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Variations of the Same Food – The Effect on Health

Originally published on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
HEALTHY EATING by

staminaEveryone enjoys a good meal, be it a Western dish or a specific Asian cuisine.  Although we all use common food items, such as potatoes, carrots, and peas, these ingredients are cooked according to specific traditional methods.  We are thus given a wide range of food options that can well address our need for nutrition, as well as to satisfy our craving for specific tastes.  For example, if we long for that spicy taste, we can go for curry or barbecue dishes, whereas during days when we feel rundown from our daily lives, there are also comfort food options to choose from.

Healthy Food for a Disease Free Lifestyle

Eating healthy food is considered a best approach for a disease-free lifestyle and with the variety of food options available, we can choose the specific items we would want to eat.  However, a recent medical report showed that certain food options might actually not be healthy choices because of the cooking methods used in its preparation.  According to the report published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, certain cooking methods of healthy food may increase or decrease the glycemic index of specific food items.  Glycemic index pertains to the amount of carbohydrates that raises an individual’s blood sugar level right after consumption of a food item.

The study involved cooking sweet potato using various methods, such as roasting, boiling, deep-frying, and baking.  Approximately 50 grams of each preparation were then consumed by healthy study participants who were earlier examined to be diabetes-free.  After eating, blood samples were collected from the study participants after 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 minutes and examined in terms of blood glucose levels.  Initial blood glucose levels before the meal were also earlier performed.

The Potato Study – Healthy Food Variations

The results of the study showed that boiled potatoes were associated with the lowest glycemic index, whereas eating roasted and baked potatoes resulted in the highest scores.  The report thus explained that the control of glucose in the blood may not only be controlled by type of food item that is consumed, but also by the way this has been cooked.  In addition, the study also used different varieties of potatoes to see whether a specific variety would result in a higher glycemic index than the others.  The results of the study showed that potato variety did not largely influence the amount of glucose that enters the body, but simply the method of cooking the food item.

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The information presented in the medical report showed that eating healthy food involves not only choosing nutritious food items, but also picking out the best way in cooking.  The report has shown that different cooking methods may change the amount of carbohydrates that are consumed from a meal and thus healthy choices should be made in terms of how to prepare a dish.  We have long known that decreasing the amount of fried food is one of the healthy choices for decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases; however, in terms of potato dishes, it may also be helpful to know that eating boiled potatoes is healthier than consuming roasted or baked potatoes.

Healthy Choices… and the Research

The researchers plan to conduct further investigations of other food items in order to identify which cooking methods for specific food items are healthy choices.  The authors feel that the findings of their study may be helpful to people with diabetes; their data may assist them in making healthy food schemes that may facilitate in blood glucose control.





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