Healthy eating is not possible without proper handling and cooking of food. Many of the recent outbreaks related to contaminated food have resulted in unexpected fatalities. The following guidelines will help you to prepare, cook, and store the food properly.
Wash your hands carefully and clean working surfaces (with bleach) when you are handling meat.
Wash poultry thoroughly, inside and outside. Cook meat thoroughly.
Do not eat meat, especially seafood, raw. Frying, baking, and roasting foods for a long time will destroy nutrients, increase fat content, and produce carcinogens. That brown, tasty crust we all like on overcooked food contains carcinogenic compounds called nitrosamines.
Thoroughly cooking foods for shorter periods under high temperatures by microwaving, steaming, or stir-frying will save their nutrients. Vegetables and fruits start losing their nutrients as soon as they are harvested. Furthermore, wilted and bruised vegetables are known to contain carcinogenic chemicals. Therefore, buy and eat fresh vegetables whenever possible.
Frozen vegetables are a better choice than wilted or “stored fresh” vegetables as they retain more nutrients. Do not drown vegetables and fruits with water when you wash or cook them, since nutrients dissolve in water. Nevertheless, some nutrients will always be lost to the cooking water.
Do not throw away water left over from cooking but save it to use in preparing other dishes (e.g., soups, salads). Cook vegetables with as little water as possible and boil the water before you throw them in the pot. Keep the pot lid closed.
These measures will shorten the cooking time, thus saving a lot of their nutrients as well as their color and flavor. Do not overcook them until they lose their natural color and crispiness. Some vegetables (e.g., onions, garlic, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, turnips, radishes) contain sulfur compounds. They should be boiled without a lid to get rid of the unpleasant odor and flavor. Refrigerate all foods immediately. Do not leave dirty dishes and wet sponges/washcloths for long periods (a couple of hours) as they are ideal places for bacteria to grow. Buy pasteurized dairy products only. If these nutrients are consumed in the proper amounts and mixed than the overall health will be fit and active.
In general, water is normally ignored as an exceptional nutrient but it is very important for survival. A few days without water may prove to be very dangerous and may even result in death. Usually, bodyweight contains 60 – 70 percent of water. One should eat vegetables such as potatoes, lettuce, and peas as they contain 70 – 90 percent water by weight. Lots of body water is lost in the form of sweat while exercising so it must necessarily be replaced to maintain the balance of water in the body else the chances of dehydration increase.
Carbohydrates contain four calories per gram and are also a prime source of instant energy in the diet. Carbohydrates are very crucial as they contain foods that are easily digestible and also can be used for energy.