Learn how to cook more healthy
Healthy cooking becomes easier and more manageable if you are aware of the basics. You will also realize that you don’t have to give up on delicious foods to practice this habit. If you are serious about starting to cook healthy, then here are some tips that will let you get the gist and the basic framework of healthy cooking and eating.
When cooking, go for products with the least amount of fat. For example, use reduced-fat dairy products and lean meats. Reduce the use of processed foods and ingredients to prevent taking in those hidden fats. Other low-fat healthy foods and ingredients that you should use for cooking are seeds, nuts, avocado, olives, soy, and fish.
These foods also have essential long-chain fatty acids combined with other vital nutrients. It is also advisable to use monounsaturated oils in cooking, like canola and olive oil.
Shop for healthy ingredients
Note that healthy cooking usually begins from the foods and ingredients you buy in the store. When shopping, look for low-fat or reduced-fat versions of certain foods as much as possible.
For instance, go for low-fat varieties of milk, gravies, salad dressings, cheese, and yogurt. Buy skinless chicken breasts and lean meat cuts, too. Another basic framework linked to healthy cooking is to limit your intake of fast foods, processed meats, crisps, chips, pies, pastries, and any other foods rich in fat.
Retain the nutrients of foods as much as possible
Remember that some ingredients used in cooking have delicate water-soluble vitamins, causing them to get easily destroyed once you prepare and cook them. To lower the risk of losing these essential nutrients, do these basic nutrient preservation tips:
- Scrub veggies, instead of peeling them. It is because most of their nutrients are near the skin
- Steam veggies or microwave them instead of boiling. If there is a need for you to boil them, make it a point to use just a bit of water. Avoid over-boiling the veggies, too, or you risk losing some important nutrients
- Incorporate more stir-fried foods into your daily diet. What’s good about stir-fried veggies and foods is that they only need to be cooked quickly. This is a big help in preserving not only their crunch but also their associated nutrients
Other healthy cooking tips to take note of
- Braise, grill, bake, steam, microwave, or boil foods. These are healthier cooking methods than deep-frying
- Adjust or get rid of recipes that often include butter as their ingredients
- Stay away from extra butter and oils. Invest in non-stick cookware to avoid that
- Take off the skin from chicken and trim off the meat’s fat
- Incorporate more fresh veggies and legumes into your diet
- Increase your intake of protein-rich and low-fat fish
Healthy cooking is not that hard to accomplish if you are just aware of the basics. As much as possible, make it a habit to cook at home. That way, you have full control of the ingredients, thereby ensuring that the foods you prepare are healthy for you.
FAQ: Healthy Cooking
Are all cooking oils bad?
When it comes to healthy cooking, the old information regarding how bad cooking oils is still spreading. In the past, people were told to avoid using cooking oils as much as possible as they contain fats that were the leading causes of heart disease. However, that was back then.
New medical research discovered that diets high in Omega-6 fatty acids and high fructose corn syrup are among the major causes of most inflammation in the body. It is also inflammation that causes all sorts of diseases that people suffer from as they age, including heart disease.
Although it is healthier to steam and grill your food, frying still has its merits. For instance, stir-frying allows you to cook your food real fast so they lock in all their nutrients. However, you should avoid using regular cooking oil. What you should use for cooking, instead, are healthier alternatives, such as coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil.
Are all fats bad? should I aim for a zero-fat diet?
This is false. Note that not all fats are bad. In fact, some fats are essential to the proper functioning of your body. The human body cannot produce essential fatty acids needed for basic human functions, so it must get it by consuming food.
There is such a thing as healthy fats, also known as unsaturated fats. The kind of fats that you need to avoid are the ones called trans fats. You can find them are in most processed foods. However, even if it is healthy fats, excessive consumption is still not good for the health, so take everything in moderation. Medical experts recommend that 20% to 35% of a person’s calorie intake should come from fats.
What are good fats?
Good fats are the ones called monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. You can find them in plant sources like walnuts, olives, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. These fats are also present in most fatty fish, like salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and herring.
Of course, olive oil and avocado oil contain healthy fats. However, what is surprising is that coconut oil is also beneficial for your health. New medical research discovered that coconut oil contains fats similar to the one that protects your cells. So, if you will be cooking stir-fried dishes, use coconut oil as much as possible.
Is healthy cooking difficult?
Not really. Cooking healthy does not take more effort to do. It is more on learning the proper cooking techniques and healthy ingredients to use.