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Seven unhealthy cooking mistakes to avoid at home

Readers Lounge By Vivianne Wandera

No matter how delicious homemade food tastes, it could be unhealthy depending on how it was cooked. How the oil is heated, the seasoning added, the oil used to fry food and whether one adds salt to already cooked food, all determine how healthy or unhealthy the food is. Due to simple mistakes every time we cook, we turn our foods from healthy to unhealthy without even knowing as the mistakes are quite normal.

These are some of the unhealthy cooking methods that many people assume to be normal

Adding uncooked salt in food

Many people have a habit of sprinkling salt in their food to alter the taste. Consuming salt that is uncooked has been said to be one of the causes of heart disease and kidney complications. Raw salt is said to be harsh on the nervous system and on the circulatory system and can cause an upheaval on the carefully balanced lymph system.

Overcooking vegetables

Overcooking vegetables until they become soggy eliminates their nutrients. In order to cook your vegetables the right way, avoid boiling them for too long. You can stir them slightly under a little heat to avoid burning them. Ensure your vegetables remain lightly crisp and firm when you cook them.

Exposing honey to high temperatures

Honey contains many medical properties and has always made a perfect substitute for sugar and artificial sweeteners since it is a natural sweetener. Honey is best consumed in its raw form. When exposed to high temperatures, it tends to lose its medical properties and cooking honey also damages its quality. It tends to lose its nutrients and essential enzymes and it could get poisonous if cooked in temperatures of up to 40 degrees.

Excessive use of dressing and seasoning

Everyone loves having extra seasoning or dressing in their salad or sandwich but the excess sauces and dressings have large amounts of sodium which affects water retention causing swelling of feet, ankles, hands and legs.

Overheating healthy oils

Even though some vegetable oils can sustain high amount of heat, specific oils like coconut oil and olive oil should not be put under extreme heat in any circumstances. These oils which are healthy oils are full of nutritional compounds that get damaged when they are heated above their recommended smoke points.

Extra virgin oil or flaxseed oil is best for flavoring and drizzling over already prepared food while sunflower oil can only be used for frying, roasting and sauteing.

Peeling your vegetables

The peels of some vegetables have more nutrients than the vegetable itself. The skin of carrots, pumpkins, cucumbers, potatoes and apples have a lot of vitamins that supply one with extra vitamins and minerals. The peels of these vegetables also contain a lot of fibre which is good for your digestive system.

Using the wrong kitchen utensils

It is important to know the utensils or cookware that you use in the kitchen. There are some cookware that are considered unhealthy. Case in point, the popular non-stick kitchenware. The non-stick cookware is said to have teflon that contains a manmade chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid which causes liver problems.

It is advisable for one to use the normal kitchenware that is made of stainless steel, ceramic, glass or cast iron.

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