Consuming or eating healthy diet food doesn’t always mean giving up your favorite foods.
Your favorite food recipes can actually be adapted easily to provide yourself a healthier alternative.
This is why one needs to follow their own healthy cooking habits to stay strong and healthy.
There are several ways to make your meals healthier by limiting bad fats, sugars and salt and instead including plenty of vegetables, fruit, grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy in your cooking diet.
Meals and Foods with added fats, sugars or salt are actually less healthy than food in which these are found naturally.
Always shop for healthy food
Low-fat consumption or cooking actually begins when you are shopping:
• Always choose the low-fat version of food if possible such as low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
• Always try to choose leaner meat cuts and chicken breasts.
• Try to limit your consumption of fast foods, chips, crisps, processed meats, pastries and pies, which all contain large amounts of fat.
• If you need to use oil
, try applying oil sprays or a small amount of oil with a pastry brush.
• Cook in liquids such as stock, wine, lemon juice, fruit juice, vinegar or water instead of oil to reduce the consumption of fat percentage.
• Use low-fat products such as yogurt, low-fat milk or even skim milk.
Retaining the nutrients
which are present in various vegetables are very delicate and easily destroyed during preparation and cooking.
To reduce these nutrient losses:
• You should scrub the vegetables rather than peel them, as many nutrients are found close to the skin.
• Try to microwave or steam vegetables instead of boiling them.
• If you like to boil vegetables, use a small amount of water and never over boils them.
• Always try to include more stir-fry recipes in your diet as because stir-fried vegetables are cooked quickly to retain their crunch.
Cutting down of salt
Salt is primarily a common flavor enhancer in our food or diets but studies and research suggest that a high salt diet could contribute to a range of health problems including high blood pressure.
Thus, one of the very important and healthy cooking habits is to reduce salt consumption.
Here’s how you can do it –
• Try to add a splash of olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice just close to the end of cooking time or to cooked vegetables – as it can enhance the flavors in the same way as salt does.
• Always try to choose fresh or frozen vegetables, as because canned vegetables tend to be packaged with salt.
• You should try to reduce your consumption of some salty processed meats such as salami, ham, corned beef, bacon, smoked salmon, frankfurters and chicken loaf.
• Try to choose reduced salt bread and breakfast cereals as they are a major source of salt in the diet.
• Consumption of proper iodized salt is best. A major dietary source of iodine is plant foods. If you eat fish at least once a week, the need for iodized salt is reduced.
• You should avoid consuming salt-laden processed foods, such as flavored instant pasta or noodles, canned or dehydrated soup mixes, chips etc.
• Try reducing the consumption of margarine and butter as they contain a lot of salt but also to be noted that ‘no added salt’ varieties are available.
• Try reducing the consumption of cheese as most cheeses are very high in salt so limit your intake or choose lower salt varieties.
• You should reduce your use of soy sauce, tomato sauce, and processed sauces and condiments because they contain high levels of salt.
Actually, culinary herbs are leafy plants that primarily add flavor, taste, and color to all types of foods or meals. They are also rich in health-protective estrogens which are beneficial for our body. In most cases, use of sufficient herbs generally can replace the flavor of salt and oil.
• Herbs are generally delicately flavored, so adding them to your meals or cooking in the last few minutes makes a big difference in color and taste.
• Dried herbs actually are more strongly flavored than fresh ones.
• Other than boosting meat dishes, herbs can be added to soups, bread, mustards, salad dressings, vinegar, desserts and drinks.
General suggestions for healthy cooking
Healthy cooking habits or methods also include:
• Always try to steam, bake, grill, braise, boil or microwave your foods.
• You can try to modify or eliminate recipes that include butter or ask you to deep fry or sauté in animal fat.
• Try avoiding adding oils and butter and always use non-stick cookware instead.
• Always try to remove chicken skin and trim the fat from meat.
• You should start eating more fresh vegetables and legumes.
• Try to eat more of fish, which is high in protein, low in fats and loaded with essential omega-3 fatty acids.