Pressure Cooking And Cancer: Do They Make Healthy Foods?

Does pressure cooker cause cancer? A pressure cooker is a kitchen appliance which cooks food at high pressure, it is an airtight cooking device that cooks food quickly, (1) due to the steam pressure that builds up inside and practically any kind of food can be cooked in a pressure cooker, it is fast becoming popular cookware for many households and it is often wondered about the effect of the pressure cooker on nutritional values.

A pressure cooker is also dubbed to be one of the healthiest cooking methods out of several others and this is because this cooker retains nutrient more than others.

A pressure cooker is one of the most common cooking methods and fewer people worry about if it is healthy or not,  it has become a fast way to cook all kinds of meal in the house and although nothing has been documented on if the pressure cooker is healthy or not, for some, it is healthy due to some reasons and for some, it is not (2).

Is pressure cooking safe for food? There are lot’s of reasons why you need a pressure cooker in your kitchen however if you are worried about how healthy this cooker is, in this article is a deeper look at what pressure cooker could do and if it really could cause cancer.

How does A pressure cooker work?

A pressure cooker is a process of cooking food at high pressure, it makes light of heavy cooking and cheap cuts like short ribs, it is a very convenient cooking appliance that cooks your food at a higher speed which means you don’t have to prepare ahead, you can use a pressure cooker to cook a nutritious and healthy meal in a matter of minutes. This cooker works by raising the temperature of boiling water thereby speeding up the time it takes to boil, braise or steam which makes it perfect for cooking fast healthy meals (3).

Does pressure cooking destroy nutrients?

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Research has shown pressure cooker preserves nutrients in food more than other cooking methods which are contrary to what most people believe and some studies did suggest that pressure cooking destroys nutrients but there is very few evidence to back this up and there are also studies that show that pressure cooking can reduce heat-sensitive nutrients like vitamin C and folate (4).

All cooking methods definitely reduce nutrients in foods to a certain degree however since pressure cooker doesn’t require a much higher temperature and shortens the cooking time, there is actually less time for nutrient loss which means pressure cooker may actually preserve more nutrients than other cooking methods.

Why are pressure cookers dangerous?

A pressure cooker is great for cooking any kinds of meal which is why there are concerns about how dangerous this cooker is likely to be, pressure cooker uses heat to boil liquids and allows steam to build up as the pressure increases and this steams blowouts are actually dangerous to anyone within range and the liquids flying as well should be avoided. Pressure cookers are not as violent as you fear provided proper measures are taken, they are actually very safe compared to some cooking methods.

Does pressure cookers cause cancer?

There are lots of myths and speculation surrounding a pressure cooker, there are amazing benefits that come with using a pressure cooker (5), and research did find pressure cooker to be the best and worst method for food preparation however their myths abound that includes the fact that a pressure cooker causes cancer, this has been used for years and findings this show that it is highly unlikely for a pressure cooker to cause cancer. The speed at which pressure cooker cooks might be the cause for concern but according to the majority of scientific evidence, this is not it.

What can you not cook in a pressure cooker?

High-pressure cooking limits boiling and rather permits cooking temperatures above 100º and this means they’re a whole lot of meals that can be made in a pressure cooker and also pressure cooking can reduce heat sensitivity such as vitamin C, folate and some 3 fatty acids which are beneficial to human health. Here are ingredients to avoid when cooking with a pressure cooker.

  • Breaded meats
  • Delicate cuts of meats
  • Burgers
  • Dairy or creamy sauce
  • Cookies
  • Canning
  • Pasta
  • Cakes

Pressure Cooking Vs Open Cooking

It is generally accepted that is is safe to cook in a pressure cooker without the fear of cancer or other unhealthy factors provided the cooking time is carefully regulated and safety measures are followed and in the case of open cooking, it all depends on the type of pot used in cooking the food, it can be done in a deep or shallow skillet. Food is more exposed in a shallow skillet and moisture is lost more easily and the food tends to become dry compare to deep pots that cook food longer.

Pressure cookers require lot’s of heat which makes food cook faster and it is also an enclosed form which means your food is not exposed to air but open cooking is a better form of cooking techniques as it not only retains the nutrient but the vitamin and minerals are easily available to the human body for digestion so compare to other methods of cooking, a pressure cooker speeds up the cooking process, less loss of nutrients and less mess.

Final Thoughts

A pressure cooker does not create any of the unhealthy chemicals that are known to be associated with baking and grilling method, it is faster and easier to use and the speed is considered as a hindrance to it producing healthy foods however research has shown this to be untrue.

The pressure cooker does it’s best at preserving nutrients, boiling reduces nutrients the most while roasting and steaming preserves up to 90% of nutrients and a pressure cooker helps retain these nutrients as much as possible with its fast cooking method.

Related read: 25 Best Cheap Slow Cookers Crockpot 2024 (Under $50)