Study Links Cooking Methods and Health

Study Links Cooking Methods and Health

New research published in Nature Scientific Reports has identified some of the impacts of different cooking methods on metabolic health and inflammation.

The team of Spanish researchers studied how eating raw foods compared to boiling, roasting, frying, frying, roasting, sautéing and stewing foods affects kidney function, inflammation or alters other relevant biomarkers.

Investigating how food preparation influences its nutritional value has become an increasingly common field of study as consumers become more aware of what and how they eat.

See also:Cooking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Classic nutritional epidemiology has focused on an approach based on individual foods, examining the role of certain foods or food groups in health”, Montserrat Rodríguez-Ayala and Pilar Guallar-Castillón, researchers at the Autonomous University of Madrid and co-authors of the study. said Olive Oil Times.

However, cooking methods have hardly been explored using population data,” they added. Cooking methods have been mainly addressed by studying their effects on the physicochemical characteristics of foods or the bioavailability of nutrients”.

The cross-sectional study conducted in almost 2,500 Spanish residents over the age of 65 showed trends, such as better health outcomes when eating larger amounts of raw or fried foods.

The researchers also highlighted the drawbacks of cooking with vegetable oils, although especially not olive oil – at high temperatures.

In their study, the researchers found that four different cooking methods (raw, boiled, fried, and roasted) correlated with beneficial effects on several inflammatory markers, as well as improved kidney function, thyroid hormone balance, and cholesterol levels. vitamin D.

None of the cooking methods, including frying foods, showed significant detrimental associations for the inflammatory and metabolic biomarkers the researchers evaluated.

Our study is a first approach to the effect of cooking methods on health”, said Rodríguez-Ayala and Guallar-Castillón. Therefore, with the information currently available, no recommendations can be made to avoid certain cooking methods. However, cooking methods that do not include adding oils heated to high temperatures are safe and may potentially be associated with health benefits.”

Many dietary guidelines suggest that raw and boiled foods provide more health benefits than fried foods, which should be limited.

Our results agree with this recommendation for the consumption of raw and boiled foods”, said Rodríguez-Ayala and Guallar-Castillón. However, in our population no harmful effect has been observed from the consumption of fried foods, possibly because olive oil is the main source of fat for frying in Spain”.

Olive oil is considered very stable when heated to high temperatures and is also rich in antioxidants and flavonoids,” they added. Other added oils or fats have not shown these properties. Therefore, the results could vary in populations that use other oils or fats for cooking.”

In Spain, olive oil consumption could exert a positive influence on health, which could influence to some extent the effect on health of different cooking methods”, the researchers continued. The role of olive oil as a cooking fat It could be very important, but it has not yet been quantified.”

In addition, Rodríguez-Ayala and Guallar-Castillón noted that the study, made up of 53 percent female volunteers and an average age of 71, was not representative of the Spanish population.

They suggested that people in this demographic might eat healthier food compared to younger generations, which might suggest different results even when cooking methods are considered.

To date, no similar study has been conducted in younger populations, and it is to be expected that the results may vary to some degree,” said Rodríguez-Ayala and Guallar-Castillón. Diet quality is lower among young people because adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern has decreased among the youngest and also because the consumption of ultra-processed foods has increased.”

Therefore, we start from a more disadvantaged metabolic situation”, they add. However, we believe that the general rule of avoiding cooking methods with added oils at high temperatures would also be beneficial for younger people.”

The same researchers also participated in a separate study which found that olive oil consumption was associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease and stroke The higher the quality of the olive oil, the better the result.

Our research group has shown that the consumption of olive oil does not increase coronary risk or the risk of stroke, despite being a food rich in energy”, affirm Rodríguez-Ayala and Guallar-Castillón. Recently, we have also shown that the consumption of virgin olive oil was associated with less atherosclerosis in the carotid and femoral arteries, as well as a decrease in coronary calcium.”

The researchers added that more long-term and longitudinal studies need to be done to expand current knowledge about cooking methods and establish stronger associations.

They explained that those methods should be explored for the role they can play in different populations, such as non-Mediterranean and different age groups.

Our results are a first step in the process of establishing the role of cooking methods in health”, said Rodríguez-Ayala and Guallar-Castillón. However, more basic and population-based research is needed before drawing final conclusions.”

Undoubtedly, knowing what cooking methods could be included as healthy eating habits is a fundamental part of the prevention and management of chronic conditions that are related to food,” they concluded. A new field of dietary prevention has been opened.”

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