FROM ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION
FOR RELEASE: TUESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2020
ON NUTRITION by Ed Blonz, Ph.D.
DOES MICROWAVING MY VEGGIES RUIN THEIR NUTRITION?
DEAR DR. BLONZ: I enjoy the speed and convenience of cooking vegetables in the microwave, but became quite concerned when I read that this method might be destroying nutrients. Should I steam my vegetables instead of microwaving them? — Q.T., Austin, Texas
DEAR Q.T.: It is reasonable to want the most from what we eat. Eating should be one of life’s great pleasures, and it makes no sense to sacrifice that enjoyment on the altar of requiring every last milligram of every nutrient.
Cooking can reduce the levels of certain nutrients, but it makes others more available for absorption. The answer to your question comes down to a matter of preference, and of using the technique with which you feel most comfortable.
The difference in nutrient composition after cooking is based primarily on the temperature and time of exposure. Microwaving is among the least destructive methods. Another issue is whether the food is submerged and cooked in water that then gets discarded; in this case, the cooking water can contain some of the water-soluble nutrients.
Steaming and microwaving are similar in both respects, so run with whichever you prefer. The most important factor is that you are eating and enjoying the bounty of fresh summer vegetables. Kudos on good eating habits, and their contribution to your health.
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DEAR DR. BLONZ: Salt is a straightforward compound, so why does table salt need to contain additives? I know that they make salt iodized by adding a compound that contains iodine, but why are they adding other compounds such as calcium silicate and silicon dioxide? I have absolutely no problem with blood pressure, and use salt on occasion. Would I be better off using a natural salt or a sea salt where these compounds are not used? — T.S., Sun City, Arizona