Will a healthy food option separate you from the foods that you love and the comfort that you receive from them? These doubts and uncertainties are only natural; we will do our best to help and guide you.
Cooking oil should be avoided whenever possible; only a few of them are healthy. Cooking oils should be avoided as much as possible because the average American gets over 34% of their daily calories from fats, which is a very high percentage, and it reflects in the data, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America.
So even though you need at least 20% calories provided by fats, decreasing the usage of cooking oils as much as possible is still ideal for a healthy diet. Ditch deep-frying; opt for boiling, steaming, baking, roasting, and other such methods that don’t require the use of oil. You can also stir-fry, but make sure to use as little oil as possible.
All fats are not bad; in fact, some are essential. Our body cannot produce the essential fatty acids required for survival, so we must get them from food. It isn’t healthy fats or unsaturated fats that tend to be linked to the higher risk of heart disease; it is the excessive consumption of fats and a higher proportion of trans fats and saturated fats that accounts for the increase.
American Heart Association recommends that 20% to 35% of the total calorie intake should come from fats. The amount of healthy saturated fats consumed should only be 7%, while trans fats should be kept as close to zero as possible.
Healthy cooking does not take more effort or time than any other or “regular” type of cooking; it’s more about learning the proper techniques and how to cook healthier recipes and use healthier ingredients.
Healthy cooking consists of plenty of grilled, baked, and boiled foods. Therefore, the length of time an individual needs to cook a meal. You could dedicate the same length of time baking it. If anything, healthy cooking has a lot to do with slow-cooked meals. You could just put it on (either in the oven or in the burner) and get on with life while the heat and time do wonders with your low-calorie food.
The good fats are monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. A few examples are the fats present in natural foods like walnuts, avocados, olives, nuts (peanuts, almonds, macadamia nuts), flaxseed, soymilk, tofu, sunflower pumpkin and sesame seeds, and fatty fish, rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, such as tuna, salmon, trout, herring, mackerel, sardines.
Dishes just don’t taste right without oil and other fatty items like cheese and cream. Even though fats feel satisfying, you can still have the same quality of satisfaction by using the vast varieties of herbs and spices for seasoning. Along with adding flavor, all of them have additional health benefits too. Go and get some of the commonly used ones to start your journey into the mystical land of mouthwatering combinations of flavors.
You can easily find herbs like oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, sage, mint, marjoram, etc. Also useful is marinating the food item to be cooked beforehand, which is a good trick when it comes to meats. Use of lemon, vinegar, or a mixed spice paste according to your preferences not only will make the meat tender but also induce a lot of flavors even before you have started cooking. You could leave it overnight for marinating with the herbs and spices and enjoy a hearty and healthy meal the next day.
When it comes to vegetables, eating a variety of them is the thing that matters the most. Many people have this erroneous notion that cooking destroys a majority of nutrients; this is not true. A few vegetables do some lose some nutrients when cooked, especially when they are overcooked, gentle methods like steaming and boiling do not result in a significant loss.
Some vegetables like tomatoes and carrots benefit from cooking, some of the compounds that function as antioxidants increase in number after cooking.
The important thing is to eat vegetables, if you can’t eat them raw, cook them, and eat them. You don’t have to feel guilty; you are still getting their inherent goodness.
Depending on what you are cooking, using non-stick pans offers the great advantage of not having to use oil or butter, this is especially useful for dishes such as scrambled eggs and omelets, but can be used for virtually anything. Hard-Anodized cookware is a great choice that is not only no stick but, high in quality. If you are planning on baking the meal, then regular baking sheets or trays suffice. The same goes for grilling. Healthy cooking need not mean splurging on new cookware. It is the best possible use of things you already have.
First of all, steer clear of junk or processed foods. Also, organic foods are healthier in general. While in the supermarket, look at the information provided in the back of the packet – it will give you a general idea of the calories, fats, proteins, vitamins, etc. avoid anything with trans fats.
Take time out to compare various labels. Go for naturally processed food items. Instead of heading over to the supermarket, you could also go to the farmer’s market.
They have the best products when it comes to various meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and herbs. The less use of pesticides and other unnatural ingredients while growing the crop is preferable to goods found at the supermarket and instantaneously healthy.
Most of the time, packaged foods contain preservatives for making the food stay longer. It is, therefore, best to avoid them. Mostly, we tend to buy sauces/jams/oils in terms of packaged foods. You could make the sauces/jams needed for your food in advance at home and in bulk and store them in your freezer for safekeeping. A little bit of planning will go a long way in terms of healthy cooking.
The best thing about healthy cooking is that it lessens the burden on dieting. Dieting tries to limit the calorie intake by the body. Healthy cooking does the same by removing all sorts of unwanted fats from our daily food cycle.
It also stresses a more holistic approach to food, slow-cooked meals with the use of vegetables, fruits, meats, and a focus on herb seasoning instead of oils and creams. The food is sure to encourage a healthier lifestyle.
Substitute regular mayonnaise and full-fat sour cream in dips and dressings with fat-free sour cream, nonfat yogurt, and healthier mayonnaises, such as Olive Oil or Canola mayonnaise to significantly lower the fat content in recipes.
Coat the chicken with bread crumbs and bake instead of frying, which eliminates a lot of the fat content, and when baked at high heats, the chicken will be crunchy and delicious.