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Ask the Expert Archive

Is it true that when you cook veggies they lose all their nutritional value? Is there some kind of chart or comparison page of what the nutritional value is of the raw veggies/fruits compared to when each veggie/fruit is baked/grilled/fried/etc.?

Some loss of nutrients occurs with cooking (like vitamin C), while other beneficial compounds in fruits or vegetables (like lycopene) are more available to the body because of cooking. Water soluble vitamins (vitamin C and the B vitamins), are lost more easily during the cooking process, because they easily move into the cooking water. The fat-soluble (vitamins A, D, E, and K) are not as easily lost in the water during the cooking process.   Remember that all forms—fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100% juice count! They all provide beneficial compounds that promote a healthy life. The most important thing is for people to enjoy a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, prepared in healthful ways. Making sure you are eating your recommended fruit and vegetable intake is the most important thing! Visit our Tips section for all of your fruit and vegetable cooking questions.
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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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