Veggie Wars: Raw vs. Cooked

December 11, 2009 at 7:07 am

So with the recent popularity of raw diets, many have the belief that cooked vegetables are worthless.  There is some truth to that.  If the vegetables are cooked to the point of being soft that means the fiber has cooked out, fiber is good.  With the fiber goes the bulk of the nutrients.

At the same time raw may not just be boring but also a little dangerous.  In his groundbreaking book, The Man Who Ate Everything,  Jeffrey Steingarten explored some of the hidden dangers in raw produce in a chapter titled Salad the Silent Killer.  He found that many common veggies have nutrition blockers that prevent absorption not only of their own nutrients but any others also residing in the digestive tract.  Among these are spinach, red cabbage, beets and brussels sprouts.  These inhibiting chemicals can be neutralized by heat, cooking.  Eat them raw and not only are they not healthy but they rob the nutrition of anything you consume with them.

Steingarten is a slave to research and is one of the best resources on the planet for food knowledge.  I rank his opinion high above the combined efforts of the FDA and USDA.  The author draws his conclusions from scientific study and medical research whereas the two bureaucracies rely on lobbyist influence to form policy.

Another reliable source is noted Phoenix surgeon Dr. Terry Simpson who has this to say on the subject of raw vs. cooked vegetables:

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Stuart Reb Donald

Stuart is a celebrity chef and award winning food writer. Donald performs live cooking demonstrations and penned the cookbook Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor."

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