Steamed Food And Health
Save calories and gain healthier benefits.
Watching what you eat is only half the battle against gaining weight and staying healthy. How you cook makes a big difference too. Whether you use a metal steaming basket, a set of Chinese steaming baskets or an elaborate electronic steamer, you will save calories from cooking with oil or butter and will gain health benefits as well. Experiment with ways of steaming to find ones that add both flavour and health to your diet.
While everyone needs some fat in their diet, most people get plenty without adding oil, butter or others fats when sautéing or frying foods. When you cook with steam, you avoid extra fat and calories. For instance, 1 tbsp. of olive oil used for sautéing adds 119 calories to your meal; 1 tbsp. of butter adds 102 calories. Save olive oil for salads and dips and choose steaming as often as you can.
Most vegetables remain more vitamins and minerals when you steam them instead of roasting them in the oven on high heat or boiling them in lots of water. Moreover, steaming also retains chemicals called flavonoids that may help your immune system function efficiently and may decrease your risk for some cancers.
Fish and Meat
While you rarely find red meat steamed completely, doing so for two minutes in the microwave before grilling or frying reduces 90 per cent of the dangerous chemicals that scientists think may cause cancer, according to the June 2007 issue of the Harvard Health Letter. Grilled fish makes a healthier choice than grilled steak, but the bits of smoky charcoal carry the same chemicals onto the fish as they do to meats. In fact, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine includes salmon on their list of the five worst foods to grill.
Add a boost of flavour to vegetables so you and your family will eat them more often. Use a sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper, a spritz of lemon juice or a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to liven up the flavours. Some seasonings, such as garlic, ginger and curry powder will add important nutrients as well as flavour. Use flavourful liquid, such as wine, stock or lemon juice when you steam, or adding seasonings to the water, such as herbs, to flavour the food during the cooking process.