Friday, March 4, 2022

How to Cook More Healthy at Home #healthy2022 #healthycooking #healthylifestyle #nutrition

Eating healthy is typically much easier to achieve when cooking at home! That's because you control the ingredients and the cooking methods you use to prepare meals. Today, The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is sharing some tips to help you eat...and cook...healthier in your home kitchen. This article may contain affiliate links.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite foods! Your favorite recipes can easily be tweaked to be healthier. For example, non-stick cookware can be used to reduce the need for cooking oil. Vegetables can be microwaved or steamed to retain their nutrients. 

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There are many ways to make your meals healthier, whether you’re on a specific diet to lose weight...or if you simply want to feel better and have more energy. You can also pair a weight loss diet plan with a wegovy injection for effective weight loss. Be sure to limit fats, sugars, and salt. But? Include lots of vegetables, fruits, grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy. 

(1) Keep Fats to a Minimum

Choose lean meats and reduced-fat dairy products...and limit processed foods. Nuts, seeds, fish, soy, olives, and avocado are all healthier sources of fat -- because they have essential long-chain fatty acids. These fats are accompanied by other good nutrients. If you add fats when you’re cooking, be sure to keep them to a minimum...and stick with monounsaturated oils like olive or canola oil. 

(2) Shop for Healthy Food

Choose reduced or low-fat versions of food where you can, including milk, cheese, and salad dressings. Pick leaner cuts of meat and skinless chicken breasts. Further, limit the amount of fast foods you well as chips, processed meats, pastries, and pies. 

(3) Use Low Fat Cooking Methods

Reduce the fat in your cooking with these tips:

  • Use cooking sprays, or apply a small amount of oil with a pastry brush.

  • Cook with liquids instead of oil/fats.

  • Use low-fat yogurt or milk -- instead of cream -- in sauces and soups.

  • When you brown vegetables, place them in a hot pan and spray with oil, rather than oiling the pain first.

  • Instead of browning vegetables via pan frying, cook them first in the microwave. Then, crisp them under the grill.

  • Use pesto, salsa, chutneys, and vinegar instead of sour cream, butter, and creamy sauces. 

(4) Retain Nutrients in Foods

Water-soluble vitamins are delicate and can easily be lost during the preparation and cooking of food. To minimize nutrient loss:

  • Scrub vegetables rather than peeling them...much of the nutrients are found close to the skin.

  • Microwave or steam vegetables rather than boiling them.

  • If you do boil your vegetables, use a small amount of water...and don’t overboil them

  • Include more stir-fry recipes. Stir-fried vegetables are cooked quickly, which retains their crunch and nutrients.

(5) Reduce Your Use of Salt

Salt is a flavor enhancer, but a diet high in salt may contribute to multiple health problems, including high blood pressure. You can reduce dietary salt in a few ways:

  • Don’t automatically add salt to your food...taste it first. 

  • Add a little olive oil, vinegar, or lemon juice close to the end of cooking time or to vegetables. This will enhance flavors in the same way as salt. 

  • Cook with fresh or frozen vegetables, because canned and pickled options are often packed with salt.

  • Avoid salty processed meats like ham, bacon, and salami. 

  • Choose reduced-salt bread and breakfast cereals. Bread and cereals are actually a key source of salt in the average diet. 

  • Avoid processed foods, which are laden with salts -- flavored instant pasta or noodles, canned or dehydrated soup mixes, chips, and salted nuts. 

  • Margarine and butter also contain a lot of salt, so choose varieties that have no added salt. 

  • Many cheeses are very high in salt. Either limit how much cheese you eat, or choose cheeses that are lower in salt. 

  • Reduce your use of soy sauce, tomato sauce, and other processed sauces, salad dressings, and mayonnaise. These condiments all contain a lot of salt.

(6) Cook with Herbs

Herbs are a great way to add color and flavor to all kinds of meals. This allows you to use fewer ingredients like fat and salt to add taste. Herbs are also rich in phyto-estrogens, which are very good for your health. Herbs can be used in place of salt and oil too. When you use herbs, keep in mind:

  • Herbs have a delicate flavor, so add them to your dish in the last few minutes to retain their flavor.

  • Dried herbs have a stronger flavor than fresh. One teaspoon of dried herbs is equivalent to approximately four teaspoons of fresh.

  • As well the obvious use in meat dishes, you can add herbs to: soups, bread, mustards, salad dressing, vinegar, desserts, and drinks.

  • Herbs like coriander, ginger, garlic, chili, and lemongrass work brilliantly in stir-fry recipes with a lot of vegetables. 

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