With the negative impact of a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet and the new realities of social distancing, more and more people are spending time in their kitchen than ever before. Healthy cooking is all about capturing the flavor while retaining the nutrients in food. It isn’t only about the ingredients; it’s also about how you prepare your food. You don’t need to be an experienced chef to cook healthy. Just a few basic cooking tips and techniques can get you there. It is an act of self-care, so let’s start the journey to a healthy lifestyle right from your own kitchen.
Healthy Vs Unhealthy Cooking Methods
Only 14% of adults eat the recommended amount of vegetables and 18% eat fruits. The nutritive value of our food is mainly determined by what we eat and the way we cook. There is a line-up of unhealthy cooking methods that are easy and quick, but what comes with this is a whole lot of health issues. On the other hand, cooking a healthy meal influences the total calories in the meal and the nutritional benefits that will make a big difference to our health. Healthy hacks while cooking will allow you to have control over your calories, thereby reducing the risk of obesity and other diseases. Every time you cook, you have a choice to choose the cooking method, hence choose wisely!
Easy Healthy Cooking Tips You Must Know
Healthy cooking for beginners isn’t exactly a cakewalk, but these easy tips will help you get there.
– Use skinless poultry or trim all fat from the meat before cooking.
– Cut vegetables in medium sizes and cook them immediately to prevent loss of essential nutrients.
– Use salt wisely by substituting it with lemon juice, herbs, or spices to season food.
– Avoid the yolk of the egg by substituting it with two egg whites as cholesterol and fat are in the yolk and not in the white.
– Use less of all fats and oils to replace with small amounts of unsaturated fat such as vegetable oil, corn oil, soybean oil, olive oil or peanut oil.
– Stock up wisely on healthy items like unsalted canned beans and tomatoes, precooked unseasoned brown rice, unsalted chicken stock and dry staples like quinoa, lentils, and chia seeds that you can always have as a quick healthy snack option.
– Opt for fresh veggies, fish, meat, and poultry instead of frozen vegetables and meat to get more vitamins and antioxidants.
– Use season foods for they have the highest amount of nutrition, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
– Avoid excessive heating of milk as lactose reacts with proteins and reduces the quality of protein in the milk.
– Use sprouts in your diet as it improves the digestibility of pulses and grains besides increasing Vitamin C.
– Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables instead of 100% fruit juices and don’t discard edible peels.
– Take extra time and read food labels to choose foods that are lower in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
– Use non-stick cookware as they don’t need as much oil as a typical stainless steel pan.
Healthy Cooking Techniques To Capture The Nutrients And Flavors
There are plenty of cooking ideas to cook nutritious and flavorful food. Before you don your apron, consider these 7 healthy cooking methods to have complete control over what goes into your body.
Microwaving, Healthy Cooking Tips To Reduce Nutrient Destruction
This may be the healthiest way to cook because of its short cooking time. Microwaves cook food fast by heating from the inside out which results in minimal nutrient destruction. Studies suggest that it may just be one of the best ways to preserve nutrients in vegetables. It can be used to cook, reheat, defrost and you can microwave just about anything. One thing you need to be extra careful about is the choice of cookware, use only microwave-safe containers.
Poaching, Healthy Cooking Tips To Cook Delicate Proteins
Poaching is a moist heat method of cooking where the ingredients are gently simmered in some kind of liquid until they’re cooked through and tender. Since it’s one of the gentlest cooking methods, poaching allows the actual flavor of the food to shine. This technique is used to cook delicate proteins such as fish, chicken, eggs, and some fruits and vegetables. It is one of the healthiest ways to cook your food, with minimal fat and oil.
Steaming, Healthy Cooking Tips To Retain The Natural Goodness
Steaming anything from veggies to fish allows them to cook in their own juices and retain all that natural goodness. If you use a flavorful liquid or add seasonings like salt or lemon juice to the water, you are flavoring the food as it cooks. The steaming method reduces unwanted fats, making the dishes very light, healthier and gentle on the palate. This technique is one of the simplest and healthy methods of cooking because it adds no fat or calories.
Grilling, Healthy Cooking Tips To Cook Quickly
To get maximum nutrition without sacrificing flavor, grilling is a great cooking method. It is a method of dry heat cooking that has the ability to cook meat and vegetables very quickly. Grilled meat is typically lower in fat and calories compared with meats cooked in other ways. Grilling is commonly done on a barbecue, griddle or grill pan. The high heat from the grill locks the moisture and keeps food tender.
Stir-frying, Healthy Cooking Tips To Retain More Nutrients
Stir-frying quickly cooks small, uniform-sized pieces of food with small amounts of oil, vegetable stock or water. In addition to being quick and easy, they are also healthy as you need only a small amount of oil or cooking spray for this cooking method. It results in tender-crisp vegetables that retain more nutrients as they’re rapidly stirred and fried. This method of cooking is definitely healthier than deep-frying or pan-frying.
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Broiling, Healthy Cooking Tips To Reduce Fat Content
Broiling uses very high heat to cook food for a short period of time. It’s a great way to cook tender cuts of meat quickly and evenly. Broiling allows fat to drip away, reducing the total fat content in your food. In addition to being diet-friendly and healthy, broiling is also fast and cheap as this can be tried out by putting the food on the top rack or by using a toaster oven.
There is always a misconception that healthy cooking hacks are bland and expensive. It’s time to start changing the way we think and focus more on how to learn healthy cooking. Hope these cooking tips and techniques will make cooking healthy meals at home a little easier. Try them out for a healthy but satisfying meal that will make you feel good.
FAO’s On Healthy Cooking:
How to start cooking healthy meals at home?
You can make your meals healthier by paying attention to portions, where 50% can be vegetables, 25% protein and the balance 25% portion maybe with healthy grains. Also try to limit fat, sugar and salt in your cooking.
What are the 10 healthy eating tips?
Plan ahead for the week, do not skip your meal, drink plenty of water, know what you are eating, eat in moderation, choose food with healthy fats, increase the intake of fruits and vegetables, cut down on sugar and salt, indulge in fibre-filled diet and have more of home cooked food.
How to find new healthy recipes?
You can find some cooking snack articles on Google that will take you through their healthy recipes step by step.
What are the 5 healthiest foods?
Eggs, Salmon, dark green vegetables, avocados and refined grains are the healthiest foods.
How do I cook healthy every day?
Use cooking methods such as boiling and steaming because they’re the gentlest and healthiest way to prepare food without losing the nutrients.
What can I cook in 5 minutes?
Pasta, sandwich, salad and omelettes are a few of the healthy dishes you can cook within five minutes.