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Does Grilling Vegetables Lose Nutrients?

With the wave of vegetarianism and veganism hitting many countries around the globe, even BBQ is seeing a subtle, but sure, change. In the past, a BBQ was considered incomplete without meat and it still is by some but now there are a few people who enjoy grilled veggies even more than the meat. It is time to accept that grilled vegetable may just be the future of barbecuing. They are not only healthier than your favourite meats; vegetables are much easier to grill too! There is always a chance of overcooking your meat but with vegetables, you always know when they are done. Grilled vegetables have an irresistible, smoky flavour that is completely unique.

There is one concern though, are grilled vegetables REALLY healthy? There have been rumours that grilling vegetables makes them lose almost all nutritional value. While cooking vegetables in any way changes the nutritional composition of them, some methods are considered healthier than others. So, how does grilling affect vegetables? Read on and decide for yourself if grilling vegetables is good for you or not.

It has been found that vegetables in their natural, raw state are the healthiest and contain the most amounts of nutrients. Any kind of alteration by way of cooking will affect the nutrient values in vegetables. Grilling is a method of cooking vegetables over an indirect heat source. Vegetables are cooked very fast in the process of grilling. Their composition is not altered too much in this process. So it is believed that they end up retaining most of the important nutrients. This usually isn’t the case in other cooking methods where cooking takes time and in the process strips the vegetables of their nutrition content. So, grilling may actually be one of the healthiest ways to cook your veggies!

Studies have shown that grilling red meat can lead to the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCAs). HCAs are basically chemicals that can lead to cancer. This process does not happen with vegetables making them much healthier to grill than meat. On the other hand, you shouldn’t overcook vegetables on the grill or burn them. Doing so may lead to the formation of carcinogens, which are harmful to our health. Overall, grilling vegetables is a much healthier option than grilling meat.

While it is true that eating vegetables raw is the healthiest way to consume your daily dose of vegetables, this is not always possible. Grilling is after all a cooking method that uses heat. Even though this heat is indirect, it affects the nutrients in the veggies to some extent. However, this change is negligible especially when it is compared with other cooking methods which take more time and use direct heat sources. There have even been cases when grilling of some vegetables has boosted their nutritional value.

So, it can be concluded that while grilled vegetables are not going to have the same nutritional value as raw vegetables, it is in fact a healthy option. The next time you are hosting a BBQ party, make sure to add grilled vegetables to the menu!

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