What is the healthiest cooking method?

steaming mixed vegetables in the wok, asian style cooking

The way we prepare and cook food can make a big difference to our health!


This is a healthy and simple option. The nutrients, colour and texture of fresh vegetables are better preserved as the food is not in contact with the water.

Stir-frying and sautéing

Quick, easy and healthy, these methods mean that food is only cooked for a short time in a small amount of oil, which helps maintains the texture and nutrients of food.

We have lots of stir-fry recipes to get you started. Why not try mango chicken, prawn and ginger or turkey with broccoli and pak choi?


An excellent way to cook food quickly and efficiently, as long as you use microwave-safe containers. Only a limited amount of nutrients are lost, as the cooking time is short and little water is needed.


A slow but simple way to cook food in the hot, dry air of the oven. Baking is a healthy option, as you generally need little or no oil – for example, chicken, fish and vegetables can be baked in greaseproof paper or foil parcels with a little water or reduced-salt stock. However, sometimes large amounts of oil or fat are used, such as when roasting potatoes. Try making healthier roast potatoes with parboiled new potatoes, baked in a small amount of spray oil.

For healthier home baking ideas, from fruit clafoutis to almond and coffee biscotti, buy our cookbooks.


Although this is a fat-free cooking method, nutrients, such as vitamin C and folate, are lost in the water. Using less water will help preserve the vitamins and minerals in your vegetables.

Grilling and barbecuing

Healthier than frying, although these methods do cause nutrients to be lost as food is exposed to high temperatures. Try marinating food with ingredients such as lemon juice, herbs and spices to boost the flavour without adding fat. Our soy and onion marinade is a great choice. Chicken, chops, steaks, fish and some vegetables can be grilled. Grilling also allows fat to run off the food.


Fried foods are unhealthy because adding fat increases the calories and the high heat destroys a lot of the nutrients. It’s best to limit foods cooked in this way.


Acrylamide is commonly found in starchy foods, especially those cooked at high temperatures. Currently there is no clear evidence that acrylamide causes cancer in humans.

There is extremely limited evidence on whether cooking with air-fryers affects the acrylamide content of foods and not enough has been published to be able to draw conclusions at the moment. More research is needed on the possible link between acrylamide and cancer.