Do You Know Nutrition: Convection ovens distribute heat evenly, faster

March 29, 2010 at midnight
Updated March 29, 2010 at 10:30 p.m.

Q: I have thrown out my microwave for safety reasons and was wondering how a convection oven works compared to a microwave?

A: The standard oven and the convection oven work similar to each other. The notable difference in the convection oven is that it has a fan that increases the distribution of heat molecules, providing heat to all areas more evenly and faster. Because of the fan and the efficiency of the heat circulation, a lower temperature is usually required, thereby conserving energy. Meats do very well cooked in a convection oven, and because of the lower heat, the meat tends to be juicier.

Microwaves, on the other hand, penetrate and are absorbed by food products and liquids. The energy penetrates the food and its power is gradually absorbed, or lost, to each layer of molecules. The rate of energy loss and depth of penetration vary depending on the food. Hence, microwaved food is quite often found cold in the center.

The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture has stated that research shows that microwaving food does cause a significant decrease in the nutritive value of food.

Q: I know how important drinking water is, but I would like to know if there are guidelines for when it is best to drink water? Is there a simple rule of thumb for how much water we should drink daily?

A: Here are a few simple suggestions, according to Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., author of "You're Not Sick, You're Thirsty":

Water should be consumed no more than 30 minutes before meals with a squeeze of lemon or lime in the water. This prepares the digestive tract and is especially important for people with gastritis, heartburn, peptic ulcer, colitis and indigestion.

Water should be taken about two hours after a meal to complete the process of digestion and correct the dehydration caused by the food breakdown.

Water should be taken first thing in the morning to correct dehydration - the result of the long hours of sleep.

Water should be taken before exercising to have it available for creating sweat.

Do not wait to drink water. When you are thirsty - you are probably already dehydrated.

I recommend that we consume one half of our body weight in ounces of water daily. To help you figure this out - if you weigh 120 pounds, that would convert to 60 ounces of water daily. This is in addition to any other beverages you consume during the course of a day. The number one cause of daytime fatigue is dehydration.

Note: Call today to sign up for the next nutrition class at 7 p.m., Monday, April 12, 361-580-1400.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, e-mail her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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