Steamed, boiled, or fried foods: Which is superior?

March 22, 2024 | 06:26 pm PT
Many people believe that grilling ranks supreme, followed respectively by frying, stir-frying, and steaming in terms of culinary delight. However, when it comes to retaining the most nutrients, which method stands out? (Tu, 35, Hanoi)


Steaming, recognized as one of the most beneficial and straightforward cooking techniques, involves the preparation of food using the hot steam emanating from boiling water. In detail, the warmth from the water gathers at the pot’s top and methodically moves downwards, enabling the food to be cooked from the top to the bottom. This technique not only maintains the food’s flavor, texture, and nutritional content but also offers a myriad of health advantages, outperforming boiling.

In the process of boiling, when food is immersed in boiling water, its vitamins and minerals seep into the water, leading to a nutrient depletion in the food.

Fried and dipping sauce. Illustration photo by Pexels

Fries and dipping sauce. Illustration photo by Pexels

Moreover, steamed meals eliminate the necessity for adding fats or oils, unlike methods such as grilling or stir-frying, thereby promoting a healthier option. Steaming also enhances the natural tastes of the food without overwhelming them. Furthermore, steaming is a comparatively rapid and effortless cooking method, devoid of intricate procedures.

In contrast, when foods are fried or deep-fried, they are immersed in oil or fat, which may contribute to increased body weight. Cooking animal-based foods at elevated temperatures causes them to undergo chemical alterations, potentially leading to the formation of carcinogenic substances. Moreover, such foods may become more challenging to digest.

In summary, steaming is deemed the most effective method for conserving the utmost nutrients in food. Thus, it is advisable to include steamed dishes in one’s diet regularly for the best nutritional benefit.

Dr. Huynh Tan Vu

Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital

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