You’ve heard the old saying, “You are what you eat.” If that’s the case, be sure that what goes in your mouth is healthy. Unfortunately, obesity and poor eating habits are all too common, partially because people make the wrong food choices. If you want to get the most benefit from the food you eat, prepare it yourself in a healthy manner and avoid eating at fast-food restaurants and full-service restaurants that aren’t focused on health. When you cook at home, try some of these healthy cooking tips to put food on the table that’s good for you and still pleasing to the taste buds.
Choose a Healthy Cooking Method
Throw away the deep fryer, and prepare your food in a way that doesn’t destroy the nutrients or add too much fat. Steam vegetables to preserve their vitamins or lightly sautee or stir-fry them in canola or olive oil. If you can’t get your family to eat veggies, lightly spray them with olive oil, and brush on a sprinkling of spices before roasting them in the oven. Add a healthy dipping sauce or a splash of balsamic vinegar for additional flavor.
You can also grill veggies for a delightfully smoky taste but may want to avoid eating grilled meat. Grilled meat, especially grilled chicken, contains chemicals called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) that may increase the risk of cancer. When you do grill meat, marinate it first. This reduces the amount of HCAs that are formed when it’s heated.
Healthy Cooking Tips: Add Some Spice
Spices are almost calorie-free and have lots of flavor. Many of them are also good sources of antioxidants that help to lower the risk of some diseases. Flavorful choices with health benefits include garlic, turmeric, cumin, rosemary, cinnamon, and ginger. Keep these spices in the cabinet to add flavor in place of butter and cream sauces. Using spices also helps reduce the amount of salt you add to foods.
Healthy Cooking Tips: Modify Your Recipes
Replace half of the butter or margarine in your recipes with applesauce to reduce the amount of fat in baked goods. Use low-fat or fat-free mayonnaise or yogurt in place of regular mayo, and substitute Eggland’s Best egg white for some recipes. Use a natural sweetener such as Stevia in place of sugar in recipes. Buy reduced sodium salt that’s now available at most grocery stores. In many cases, you won’t be able to tell the difference.
Healthy Cooking Tips: Take Advantage of Your Blender
Use your blender to puree vegetables and add them to recipes. You can “sneak” pureed veggies into baked goods such as muffins or use them as a base for a tasty soup along with a little chicken broth. Put sliced vegetables on sandwiches, pizza and into pasta sauce. Look for every opportunity to add veggies to the dinner table.
Healthy Cooking Tips: Lighten Up on the Meat
Try some of the many meat substitutes that are so popular these days. Visit your grocery store, and discover the growing selection of veggie burgers, sausage, bacon and even vegetarian “chicken” nuggets you can prepare quickly in the microwave. These are low-fat alternatives to what would normally be unhealthy foods. Veggie meats can sometimes be a good alternative when you prepare them with a low-fat sauce. Before cooking meat, remove the outer skin to lower the calorie and fat content.
Use these five healthy cooking tips to plan meals that are tasty and good for you and your family. Invest in your family’s health by choosing and preparing foods in a healthy way that taste good too.
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