Pressure cookers have become one of the most popular tools to get a meal on the table without having to spend much time in the kitchen. Because of their popularity, it is normal that people will start asking more often about the positive and negative health effects of pressure cooking. If you were to search online you will notice that there are people who stand on both sides of the issue. While some concerns are very much real, some are obviously made up. Because information is your best tool when deciding whether or not to use a pressure cooker, here are some benefits and some issues that you could be concerned about.
Have Your Vitamins
One of the bigger myths about pressure cooking is that you lose the nutrients to the pressure. This is not true, at least not the way people tell it. When you cook anything you will be losing some nutrients due to the fact that heat will damage some nutrients like omega-3 acids, vitamin C and betacarotene glucosinolates, but according to Kantha Shelke from the Institute of Food Technologists, there is not much difference when you cook without the pressure cooker. Furthermore, the water soluble nutrients are kept inside the pressure cooker and that means that some food can be better for you from the pressure cooker.
The idea of pressure cooking is that you are using steam to cook your foods, and because the steam cannot leave the cooker the food cooks faster. No one will debate that food is cooked much faster, but what people do not realize is that you are also cooking with less fats. This happens because when you cook with hot steam you do not need to include much oil in your pressure cooker. Less oils means less fats in your food. Instead of adding oil you are adding water and stocks. You can also afford to use less salt because the flavor of the food is sealed in and therefore you need to add less sodium.
Much Better than Grilling
One of the best health benefits of pressure cooking is that you do not consume unhealthy chemicals. If you consume the liquids of the food you cook, then you are also consuming the water soluble nutrients. When you compare pressure cooking to grilling there is no comparison. The Department of Health and Human Services in 2005 added heterocyclic amines to the list of cancer causing agents. Those are chemicals which are created each time you grill meat. These chemicals can be avoided by cooking with a pressure cooker instead. There are no harmful chemicals created when you use the pressure cooker.
When you cook with a pressure cooker you tend to use fresher foods. That is because the cooking takes a lot less time, so people tend to shop for the items that they will need to cook a particular meal. Because you are using the foods that you are buying right away, that can mean that you will be using fresh food all the time. Fresh food needs less additional flavors and they can lead to a much healthier lifestyle. The fats in the food also help make the food taste a lot better and in some recipes even caramelize while the food is being cooked.Last Updated: Sunday, October 7, 2012