How to Cook Food Under 118 Degrees?

Interested in the raw food diet and the benefits of cooking food under 118 degrees?

As a former chef and food blogger, I have examined the importance of preserving food’s nutrients and enzymes through gentle cooking methods.

In this article, we’ll explore the significance of cooking below 118 degrees, the benefits it provides, the types of foods that can be cooked this way, various cooking methods to experiment with, and tips on adding raw foods to your diet.

Let’s begin!

Key Takeaways:

  • Cooking food under 118 degrees helps retain nutrients and enzymes, making it a healthier option for your body.
  • Excessive cooking above 118 degrees can lead to loss of nutrients and decrease the digestibility of food.
  • Incorporating raw foods into your diet can boost energy levels, aid in weight loss, and improve overall health. Start slow and listen to your body’s needs while experimenting with different raw recipes.
  • What Is Raw Food Diet?

    A raw food diet involves consuming uncooked, unprocessed, and mostly organic foods, retaining essential nutrients and enzymes.

    By eating foods in their natural state, proponents of the raw food diet believe that you can maximize the nutritional benefits of the ingredients as heat can destroy certain enzymes and nutrients. This diet typically includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains.

    One key benefit of this diet is that it can promote weight loss due to the high fiber content and lower intake of processed sugars and fats.

    What Is The Importance Of Cooking Food Under 118 Degrees?

    Cooking food under 118 degrees Fahrenheit is crucial to preserve the delicate nutrients and enzymes present in raw foods, enhancing their nutritional value.

    When food is cooked at temperatures above 118 degrees Fahrenheit, the heat can start to break down essential nutrients and enzymes found naturally in food. Enzymes are crucial for various biological processes in the body, aiding in digestion and nutrient absorption.

    By keeping the cooking temperature below this threshold, you can ensure that the food retains more of its original nutrient content, leading to a more wholesome and nourishing meal. This gentle cooking method also helps to maintain the structural integrity of the food, resulting in not only better taste but also higher nutritional benefits.

    What Happens To Food When Cooked Above 118 Degrees?

    When food is cooked above 118 degrees Fahrenheit, it can lead to the denaturation of enzymes and loss of vital nutrients, diminishing the nutritional quality of the food.

    Enzyme denaturation occurs when the protein structure of enzymes is altered, rendering them inactive and unable to perform their essential functions in the body. This can have a significant impact on the digestive process and overall nutrient absorption.

    Cooking at high temperatures can result in the degradation of heat-sensitive vitamins such as vitamin C and B vitamins, further reducing the nutritional value of the food.

    What Are The Benefits Of Cooking Food Under 118 Degrees?

    Cooking food below 118 degrees Fahrenheit offers numerous benefits such as retaining essential nutrients, enzymes, and promoting optimal digestion and health.

    When food is cooked at temperatures below 118 degrees Fahrenheit, the sensitive vitamins and minerals remain intact, ensuring that your body receives the maximum nutritional value from the ingredients. The enzymes present in the food remain active at lower temperatures, aiding in the digestion process and helping the body absorb nutrients more efficiently.

    By consuming foods prepared in this manner, you are not only preserving their natural goodness but also supporting your overall well-being. This gentle method of cooking helps maintain the delicate balance of nutrients, ensuring that you get the most out of every meal.

    Retains Nutrients and Enzymes

    By cooking food under 118 degrees Fahrenheit, nutrients and enzymes crucial for optimal health are preserved, ensuring maximum nutritional benefits.

    Cooking at lower temperatures prevents the breakdown of essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are vital for various bodily functions.

    Enzymes, highly sensitive to heat, play a crucial role in the body’s metabolic processes; they facilitate digestion, absorption, and cellular repair. When food is cooked at high temperatures, these enzymes are destroyed, leading to potential nutrient deficiencies and digestive issues.

    Retaining nutrients and enzymes through low-temperature cooking methods like steaming and slow cooking promotes better overall health by ensuring that the body receives the full spectrum of essential elements needed for optimal functioning.

    Increases Digestibility

    Cooking food below 118 degrees Fahrenheit enhances its digestibility as the natural enzymes remain intact, aiding in efficient nutrient absorption and digestion.

    When food is cooked at high temperatures, especially above 118 degrees Fahrenheit, many essential enzymes are destroyed, impacting the food’s intrinsic nutritional value. By preserving these enzymes through gentle cooking methods like steaming, simmering, or dehydrating at lower temperatures, the digestive system can more easily break down the food, releasing and absorbing the nutrients effectively.

