Cooking mistakes that can make your food more toxic
When it comes to cooking, some people pride themselves on being a top chef, others burn everything they touch, and the rest fall somewhere in between. No matter where you are on the cooking spectrum, there are mistakes cooks make in the kitchen that can actually make their food less healthy to eat.
To identify these cooking mistakes, we asked food experts to share their tips on the best – and worst – ways to prepare food when it comes to healthy eating.
Cooking with the wrong fats
Olive oil, butter, coconut oil… they all have their fans and detractors, but none are the be all and end all. Dietitian, Maggie Michalczyk, recommends doing your homework before buying a jumbo jug of one particular oil and using it for everything. “These oils have different smoke points – that’s the temperature at which they begin to burn – and once they start smoking, the fat breaks down and they can release harmful free radicals into the air,” she says. Be sure to keep portions of oils in check when cooking. This will prevent additional kilojoules.
Overheating healthy oils
Oils with low smoke points are better for salad dressings or adding to already cooked foods – but not for high-temperature cooking. “Certain oils, like olive oil and coconut oil, contain nutritional compounds that can be destroyed when heating to high temperatures above their smoke points,” explains Ben Roche, Michelin-star chef and director of product development at Just. For general cooking at home (sautéing, frying, roasting), he recommends using a neutral oil, like grapeseed or sunflower. For flavouring cold sauces and drizzling over prepared food, he suggests using extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil to preserve flavour and nutrition.