How do raw foods and cooked food differ nutritionally?

This article will explore the differences in nutrition between cooked and raw foods. In my role as a nutritionist and dietician, I am often asked what the advantages of raw foods are. It's not as simple as you might think, because the nutritional content of foods can differ greatly depending on their preparation method and type. You should be able to better understand this subject and know how you can incorporate raw and cooked food into your daily diet.

The importance of understanding the nutritional difference between raw and cooked foods

It is important to understand the difference in nutrition between cooked and raw foods. The knowledge you gain can have a significant impact on your health. Cooking can increase the availability of some nutrients, while decreasing other nutrients. Cooking tomatoes, for example, increases the concentrations of the antioxidant lycopene while reducing the amounts of vitamin C.

This knowledge will help you make informed choices about your diet and provide the body with the right balance of nutrients. It's important to note that too much heat can lead to the degrading of vitamins, and a reduction in nutrients. A balanced diet that includes both cooked and raw foods is the best.

Important Points for Getting Started

It's important to take into consideration several factors when comparing the nutrition of raw and cooked food. Not all cooking techniques are equal. For example, boiling can remove water-soluble nutrients from food. Steaming and grilling, on the other hand can retain more nutrition.

Second, keep in mind that certain foods are not to be consumed raw because of the potential for food-borne illness. This applies to foods such as poultry, pork and some types of fish.

The Differences in Nutrition between Raw and Cooked foods

More Tips and Suggestions

Balance is the key. It's important to know how raw and cooked food differ nutritionally. A variety of raw and cooked foods is the best way to eat. No matter how you prepare them, a variety of grains, fruits, vegetables and proteins will give you a range of nutrients. Consider the methods of cooking you choose and try to use those which retain the maximum amount of nutrients.


The nutritional differences between cooked and raw foods are significant. Cooking can improve some nutrients but can degrade others. A balanced diet that includes both cooked and raw foods is therefore recommended. Understanding these differences will help you make informed choices about your diet that promote optimal health.