would really use either, though, so I haven't gotten anything new... yet :)

C16d506f10d910db0736bfd0d0e3809a

(10)

on December 07, 2010
at 12:22 AM

Interesting question! I certainly haven't given up my microwave, but I do use it less (because I'm cooking everything but leftovers from scratch. I'm tempted by both getting a pressure cooker and going way overboard with a sous-vide set-up. I'm not sure how much I would really use either, though, so I haven't gotten anything new... yet :)

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5 Answers

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 07, 2010
at 03:59 AM

Cooking degrades some nutrients but increases availability of others. So every single thing has to be considered on a case by case basis. Personally, I just don't see a big diff between eating something normally cooked or eating it a bit more cooked. As long as you are eating healthy, then I think the difference is not worth worrying about and will be made up for by a positive attitude that comes about when you eat things you like.

2
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on December 06, 2010
at 08:25 PM

Well, over-cooking is generally going to be a bad thing, but the problem is that the extent varies by cooking type, food type and nutrient. Also the studies done to establish the precise effects tend to vary wildly. This might suggest that subtleties of precisely how you cook your foods (as well as their freshness etc) might have large impacts. That these studies are rarely explicit about their methods doesn't help.

Consider the studies I quote in this answer about microwaving for example. Even for that single case, the results seem to vary substantially and there's no clear single better option. You can make some generalisations based on whether a nutrient you're interested in is water soluble or not (throwing away cooking water is rarely a goo idea), temperature and so on, but not much. I always suspect that long-slow cooking will be less damaging than high heat cooking (assuming that each are being cooked through), but I don't know how accurate this is in practical situation (where you'll doubtless be cooking them different amounts for each method). Also note that sometimes cooking makes nutrients more bioavailable (beta carotene from carrots being a famed example), but I assume this applies more to plants than meat (although of course arguably cooking makes the protein more digestible).

One good, or at least potentially hopeful, way to see what sort of nutrient loss you're looking at through cooking is to look at the raw versus cooked versions of various foods on nutritiondata.com (it's often questioned, but better than nothing). I for one was shocked to see how many nutrients I wasn't getting, when I based my nutrient intake on braised kidneys, when I'd always before been going on the raw figures (to make judging the weight easier).

C16d506f10d910db0736bfd0d0e3809a

(10)

on December 07, 2010
at 12:26 AM

Thanks for the link. Good to know that pressure cooking isn't such a great idea (saves me from spending money on that, anyway!).

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on December 07, 2010
at 08:26 AM

Ironically, health correlator (a great blog) had a post about pressure cooking the day before yesterday, wherein he seemed to list all the downsides of it, before giving a recipe... (http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/12/pressure-cooked-meat-top-sirloin.html)

1
Daee02d4fabbf765d15ea8c1e5cf1d91

(70)

on December 06, 2010
at 11:32 PM

Look at the damage pastoralization does to milk and that is only 72 C for 20 minutes. It kill off most of the valuable vitamins and binds some of the minerals in non-bio-available forms but it is now a commercial success and can be stored for a week instead of a day.

Raw produce is better by a large factor, and the risk is higher than protein. E-coli from wash water and irrigation water can be within celery, lettuce, and other large capillary plants. Raw protein must be clean and fresh, less than two day, kill to eat. Even then there is a slightly larger risk. No raw pork.

It is harder to digest raw, and as a result we will eat less. If you are doing heave work, or have similar high energy requirements, it will be difficult to eat enough raw. For myself, I like lots of raw in the summer, and wilted vegetables in the winter. Wilt with a bit of steam, and make soup out of any liquid.

But I know nothing. All I did was test shit.

0
1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

on December 07, 2010
at 01:58 PM

I cook all of my meat and chop up veggies on sunday. The meat I hardly ever reheat, the veggies I just pull out what I will eat and bake, roast or fry them. Cold meat is good! Maybe my taste buds are different now...I don't know.

Bc6aa0b0bcf04c9d937c4393262db8e5

on December 07, 2010
at 07:19 PM

Never went the whole cold meat route... here goes nothing.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on December 07, 2010
at 04:48 PM

I love cold meat! Left over Bacon packed as a jerky type snack is great

0
50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on December 06, 2010
at 07:40 PM

I also wonder about this.

I will say though, I do not use a microwave, haven't in a year. As far as the cooking goes, I have been using slower cooking methods at lower temperatures. Also, when I grill my steaks, I use lower heat and always keep it more on the rare side.

Bc6aa0b0bcf04c9d937c4393262db8e5

on December 07, 2010
at 07:18 PM

Any suggestions as to how to bypass the evil microwave for someone who pre cooks meals? i do my cooking on Sunday for the week, no time to do it nightly sadly :(

C16d506f10d910db0736bfd0d0e3809a

(10)

on December 07, 2010
at 12:22 AM

Interesting question! I certainly haven't given up my microwave, but I do use it less (because I'm cooking everything but leftovers from scratch. I'm tempted by both getting a pressure cooker and going way overboard with a sous-vide set-up. I'm not sure how much I would really use either, though, so I haven't gotten anything new... yet :)

C16d506f10d910db0736bfd0d0e3809a

(10)

on December 07, 2010
at 12:23 AM

Interesting question! I certainly haven't given up my microwave, but I do use it less (because I'm cooking everything but leftovers from scratch). I'm tempted by getting a pressure cooker and/or going way overboard with a sous-vide set-up. I'm not sure how much I would really use either, though, so I haven't gotten anything new... yet :)

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