Different tribes have different staple foods. For instance, the Baganda enjoy matooke; Banyoro, millet; Basoga, embooli (sweet potatoes); Jopadhola and Iteso, atap; while the Bakiga like Irish potatoes and sweet potatoes, the list is endless. Did you know
Different tribes have different staple foods. For instance, the Baganda enjoy matooke; Banyoro, millet; Basoga, embooli (sweet potatoes); Jopadhola and Iteso, atap; while the Bakiga like Irish potatoes and sweet potatoes, the list is endless. Did you know that cooking methods also take the same trend? Some tribes steam, while others roast or boil.
I recently visited my sister, Tina (not real name), who had made eight months in marriage. By this time, I thought, their honeymoon was over and Tina would be busy getting to her husbandâ€™s heart through his stomach, like she may have been told.
As usual, my major department of concern was the kitchen and I went there to fix a drink for myself. I looked around and there was no sign that my sister ever steamed food. There were no gadgets, charcoal stove or banana leaves. Out of curiosity, I asked Tina how she steamed her food. â€œDo you see any Muganda in the house?â€ she asked.
There seems to be a wave of tribalism in every other detail in Uganda, despite the fact that many people are preaching patriotism. Letâ€™s do ourselves a favour and be patriotic enough to our lives. Since when did particular cooking methods belong to particular tribes? If steaming is truly for Buganda region, then I would advise all men to marry women from Buganda so that they get a healthy diet to live longer.
Anyway, I was later served chicken stew, rice and â€˜boiledâ€™ potatoes at 5:00pm.
Today, many people ask about the healthy foods to eat without thinking about the cooking methods. Poor cooking methods affect the quality, and quantity of food consumed and oneâ€™s appetite.
It also affects the nutrient content of the dish; there is either nutrient loss or gain. For example, chips have a high energy value than the raw potatoes from which they are made because the oil used increases its energy content.
Good cooking methods include steaming, stewing, boiling, poaching and grilling.
These preserve the food nutrients, while causing minimal changes to its texture and taste. However, care should be taken when boiling. The boiling liquid should be served with the food to prevent nutrient loss, especially for water-soluble nutrients like Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C.
Poor cooking methods alter food leading to:
-Loss of nutrients, especially for the water-soluble micro nutrients
-Denaturing nutrients, especially in proteins.
-Increased energy density like in chipped potatoes
-Fat changes, increasing the low density fats like cholesterol
-Change in texture, colour and taste.
What to do
-Reduce consumption of junk food (fast foods, ice cream, etc), red meat and milk and its products.
-Cook your own food
-Reduce the number of times you eat out.
-Increase servings of fruits and vegetables in your meal.
-Be selective at parties (do not eat everything on the menu).
-Try locally made foods like luwombo, steamed vegetables and matooke.
-Keep a record of all fried, grilled and roasted foods you eat in a week and have a professional analyse its fat content.
-Reduce alcohol intake and smoking.
-Practise healthy eating habits.
Better late than never, the earlier you start the better.
The writer is a nutritionist
Effects of eating overcooked/fried foods
-Loss of appetite
-Micro-nutrient deficiencies like Vitamin C deficiency (slow wound healing, nose bleeding, low resistance to diseases, anaemia, bone pains are common symptoms)
-Increase in body fat resulting in overweight and obesity
-Elevation of cholesterol levels
-Protein energy malnutrition may result, especially among children below five years
People at risk
-Those living alone
-Students in tertiary institutions whose diet mainly consists of French fries (chips)
-The working class, especially those who eat fast foods regularly.
This is cooking with steam from boiling water, the water does not touch the food; steam circulates freely round and under the food. Modern steamers are available on the market although traditional steaming is preferred. Suitable for suet, cake-mixture puddings, fish, tomatoes, potatoes, rice, yams and matooke.
Cooking in a small measured amount of liquid which is allowed to simmer. Liquid is served with the cooked food. This type of cooking is suitable for all meats, especially tough cuts and fish.
Cooking by radiant heat in front of or over a very fierce source of heat, the food being rotated on a spit. Today, this type of cooking is used to mean electrically heated rotisserie or the revolving spit fitted to some grills and ovens.
Cooking meat in a little hot fat in a strong, covered saucepan on top of the cooker. The meat must be basted occasionally and turned over in the hot fat. Once the meat is brown, it should be cooked very gently or it will be dry.
Poor cooking KILLS FOOD value