September officially marks the end of summer (noooo!). As the weather starts to cool, I start craving curries, stews and all things slow cooked and comforting. Not that slow cooking exclusively belongs to colder months by any stretch, because there are health benefits to this way of cooking…not to mention, the meat is just..deliciously tender. If you get it right, it should just melt in your mouth.
But why do I think it is healthier to eat slow cooked meals? Let me talk about the negative aspects of cooking foods at high temperatures first.
Slow cooking usually requires a lower temperature, meaning that there is a much lower chance of burning/charring. While I am a fan of BBQ/grilled meats, that delicious now caramelised meat I’m eating contains carcinogens such as heterocyclic amines. Carcinogens are inflammatory chemical compounds which promote cancer development in the long run, and in the short run, can negatively affect your metabolism. Inflammation itself makes us bloated from water retention, and because carcinogens are toxic, the end products from the inflammation and carcinogenic metabolites can also be stored in..fat. Can you see how charred foods, particularly meat can be contributing to fat gain now?
Now let me tell you about the benefits of eating slow cooked meat.
When you slow cook, you tend to use lower temperatures. This means less chance of destroying the nutrients in the food being cooked. So you retain more of the complete amino acid profile from your meat, as well as your essential minerals such as iron and zinc.
Also, because slow cooking produces tender meat, it is much easier for your body to digest and break down into absorbable nutrients. It is one thing for a food to contain nutrients, it is another to be able to absorb them, and it is even another thing to be able to USE these nutrients correctly…but that’s another post for another time 🙂
So think of it this way – you are not only retaining as much of the nutrient profile of the food in your meal, but you are also making it as absorble as possible. And because you are lowering the amount of inflammatory substances going into your body, you are increasing the chances that your body will know what to do with these nutrients it is receiving – and way less chance of bloating and fat gain!
Kinda sounds like a win-win scenario! A more delicious AND healthy way to eat your meat? Who is saying no??
Personally, while I LOVE medium cooked beef steaks, I had to give these up a couple of years ago because my body takes far too much time to break them down. Sad ting. HOWEVER, slow cooked beef? Goes down way easier.
Here are my top slow cooking health tips:
-Avoid ‘browning’ the meat the start, as it doesn’t really make a difference to the flavour at the end anyway. You’ll be cutting the carcinogenic action out.
-Try to keep your temperature below 170 celsius, and progressively become accustomed to using even lower temperatures such as 150 celsius.
-To save money on your gas or electricity bill, get yourself a slow cooker and leave your food to cook while you get on with your day.
Are you a fan of slow cooking? Do you have some awesome tips to share to make slow cooking meals even more delectable? I wanna know!
#slowcooking #antiinflammatory #healthycooking