Changing Your Cooking Methods to Reduce Inflammation
Part of the Anti-Inflammation Diet For Dummies Cheat Sheet
An anti-inflammatory diet begins with choosing the right foods, but it continues with using anti-inflammatory cooking methods to prepare those foods. You can undo a lot of the good in your healthy foods by cooking them the wrong way. Here are some tips on getting the most out of your cooking methods:
Baking: Put your food in the center of a glass or ceramic baking dish, leaving room around the sides to let hot air circulate. Setting veggies on the bottom of a dish, under meat or fish, adds moisture and enhances flavor. Cover the dish to let the food cook with steam while retaining its natural juices.
Steaming: Use a vegetable steamer, rice cooker, or bamboo steamer — or create your own steamer with a covered pot and slotted insert — to gently cook a variety of foods. Take care not to overcook vegetables, fish, or seafood. Marinate foods with herbs such as rosemary and sage before steaming, and add spices such as ginger and turmeric to foods while steaming to infuse the flavor into the food.
Poaching: This gentle cooking method requires no additional fats, such as oil. Bring poaching liquid (water or stock, usually) to a boil and add your meat, seafood, or veggies; reduce the heat and simmer until done for a lowfat, flavorful result. Save the poaching liquid from meat or fish and use it as the base of a soup.
Stir-frying: This method allows you to cook with a small amount of oil (or none at all) at high temperatures for a very short amount of time so that the food absorbs very little oil. Vegetables in particular retain their beneficial nutrients.
Grilling and broiling: Reserve grilling for fish and veggies, which don't need much cooking time. Grilling and broiling meats involves excessive temperatures that cause the fats and proteins in meat and protein turn into heterocyclic amines (HAs), which may raise the risk of certain cancers.
Microwaving: As for giving your food a quick zap in the microwave, that convenience appliance destroys the nutrients in food because of the high heat, so you should avoid this cooking method.