Healthy cooking can be a lot easier than you might imagine. These simple cooking tips yield big health rewards; from lowering fat and calorie content to increasing the body’s absorption of essential vitamins and minerals.
- Choose the Right Cookware: Using nonstick cookware allows for less oil, immediately cutting the fat content in a meal. What’s more, using a cast iron skillet safely increases the iron content in food.
- Cook Quickly: The longer vegetables are cooked, the more vitamins and nutrients they lose. Stir fry or steam vegetables to preserve their disease fighting benefits.
- Ban the Can: Use fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned or frozen, as the latter varieties have multiple additives like sodium and high fructose corn syrup. If you have to use processed veggies choose brands with low-sodium options.
- Keep an Eye on the Sugar: Calories and fat are usually the scapegoat for weight gain, but sugar is often the actual culprit. Try to choose breads, snacks, and packaged foods without sugar in the first three ingredients (unless for dessert) and avoid purchasing anything with high fructose corn syrup. Sugar is like salt in that the less you eat it the more sensitive you are to its taste. But the inverse is also true—the more you eat it the less you can taste it, which can easily become a slippery slope!
- Cut Down on Butter & Lard: Butter and lard are animal products and thus contain cholesterol. They’re also high in saturated fat, which increases “bad” cholesterol. The good news is that both are easily replaced with canola, extra virgin olive, or soybean oil which are comparatively low in saturated fat.
- Experiment with Healthy Substitutions: Substitutions can be as simple as swapping whole milk for skim. Thanks to vegans and other experimental chefs though, it’s easy to get creative with ingredient substitutions. Did you know, for example, that applesauce can replace butter in baked goods?
- Cut Down on Yolks: Egg yolks are a powerhouse of nutrients, but they’re also high in cholesterol. Try reducing the yolks slightly by using whites instead, but don’t get rid of them completely!
- Choose Meats Wisely: Fat and calorie content can be easily decreased by choosing lean cuts of meat. Opt for “loin” or “round” cuts and “select” grades, as these tend to be the leanest. Also consider choosing ground turkey breast instead of beef once in a while.
- Try Meatless Mondays: Meat is an essential part of our diet, but it doesn’t have to be consumed daily. Cut fat and cholesterol by opting for a legume or soy-based meal one night a week.
- DIY Broth: All the healing power of nutrient rich chicken or beef broth comes from fresh ingredients simmered with the bone, and without additives like salt and high fructose corn syrup. Whip up a batch over the weekend and freeze the extra for later use.
Try out two or three of these tips each week and check back next month for a nourishing beef broth recipe. Healthy cooking never seemed so simple!