Enemies of Nutrition Retention
Are You Destroying the Nutrition in Your Food?
Dr. Charles Mayo and the Mayo Clinic make recommendations for food preparation that we follow with Saladmaster:
1. Don’t cook with water ~ water can dissolve vitamins and minerals in food. Have you ever noticed the color of your water after you’ve cooked carrots, broccoli and other foods in it? Your vitamins are now in the water instead of the food!
2. Don’t cook with see-through cookware and use the lids ~ glass cookware especially can cause oxidation because nutrients are more sensitive when exposed to both heat and light.
3. Don’t use added oils ~ these add unnecessary fats to the diet. Did you know just 1 Tablespoon of oil has about 13 grams of fat?
4. Don’t peel foods like potatoes, apples, carrots, cucumbers ~ most of the nutrients are next to the peel.
5. Don’t cook over 200 degrees because you lose an average of over 50% of the nutrients ~ now this is a tough one for conventional cookware… Boiling is 212 degrees, so if you’re boiling your foods, you’re losing much of the nutrition. What about steaming? Steaming is about 232 degrees, so you lose even more! Microwaves can get up to 400 degrees, so you get the idea…
How Can Saladmaster Improve My Family’s Health?
Saladmaster doesn’t require water or oil when cooking vegetables, and we cook in a semi-vacuum at approximately 190 degrees! This means, more nutrient retention, less fat, more flavor, less energy used and less oxidation of foods.
The University of Wisconsin, Dept of Food and Science did a study on Saladmaster and concluded that we retain an average of 93% of the nutrients in food.
Much research has been done on how to get the most nutrition from the foods we eat. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University indicates that maximizing the nutritional quality of your diet may slow down age-related problems that are otherwise thought of as inevitable.” As far back as 1982, the New York Times recognized this, and said,” The three R’s for nutrient preservation are to reduce the amount of water used in cooking, reduce the cooking time and reduce the surface area of the food that is exposed.” Saladmaster cooking does all three! Saladmaster cookware design allows vegetables to be cooked without water. Vegetables simply tenderize in their own natural moisture and natural juices. This in turn locks in up to 98% of the minerals and vitamins, instead of losing up to 42% of the food’s vitamins and minerals by normal boiling. Boiling dissolves water soluble minerals and sterilizes your food – destroying the color and flavor. This is why you need to add butter and salt to make your food taste good. Our sealing effect occurs at a lower temperature. 180-187 degrees F. verses boiling (212ºF), steaming (232ºF) temperatures all other waterless cooking companies.
A study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture investigated the effects of various methods of cooking broccoli. Of all the methods of preparation, steaming caused the least loss of nutrients. Microwaving broccoli resulted in a loss of 97%, 74% and 87% of its three major antioxidant compounds, flavonoids, sinapics and caffeoyl-quinicderivatives. Study co-author, Dr. Cristina Garcia-Viguera, noted that ‘Most of the bioactive compounds are water-soluble; during heating, they leach in a high percentage into the cooking water. Because of this, it is recommended to cook vegetables in the minimum amount of water in order to retain their nutritional benefits.’ A second study, published in the same issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, provides similar evidence. In this study, Finnish researchers found that blanching vegetables prior to freezing caused losses of up to a third of their antioxidant content. Although slight further losses occurred during frozen storage, most bioactive compounds including antioxidants remained stable. The bottom line: how you prepare and cook your food may have a major impact on its nutrient-richness.
Should we just eat raw then? Actually, we want a nice mix of raw and cooked vegetables to maximize our antioxidant intake.
What are Antioxidants?
“Antioxidant” is the collective name for the vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and polyphenols that protect the body from harmful free radicals.
The most well known antioxidants include the vitamins A , C , E , and the mineral selenium. The carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene also have high antioxidant activity and are responsible for adding color to many fruits and vegetables. Carrots and pumpkins wouldn’t be orange without beta-carotene, for example. Lutein, also important in eyesight, is abundant in leafy green vegetables and celery. Lycopene is present in red fruits and vegetables, most notably in tomatoes.
Antioxidant content increased in the following foods when they were cooked: carrots, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, red cabbage, green and red peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes. Not surprisingly, peeling apples and cucumber decreased their antioxidant content to 33-66% and 50% of the amount in the unpeeled foods, respectively.
Antioxidants are compounds that help us fight against damage from oxidation. Our bodies are constantly reacting with oxygen as we breathe and as our cells create energy. But this process along with poor quality foods and pollution can create an abundance of highly reactive molecules in our system called free radicals. Antioxidants can prevent cellular damage and fight disease. They can also reduce the signs of aging by minimizing wrinkles and preserving the texture of the skin.
Cook Food Below 190 degrees
Most researchers indicate at least a 50% loss of vitamin B in cooked foods. Some losses, such as thiamine, can be as high as 96% if food is boiled for a prolonged time. Biotin loses can be up to 72%, folic acid up to 97%, Inositol up to 95%, vitamin C up to 70 to 80%.
According to the USDA, the typical nutrient loss in traditionally cooked foods is astonishing! As you can see in the chart below, the nutrient loss for traditional cooking is substantial and then draining the water is even worse.
These are only SOME of the very important vitamins and minerals that our bodies rely on to help build up our immune systems and protect us from disease. Check out Vitamin C… you lose over 75% of it from your foods when you cook in the traditional way? What’s the point of buying good fruits and vegetables if you’re just going to destroy most of the nutrition?