Nutrition

Is Pressure Cooking Healthy? A Brief Discourse

Pressure cooking has been into popularity for a long time in our history. In case of first-generation pressure cookers, it is still considered quite dangerous, since they had no safety mechanisms like modern pressure cookers. Pressure cookers make excellent food in a quarter the cooking time with perfect consistency and nutrients.

However, equipment and method we choose to cook potentially impact not only the nutrient profile but also the overall exposure to the toxin. Before the invention of the modern pressure cooker models, the pots were used with well-sealed lids.

As the pressure increases, the water boils slowly. It takes higher pressure to create steam. With consistent pressure and temperature inside the cooker means, heat-transfer throughout the food occurs more rapidly.

Does the pressure cooker destroy the nutrients?

A lot of people around the globe have the same question that if pressure cooking works involving high heat methods like boiling and grilling. Did you know pressure cooking involves high pressure, not the high heat for cooking? And, increased pressure creates a faster cooking environment. However, pressure cooking involves low heat that preserves nutrients in the food than the other cooking methods. Whereas boiling reduces up to 60% of nutrients, roasting and steaming preserves almost 90% of nutrients and steaming does the best job by preserving 95% of nutrients.

Even, pressure cooking deactivates certain properties like phytic acid lectin. Reducing these properties in foods like grains and beans makes them more absorbable and less likely to irritate the digestive system. And pressure cooking does this quite well than other cooking methods.

An important fact to note:

According to some previous research, it has been found that a higher level of nutrients is lost in pressure cooking, whereas the following studies reveal that most liquid is transferred to the cooking liquid. For this reason, a lot of people make a conscious effort in using more water while pressure cooking and use that liquid later in some similar food preparations.

People who reside at high altitude know this quite well that food boils there at low temperature. So, here the fact is not about having a high temperature, but about the high pressure. Since cooking at low pressure affects the cooking time for many foods, the water evaporates, and cause drying out the food sooner. Lower the pressure, the higher the cooking time. Turning up the heat never helps in faster cooking, as the water never exceeds its boiling point. So, the bottom line is pressure cooking locks nutrients and makes cooking faster.

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