    Enhanced digestibility not only benefits the immediate absorption of nutrients but also has long-term health implications. Consuming foods with preserved enzymes can reduce the strain on the digestive system, potentially improving overall gut health and boosting the body’s ability to extract vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

    Boosts Energy Levels

    Opting for cooking methods under 118 degrees Fahrenheit can boost energy levels by providing easily digestible nutrients that promote vitality and overall well-being.

    When food is cooked at lower temperatures, the nutrients within it are better preserved, ensuring that the body can efficiently absorb and utilize these essential components. This means that individuals can derive maximum benefits from their diet, translating into improved energy production and sustained vitality.

    Cooking at lower temperatures also helps in retaining enzymes and other beneficial compounds that support the digestive process. By consuming foods cooked gently, one can aid their digestive system in breaking down food effectively, leading to better nutrient absorption and sustained energy levels.

    Promotes Weight Loss

    Cooking food under 118 degrees Fahrenheit may aid in weight loss by offering nutrient-dense and low-calorie options that support a healthy metabolism and balanced diet.

    When foods are cooked at lower temperatures, they retain more of their vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, which can benefit overall health. These nutrient-rich choices not only help in weight management but also provide essential nutrients essential for the body’s optimal functioning.

    Such foods are often lower in calorie density, making them suitable for individuals aiming to shed excess weight as they can be filling without adding excessive calories. By focusing on nutrient composition and calorie intake, individuals can make informed decisions that align with their weight loss goals.

    What Foods Can Be Cooked Under 118 Degrees?

    What Foods Can Be Cooked Under 118 Degrees? - How to Cook Food Under 118 Degrees?

    Credits: Poormet.Com – Jesse Adams

    Various types of foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, meats, and fish can be cooked under 118 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain their nutritional integrity.

    When cooking fruits at low temperatures, options like dehydrating slices of apples or bananas to make delicious snacks are popular. Vegetables can be gently heated to enhance flavors while still retaining their crunch. Nuts and seeds can be sprouted or soaked to increase digestibility. Grains can be sprouted or fermented to make them more nutritious and easier to digest. Legumes can be sprouted before using them in salads or stews. Meats and fish can be marinated and dehydrated to create flavorful jerky or fish strips.

    Fruits and Vegetables

    Fruits and vegetables are prime examples of foods that can be cooked under 118 degrees Fahrenheit, retaining their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for optimal health benefits.

    Cooking fruits and vegetables at lower temperatures helps preserve their natural flavors and textures, making them more enjoyable to eat. This gentle cooking method also ensures that the essential nutrients like Vitamin C, folate, and potassium are not destroyed, maintaining the nutritional value of the produce.

    By cooking produce at lower temperatures, you are less likely to denature enzymes and antioxidants present in the fruits and vegetables. This means that your body can still benefit from these compounds, such as polyphenols and phytochemicals, which have numerous health-promoting properties.

    Nuts and Seeds

    Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of healthy fats, proteins, and micronutrients that can be cooked under 118 degrees Fahrenheit to preserve their nutritional value and promote heart health.

    When these nutrient-rich gems are exposed to high temperatures, some of their delicate nutrients like vitamin E and unsaturated fats can be damaged. By keeping the cooking temperature below the critical 118 degrees Fahrenheit mark, you can retain their beneficial properties and enhance their heart-protective benefits.

    Along with heart health, nuts and seeds offer a diverse array of essential nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and fiber. These nutrients play a crucial role in supporting overall well-being and maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.

    Culinary versatility is another key advantage of nuts and seeds. They can be added to a variety of dishes, from salads and stir-fries to baked goods and smoothies, providing not only a satisfying crunch but also a nutritional boost.

    Grains and Legumes

    Grains and legumes can be cooked under 118 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain their fiber content, essential nutrients, and promote digestive health and satiety.

    When cooking grains and legumes at lower temperatures, such as under 118 degrees Fahrenheit, the fiber retention is significantly higher compared to high-heat methods. Fiber plays a crucial role in supporting digestive health by promoting regularity and aiding in the prevention of constipation. Cooking at lower temperatures helps preserve the bioavailability of essential nutrients present in these foods, ensuring that your body can absorb and utilize them effectively.

    Meats and Fish

    Meats and fish cooked under 118 degrees Fahrenheit can retain their protein content, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential nutrients while minimizing the formation of harmful compounds.

    When meats and fish are cooked at lower temperatures, such as below 118 degrees Fahrenheit, the proteins in these foods are better preserved. This gentle cooking method helps maintain the structural integrity of the proteins, making them more bioavailable and easier for the body to digest. By cooking at lower temperatures, you can safeguard the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids present in these foods, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and support for heart and brain health.

