5 Common Cooking Methods That Are Surprisingly Unhealthy


Cooking is nothing short of an art form. It involves so many ingredients and cooking techniques that we have a large canvas to paint a variety of culinary creations. Different cooking methods yield different meals with unique textures and flavours. Frying, boiling, steaming, sauteing, grilling – the list is endless when it comes to picking an option. While some techniques offer enticing flavours and convenience, others come with hidden perils that can compromise our health. Some cooking methods, despite being common, can have a negative impact on food as well as on our health.  

Also ReadLead A Healthy Life With These 5 Healthy Cooking Methods

What are the unhealthiest cooking methods? 

You must be thinking about the deep fry method. It’s true that deep-fried foods give us more calories and fats but there are more harmful risks associated with other cooking methods that were highlighted by nutritionist Lovneet Batra in an Instagram post. She revealed the cooking methods that one should avoid and why. 

Here’re 5 Cooking Methods To Avoid: 

1. Air Frying 

Problem: Air frying, hailed as a healthier alternative to deep frying, promises crispy delights without the excessive oil content. However, beneath this seemingly guilt-free cooking method lies a hidden threat-trans fat. Unlike traditional deep frying, air fryers utilise circulating hot air to cook food, providing a similar texture with less oil. However, the use of certain oils can result in the production of trans fats, which pose a greater risk to our health. Also, air circulation may cause uneven cooking, leading to undercooked or overcooked portions.  

Solution: Use those oils for coating your foods that won’t produce trans fats. Keep checking the food in the fryer at regular intervals and toss if required for even cooking.  

2. Grilling 

Problem: Grilling can be a flavorful way to cook food. We all love the hint of smoke that our meals get from it. Grilled chicken, grilled paneer and grilles fish are some of our favourite snacks. But grilling at high temperatures and over an open flame can lead to the formation of potentially harmful compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These compounds have been linked to some serious illnesses.  

Solution: To prevent the risks, it is advisable to practice moderation. Use lean cuts of meat that are marinated in advance. Also, follow proper grilling techniques like preheating the grillers and turning food frequently to reduce charring. 

3. Cooking in Non-Stick Pans 

Problem: Non-stick pans have taken over all the kitchens of the world. They are convenient to use and let us enjoy healthy meals with less oil. But non-stick pans often have a coating of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commonly known as Teflon. Overheating these pans or using metal utensils on them can cause the release of toxic fumes and particles 

Solution: To prevent the release of toxic substances, you must not heat non-stick pans at excessively high temperatures. It is also a good idea to use utensils that are specifically designed for non-stick cookware.  

Also Read: 7 Traditional Cooking Techniques Used In Indian Cuisine

Besides these, there are more cooking methods that are not particularly healthy either. These are:

4. Microwaving:

Problem: Address potential concerns related to microwaving, such as nutrient loss, uneven heating, and potential exposure to harmful chemicals from certain containers.

Solution: Offer tips for safe microwave usage, including using microwave-safe containers, covering food to retain moisture, and avoiding excessive heating.

5. Overcooking:

Problem: Highlight the negative effects of overcooking food, such as nutrient loss, decreased flavour, and potential formation of harmful substances.

Solution: Encourage proper cooking times and temperatures, using timers, monitoring food during cooking, and opting for cooking methods that retain nutrients.

As cooking enthusiasts, it’s natural to explore various cooking methods to unleash our culinary creativity. However, it’s crucial to approach certain techniques with caution to safeguard our health. By being mindful of the potential risks and implementing the provided solutions, we can continue to enjoy delicious meals while prioritizing our well-being.

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