Cooking food: nutrition, flavour and health

“Gastronomy” can be defined as the art and the techniques of food preparation. In a nutshell, “knowing how to cook”. In this respect, the notion that food cooking techniques are not merely ways of producing good food but, in themselves, a potential source of nutrition, flavour and healthiness, has continued to gain ground.

Cooking food is a little like carrying out a “magical” laboratory experiment. Behind the everyday practice of preparing a sauce, a pasta dish or a side of vegetables is an entire world of techniques, materials and methods that can play a far more important role than we can possibly imagine in making sure that food has a key say in shaping our overall health.

Although our food purchasing and consumption choices are shaped by numerous different factors, knowing how to cook properly certainly plays a crucial role. In fact, various studies have shown how people that know how to cook are able to make healthier choices and that cooking methods, in terms of techniques and traditions, are important for studying the close connection between healthiness and cultural, environmental and economic factors.

Key reading

  • Severi S., Bedogni G., Zoboli G.P., Manzieri A.M., Poli M., Gatti G., Battistini N. Effects of home-based food preparation practices on the micronutrient content of food. European Journal of Cancer Prevention 1998; 7: 331-335
  • Eufic. Saper cucinare può essere la chiave per la salute? Alimentazione oggi, no. 11/2011
  • Engler-Stringer R. Food, cooking skills and health: a literature review. Canadian journal of Dietetic practice and research 2010; 71 (3): 141-145
  • Hartmann C., Dohle S. Importance of cooking skills for balanced food choices. Appetite 2013; 65: 125/131
  • Nutritional effects of food processing., February 2013
  • Cappelli P., Vannucchi V. Principi di Scienza dell’Alimentazione, Zanichelli Publishing, 2010
  • INRAN. Linee guida per una sana alimentazione, rev. 2003
  • E. Naselli. La sicurezza degli alimenti in casa nostra. Editrice Consumatori, 2005
  •, February 2013

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