    Lower-temperature cooking also helps preserve the overall nutrient quality of meats and fish. Unlike high-heat cooking methods that can degrade vitamins and minerals in food, gentle cooking at temperatures below 118 degrees Fahrenheit can help retain a higher concentration of essential nutrients.

    When you avoid exposing meats and fish to high temperatures, you reduce the risk of the formation of harmful compounds such as heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These compounds can be produced when meat is cooked at high temperatures, and they have been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Choosing to cook at lower temperatures helps mitigate this risk and promotes healthier food preparation practices.

    What Are The Different Methods Of Cooking Under 118 Degrees?

    Various methods such as blending and juicing, dehydrating, fermenting, and sprouting can be employed to cook foods under 118 degrees Fahrenheit, preserving their nutritional value.

    Blending and juicing techniques involve breaking down raw ingredients into liquid form without subjecting them to high temperatures, making it an excellent way to maintain the enzymes and nutrients present in the food.

    Dehydrating, on the other hand, removes moisture from foods gently at low temperatures, resulting in concentrated flavors and extended shelf life while retaining most nutrients.

    Fermenting introduces beneficial bacteria to foods, creating a spectrum of flavors and aiding in digestion, all while keeping the food raw and full of probiotics.

    Sprouting involves germinating seeds, beans, or grains, which increases their nutrient content and makes them easier to digest.

    Blending and Juicing

    Blending and juicing are effective methods to prepare raw foods under 118 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring nutrient retention and easy absorption for enhanced health benefits.

    When you blend or juice fruits and vegetables, you break down the cell walls, making the nutrients more accessible for the body to absorb. As a result, the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes remain intact, providing a concentrated source of essential nutrients.

    • Blending retains the fiber content of the produce, promoting better digestion and regulating blood sugar levels.
    • Juicing offers a quicker way to consume a larger quantity of nutrients without the fiber, making it easier for your body to process and absorb the goodness.

    By incorporating these raw food options into your diet, you not only support overall health but also boost your immune system and increase energy levels.


    Dehydrating food below 118 degrees Fahrenheit is a popular method that preserves nutrients, enzymes, and enhances flavors by removing moisture, creating nutrient-dense snacks.

    When dehydrating food at lower temperatures, such as 118 degrees Fahrenheit or below, the process involves gently extracting moisture from fruits, vegetables, or meats. This method retains the essential nutrients, vitamins, and enzymes that can be lost with higher heat methods. By dehydrating at lower temperatures, the food maintains its natural flavors, resulting in snacks that are not only nutritious but also bursting with taste.


    Fermenting foods under 118 degrees Fahrenheit promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria, improves digestibility, and enhances nutrient bioavailability, contributing to gut health.

    By fermenting foods at lower temperatures, not only are the naturally occurring probiotics preserved, but the process also helps break down complex compounds into simpler forms, making it easier for the body to absorb essential nutrients. This controlled fermentation allows for a gradual release of enzymes that aid in digestion, reducing the burden on the digestive system. Fermenting at lower temperatures helps retain heat-sensitive vitamins and enzymes that might be destroyed in high-heat cooking methods, ensuring maximum nutritional benefits from the food.


    Sprouting seeds and legumes under 118 degrees Fahrenheit activates enzymes, increases nutrient content, and improves digestibility, offering a nutritious addition to raw food diets.

    When seeds or legumes undergo the sprouting process, their nutrient profile is enhanced significantly. Enzymes, which are essential for various bodily functions, become active during sprouting, aiding in digestion and nutrient absorption. Sprouting can lead to a reduction in anti-nutrients, making the nutrients more bioavailable.

    By sprouting seeds and legumes at lower temperatures, vitamins and minerals are retained compared to traditional cooking methods that involve higher heat, which can degrade the nutritional value of foods. This gentle cooking method ensures that the natural goodness of the seeds and legumes is preserved.

    How To Incorporate Raw Foods Into Your Diet?

    How To Incorporate Raw Foods Into Your Diet? - How to Cook Food Under 118 Degrees?

    Credits: Poormet.Com – Steven Campbell

    Incorporating raw foods into your diet involves gradually increasing raw food intake, experimenting with different raw recipes, planning meals ahead, and listening to your body’s nutritional needs.

    Transitioning to a more raw food-based diet can be a journey of discovery and revitalization. Begin by adding a side salad or fruit to your meals and gradually increase the portion sizes over time. Raw food enthusiasts often recommend starting the day with a green smoothie or a chia seed pudding for a nutrient-packed breakfast. Experiment with different textures and flavors to find what appeals to your taste buds.

