October, 2012 Issue

Healthy Food Preparation is Everything

What do deep-fried zucchini, salmon sautéed in butter, and garden pasta with Alfredo sauce have in common? They’re examples of how you can take a perfectly delicious, healthful food and weigh it down calorically with an unfortunate preparation style. “The way a food is prepared can have a huge impact on the amount of calories and nutrients,” says Ruth Frechman, M.A.,R.D., spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and author of “The Food Is My Friend Diet.” “Cooking methods may seem innocent, but they can ultimately affect waistlines and future health. In essence, (certain) preparations can ‘ruin’ a healthy food.” Just take a look at that deep-fried zucchini. Zucchini is a green vegetable, packed with vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants—all for less than 20 calories per cup. By the time it is battered and dunked in oil, the calories skyrocket to over 300, and there may not be very much heat-sensitive vitamin C left in it, either.

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