Dear Dr. Roach: Does cooking affect fiber content in foods? I find that I have an easier time eating cooked vegetables, but I have read a recommendation to eat raw vegetables for fiber. I cook them by steaming. A.N.
Answer: Cooking does not significantly decrease the amount of fiber in foods. You can get the benefits of fiber from raw or cooked vegetables. Overcooking vegetables does reduce their vitamin content, but brief steaming doesnt much affect the vitamins in food. Peeling vegetables reduces both fiber and vitamin content, so whenever possible, leave on the skin after a thorough scrubbing.
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