Eating healthy starts with choosing the right foods but eating them the right way is very important. The skin of many fruits and vegetables for example is where a lot of the vitamins and minerals are stored, so when you peel it off, you are missing out on the right nutrients.
Vegetables are loaded with minerals and other nutrients. A number of people, however, boil them for a long time yet the longer they are cooked, the more nutrients you lose. It is better to eat vegetables when they are raw.
Dr Paul Lutaakome, a nutritionist at Jinja Referral Hospital, says those that cannot be eaten raw should be first washed and then cut. Reversing the process washes out the nutrients. These vegetables can be boiled for a few minutes but should be bland with rock salt, and lemon juice to add flavour.
Broccoli for instance should be steamed as boiling, microwaving or stir-frying all break down more vitamin C, chlorophyll, proteins and other nutrients.
“It is recommendable to eat vegetables including tomatoes when they are raw. However, lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes helps protect against cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other problems is easily got from cooked ones rather than raw fruits,” he says.
It is a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc, iron and many other minerals.
However, it can also be loaded with saturated fat, which should only make up a small part of your diet exposing you to diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke.
It is, therefore, important that you choose lean cuts, and trim all the fat you can see off your meat before you cook it.
An egg is a high-quality protein containing all nine of the essential amino acids your body needs. It also contains calories and vitamin D. However, all these nutrients are offset when you cook the eggs in unhealthy oils.
“It is better to eat hard boiled eggs. Scrambled eggs can also be a healthy option but choose to use healthy oil for the recipe,” Dr Lutaakome says.
People with less cooking time will always go for pasta such as spaghetti or noodles because they cook in a very short time.
Peter Rukundo, a researcher at the department of human nutrition and home economics at Kyambogo University, says overcooked pasta however, gets mushy and has a higher glycemic index, which means the body absorbs the carbohydrates faster instead of being a slow release of energy into the body. This is likely to cause you diabetes in a long run.
“The type of pasta will affect its cook time but usually five to 10 minutes is ideal,” Rukundo says.
Nutritionists have always recommended that we eat every part of the watermelon or the cantaloupe; the flesh, seeds and the rind. Even when you are not going to eat the rind of the melon, you should wash it before you slice into it. This will help was off the dirt and bacteria that could be trapped in the rough skin, so you do not spread germs into the flesh as you cut.