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Nutrient loss in pre made meals

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 06, 2012 at 12:45 PM

hi

i work very long hours from morning to night therefore have not much time to meet my daily calorie intake by preparing food fresh all the time.

if i decided to make all my meals in the morning or the night before for the next day, what is the chance the nutrient loss would be as the food wouldndt be fresh as i plan to eat in later in the day or the next day?

thanks

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 07, 2012
at 12:13 PM

No matter what preparation method, you'll have some nutrient loss, but it's pretty tough to eat most food without preparation of some kind. Minimal prep causes less loss (raw cut), but some foods are much tastier or the nutrients are more available cooked. IMO the important thing is to focus on good quality, high nutrient food in a combination of raw and cooked (ideally gentle methods), tasty so you're willing to eat it (if the kids will eat kale only in cashew cream sauce it's better than no kale at all) and avoid crap. Relax about it and eat.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 07, 2012
at 12:05 PM

Restaurant meals or pre-packaged meals would have much more nutrient loss than properly prepared reheated meals. So still even with reheating better than those options or IMO skipping lunch. I haven't had that problem with sweet potatoes unless they are stored too long. Sweet potatoes cook in about 6 minutes in a fast microwave, so I often cook mine right before eating or mashing.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 07, 2012
at 12:01 PM

Ah, I made my comments based on assumption (proving the saying) of a mostly cold lunch. My lunches tend to be Big Ass Salads (trademark Mark Sisson). The easy solution to reheating is to prepare food that can be eaten cold. Here is some info on nutrient losses to reheating. http://nutritiondata.self.com/topics/processing#cooking The loss of nutrients to reheating can be minimized by limiting the level of reheating (warm rather than hot) and minimizing the time spent in reheating (use fast methods like microwaving or steaming.)

Adb6852b4f2f42904da67708ffcd59f5

(501)

on June 07, 2012
at 08:02 AM

I thought reheating caused more nutrient loss and what reheating methods are good as i dont want to oxidize the food further? And if i pre prepared sweet potato which i eat everyday, how would i store it as i realize they can go product brown spots very easily if cooked too much?

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 06, 2012
at 05:28 PM

Agreed. In terms of overall food quality and accessibility, you're better off making your own stuff ahead whenever possible. The only loss I could see (beyond some of the vit C like Karen pointed out) is if you reheat the food and *how* you reheat it. (Some cooking methods preserve nutrients better than others.) Overall, I wouldn't sweat it too much.

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1 Answers

1
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 06, 2012
at 01:46 PM

You'd have some minimal loss of vitamin C in pre-prepared fruits and vegetables that are cut. It wouldn't be significant. Otherwise losses would be pretty much the same as the same prep eaten right away. Pre-prepping makes it much more likely that you'll have and eat healthier food than you would otherwise.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 06, 2012
at 05:28 PM

Agreed. In terms of overall food quality and accessibility, you're better off making your own stuff ahead whenever possible. The only loss I could see (beyond some of the vit C like Karen pointed out) is if you reheat the food and *how* you reheat it. (Some cooking methods preserve nutrients better than others.) Overall, I wouldn't sweat it too much.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 07, 2012
at 12:13 PM

No matter what preparation method, you'll have some nutrient loss, but it's pretty tough to eat most food without preparation of some kind. Minimal prep causes less loss (raw cut), but some foods are much tastier or the nutrients are more available cooked. IMO the important thing is to focus on good quality, high nutrient food in a combination of raw and cooked (ideally gentle methods), tasty so you're willing to eat it (if the kids will eat kale only in cashew cream sauce it's better than no kale at all) and avoid crap. Relax about it and eat.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 07, 2012
at 12:01 PM

Ah, I made my comments based on assumption (proving the saying) of a mostly cold lunch. My lunches tend to be Big Ass Salads (trademark Mark Sisson). The easy solution to reheating is to prepare food that can be eaten cold. Here is some info on nutrient losses to reheating. http://nutritiondata.self.com/topics/processing#cooking The loss of nutrients to reheating can be minimized by limiting the level of reheating (warm rather than hot) and minimizing the time spent in reheating (use fast methods like microwaving or steaming.)

Adb6852b4f2f42904da67708ffcd59f5

(501)

on June 07, 2012
at 08:02 AM

I thought reheating caused more nutrient loss and what reheating methods are good as i dont want to oxidize the food further? And if i pre prepared sweet potato which i eat everyday, how would i store it as i realize they can go product brown spots very easily if cooked too much?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 07, 2012
at 12:05 PM

Restaurant meals or pre-packaged meals would have much more nutrient loss than properly prepared reheated meals. So still even with reheating better than those options or IMO skipping lunch. I haven't had that problem with sweet potatoes unless they are stored too long. Sweet potatoes cook in about 6 minutes in a fast microwave, so I often cook mine right before eating or mashing.

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