Choosing the right foods is one part of eating healthy—but how you prepare them also plays a role. "Research shows that certain cooking methods may change the makeup of our food in ways that could potentially harm our health," says Dr. Donald Hensrud, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. For instance, studies have suggested a link between eating excessive amounts of meat cooked at high temperatures and increased risks of colorectal and pancreatic cancers. No need to panic, though: "There's a lot we still don't fully understand, but we do know that some methods are better to use regularly and some are better saved for special occasions," says Hensrud. Keep the following in mind as you fire up your next meal.
Here's what you need to know about the healthfulness of popular cooking methods.