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How steaming your food can help you lose weight

Steaming conserves all the nutrients in the food and no oil is required in steaming.

Written by Tania Tarafdar |Updated : June 24, 2016 3:06 PM IST

The method of preparation you use in cooking, can affect the total calories in the meal and also its nutritional value. Steaming can be one of the easiest and healthy all-purpose method of cooking vegetables, meat and poultry. You may also want to know why is baking a healthier cooking option than frying.

Here are reasons why steaming foods can be a healthy switch to your diet.

Nutrients are conserved

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Steaming vegetables is a healthy way of getting your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. It is one of the healthiest methods of cooking as it does not lead to any loss of nutrients, leaving the food with a higher vitamin and mineral content. This cooking method also increases the antioxidant content of vegetables, making them more readily available to your body. Even when you are steaming chicken, all the protein in the meat is conserved.

No oil

As no oil is required in steaming, it is definitely a healthier option than frying or grilling foods. The absence of oil automatically lowers the content of fat in the food. Steaming cooks your food thoroughly without addition of extra fat or butter to your food, allowing the true taste of the food to shine through.

No burning and overcooking

When you are using a steamer, you can easily ensure that your food is not overcooked or burned, unlike frying, boiling or even baking foods. The vegetables also take lesser time to cook when you are steaming them.

Low calorie

Steaming allows you to consume less unhealthy fats and calories, thus potentially reducing your risk of obesity and heart disease. On the other hand, when you are frying your food, the oil gets soaked up during the cooking process adding to the calories and fat. Even adding a small amount of butter to baked or grilled foods can add unnecessary calories and saturated fat. To give you an insight, here are the calorie counts of some the steamed, baked and fried dishes. Also read the calorie count of common junk food items.

ItemSteamedBakedFried
Vegetables1 bowl = 207 cal1 bowl = 323.8 cal1 bowl = 378.8 cal
Chicken1 piece = 37.1 cal1 piece = 59.9 cal1 piece = 145.2 cal

Procedure

Here's how to steam food properly

  • Place the steaming vessel above a saucepan of water. Now place the food in the steaming vessel and make sure there is enough space around each item so that the steam can circulate efficiently. Do not over-load the steamer as cooking will be uneven.
  • Now add a little water at the base of your steamer.
  • Close the lid of the vessel tightly and do not lift the lid once you have started steaming your food as it could hinder the process.
  • When you are steaming food, make sure there is enough heat around the food to ensure that the food does not remain undercooked. You can try this healthy steamed kachori kadhi.

This video will help you learn the technique of steaming better

Image source: Getty Images

Video source: Scoff/YouTube


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