No matter if you’re a professional athlete on the big stage or an amateur weightlifter looking to break through plateaus, food preparation is one of the most important things to consider when striving to reach your goals. Unfortunately, however, it is also one of the most overlooked. Many athletes looking to achieve their peak performance understand that nutrition is vital, but they fail to realize that the way they prepare their food plays a significant role in how healthy it is.
Overcooking Your Food Affects The Nutritional Content
Many people who regularly eat fruits and vegetables feel that because they are eating these foods, they are eating well. What they don’t realize is that overcooking these foods can lead to significant nutrient loss, meaning they aren’t getting the full benefits as advertised. As a rule of thumb, the longer you cook food, the more it suffers from nutrient loss.
So, you may think that you’re getting 100% of your daily vitamin C intake when in reality you’re only getting 10 – 15%. Additionally, studies have shown that overcooking food could potentially activate carcinogens, increasing your risk for cancer.
Americans have gotten away from fresh, natural ingredients and are instead eating more and more foods that are overly-processed without realizing how much harm they’re causing their bodies. If a manufacturer made food in a factory or altered it during preparation, it can be considered processed food. The next time you go to enjoy your meal, think about if one of the following methods was used to obtain every ingredient:
• It could be hunted
• It could be picked
• It could be grown
• It could be gathered
If not, your foods are not natural and are overly-processed. Processed foods typically have elevated levels of salt and fat, making them an inferior choice for those looking to reach peak performance levels.