Although there’s a unanimous understanding that eating vegetables are good for you, many people express concerns that roasting vegetables lessens the veggies’ health benefits. This is generally due to the high heat we’re cooking at, not to mention the oil added to the tray to prevent your food from drying out.
But nutritionists say that eating your vegetables roasted is far better than not eating them at all, and there’s a few ways to give your roasts a health boost.
Tips to improve your roast
It’s worth going easy on the oil, not only because it instantly adds a load more calories and fat to your meal, but it can become very unhealthy if it’s heated too high. “Overheating breaks down the nutritional composition of the oil, changes the flavour and releases harmful free radicals,” said dietitian Leslie Beck.
Always try and keep the oil well below its smoking point, which is around 210 C for olive oil. Adding salt to your vegetables before you roast them can actually lower the smoking point, so always add your seasoning after you’ve finished cooking.
Does heat reduce nutrients?
Most forms of cooking lowers or changes the nutrients in food, regardless of whether it’s steamed, roasted or grilled.
But don’t let this deter you from cooking your meals; there are actually some vegetables that benefit more from being heated. Broccoli, for example, is much more easily digested when cooked, and boiled or roasted carrots have higher levels of antioxidant-rich carotenoids.
As a general rule, steaming your vegetables is the best option for lowering calories as it only requires water. It also helps reduce any potential loss of nutrients as it is far quicker than roasting, ensuring your veggies are heated for less time.
So while it’s not the lightest option if you’re pursuing weight loss goals, roasting your vegetables can still be healthy and delicious if done the correct way. Well then, how about trying some of these recipes we have on our website (click through the gallery below):
Text: The Australian Women’s Weekly / Additional Reporting: Sean Tan