Boiled Vs Steamed Food, Which Is Better For Healthy Weight Loss?
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When it comes to a healthy weight loss diet, there are two things that matter the most: the amount of food you eat and the kind of food you eat. To create a calorie deficit for weight loss, one definitely has to reduce the amount of food while maintaining the right balance of essential nutrients. And when it is about the kind of food to eat, foods from all nutritional categories must be consumed. And yet, what many people forget about in a weight loss diet is that the method of cooking used also matters just as much as the portion and types of food you eat for weight loss

This is where boiling and steaming come in. Both boiling and steaming are known as two of the healthiest cooking methods in the world. For a weight loss diet, eating boiled or steamed food helps a lot, especially when compared to unhealthy cooking methods like deep-frying. But if we were to compare boiling and steaming as cooking methods, which one among these two would emerge as the healthier cooking method for a weight loss diet? Let’s find out.  

Video Credit: YouTube/Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana

Boiling As A Healthy Cooking Method For Weight Loss 

Boiling is a cooking method that involves submerging food in boiling water and cooking it at a high temperature. This cooking method is simplicity itself and most people are familiar with it. But in case you aren’t, here are some key characteristics of boiled food. 

In boiling, the food is completely immersed in water and cooked at a consistent, high temperature until it reaches the desired level of doneness. The food is in direct contact with water throughout the cooking process, which can cause some water-soluble nutrients to leach out. This is why the water used for boiling is not usually thrown out and used instead as a stock or broth in soups, stews, etc. Having the boiled food as well as the boiled broth can equally help in weight loss. 

Boiling can lead to softer textures and may result in some loss of flavor, particularly if flavorful components dissolve into the cooking water. This is the reason why you need to be aware of which ingredients to add when and boil for how long. A lot of times, mushy boiled liquids can be blended to make quick soups in case the dish is irredeemable. Boiling is commonly used for cooking pasta, vegetables, grains, legumes, and certain proteins like eggs or chicken. 

Steaming As a Cooking Method For Weight Loss 

Though a bit more nuanced and difficult to nail without experience, steaming is also quite easy as a cooking method. Steaming is a cooking method that involves cooking food by exposing it to steam. Here are some key characteristics of steamed food that you should know about. 

Steaming is typically done by suspending food above boiling water, allowing the steam to cook the food gradually and evenly. This is done using a steamer made of bamboo, aluminium, steel, etc. Unlike boiling, the food does not directly come into contact with water during steaming, preserving its natural flavors and nutrients. What’s more, steaming helps retain the texture and flavor of the ingredients, resulting in a moist and tender outcome. 

Steaming is commonly used for cooking vegetables, fish, shellfish, dumplings, and even desserts like steamed puddings or cakes. Because there is never any added fat or carbs used in steaming, this cooking method is very easy to nail as long as you know how much time each ingredient requires to cook perfectly. For weight loss, this is a more flavourful cooking method, though it is just as low-calorie as boiled food. 

Boiled Vs Steamed: Pros And Cons For Weight Loss 

Both boiled and steamed food can be healthy options for weight loss, as they involve minimal or no added fats during cooking. However, the impact on weight loss is influenced more by the overall composition of the meal and the ingredients used, rather than the cooking method alone. Here's an overview of the potential benefits of boiled food and steamed food for weight loss. 

Boiled Food: 

1. Retains nutrients: Boiling food helps retain the vitamins and minerals present in the ingredients, as they are not exposed to high heat or prolonged cooking times. 

2. Enhances satiety: Boiled food can promote satiety due to its high water content, which can help with portion control and reduce overeating. 

3. Low-calorie option: Boiling generally requires no added fats, making it a low-calorie cooking method. 

Steamed Food:

1. Preserves nutrients: Steaming is a gentle cooking method that helps preserve the natural nutrients of food, as it involves minimal contact with water. 

2. Retains flavor and texture: Steaming retains the natural flavors and textures of the ingredients without the need for added fats, enhancing the taste of the food. 

3. Reduces calorie intake: Steaming allows for fat-free cooking, which can be beneficial for weight loss as it reduces calorie intake. 

The bottom line here is that while both boiled and steamed foods are great options for weight loss, the former is more effective in keeping cravings at bay for longer hours. On the other hand, steamed food is more flavour-packed, which is why you would be more likely to stick to your weight loss diet if you add a variety of steamed foods to your daily meals too. In fact, the best thing to do for a weight loss diet is to include both boiled and steamed foods in equal amounts to your daily meals so that you get the benefits of both these healthy cooking methods.