    • When exploring raw recipes, focus on whole, unprocessed ingredients to maximize their nutritional benefits. Create a colorful array of salads, zoodles, raw soups, and dehydrated snacks to keep your meals exciting and varied.
    • Meal planning plays a key role in successfully incorporating raw foods into your daily routine. Designate specific days for prepping ingredients, making large batches of raw snacks or energy bars, and having containers of chopped veggies and fruits readily available for quick meals and snacks.
    • Practice intuitive eating by paying attention to how your body responds to different raw food choices. Tune into your hunger cues, energy levels, digestion, and overall well-being to guide your raw food selections.

    Gradually Increase Raw Food Intake

    Gradually increasing raw food intake allows the body to adapt to higher enzyme-rich and nutrient-dense foods, supporting digestive health and overall well-being.

    Enzymes in raw foods are essential for aiding digestion, as they help break down food particles and enhance nutrient absorption. By gradually incorporating more raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds into your diet, you provide your body with a natural source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This can lead to improved energy levels, clearer skin, and better immune function. Raw foods are typically low in calories but high in essential nutrients, making them a great option for weight management and overall health.

    Experiment With Different Raw Recipes

    Experimenting with a variety of raw recipes offers culinary creativity, nutritional diversity, and ensures a balanced intake of essential nutrients for overall health benefits.

    Raw recipes provide a plethora of health advantages, such as retaining essential vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are typically lost during cooking. By incorporating more raw ingredients into your diet, you can experience heightened energy levels, improved digestion, and enhanced immune function.

    Diverse raw recipes allow you to explore unique flavor combinations and textures, expanding your palate and culinary skills. The incorporation of raw ingredients into your meals can revolutionize your approach to cooking, offering a refreshing twist on traditional dishes and inspiring you to embrace a healthier, more natural lifestyle.

    Plan Meals Ahead Of Time

    Planning raw food meals ahead of time enables efficient nutrient balance, ensures dietary diversity, and supports adherence to a raw food diet for long-term health benefits.

    By preparing meals in advance, individuals following a raw food diet can strategically incorporate a wide array of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants into their daily eating habits. This thoughtful approach not only helps in meeting one’s recommended nutrient intake but also fosters creativity in the kitchen, allowing for a mix of flavors and textures in each meal. Having a well-thought-out meal plan simplifies grocery shopping, minimizes food waste, and reduces the temptation to stray from a raw food lifestyle when faced with time constraints or hunger pangs.

    Listen To Your Body’s Needs

    Paying attention to your body’s nutritional requirements and cues is essential in successfully incorporating raw foods into your diet, ensuring optimal nourishment and well-being.

    By embracing intuitive eating principles, you can develop a deeper connection with your body and its needs. This approach encourages you to listen to hunger and fullness cues, rather than rigid meal plans or calorie counting. When transitioning to a raw food diet, self-awareness plays a crucial role in understanding your body’s responses to different foods and adjusting accordingly. Remember that everyone’s nutritional needs vary, so focusing on what makes you feel energized and satisfied is key to achieving overall wellness.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How to Cook Food Under 118 Degrees?

    Cooking food under 118 degrees is a popular method for retaining the maximum nutritional value of the ingredients. Here are some commonly asked questions and their answers:

    What is the importance of cooking under 118 degrees?

    Cooking under 118 degrees ensures that the food remains raw and contains all the essential enzymes and nutrients. This is especially important for those following a raw food diet.

    What are the best methods for cooking under 118 degrees?

    There are various ways to cook under 118 degrees, including dehydrating, using a slow cooker, or using a sous vide machine. However, the most common and accessible method is using a dehydrator.

    Is it safe to eat food cooked under 118 degrees?

    Yes, it is safe to eat food cooked under 118 degrees as long as the ingredients are fresh and properly stored. It is important to follow food safety guidelines and use clean utensils and equipment to prevent foodborne illness.

    What are some dishes that can be cooked under 118 degrees?

    There are plenty of delicious dishes that can be cooked under 118 degrees, such as raw vegan desserts, raw vegetable salads, and even raw soups. The options are endless, and you can get creative with your ingredients.

    How long does it take to cook food under 118 degrees?

    The cooking time for food under 118 degrees can vary depending on the recipe and the method used. For example, dehydrating can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day, while using a slow cooker can take 6-8 hours.

    Can I still achieve the same flavors with food cooked under 118 degrees?

    Yes, you can still achieve delicious flavors with food cooked under 118 degrees. The cooking process may be different, but you can use herbs, spices, and other seasonings to enhance the taste of your dish.

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