With all the exposure diseases and unhealthy lifestyles are garnering in the press today, people are afraid of contracting some awful disease or becoming obese. And with good reason one might add – there are way too many temptations out there to take us away from healthy cooking and a healthier lifestyle. Why do we need to eat out when we can whip up simple, delicious meals in the comfort of our own home? By adopting healthy cooking practices it is possible to live a healthy life, and avoid numerous health problems that plague us due to wrong eating habits. Many people are wary of the term healthy cooking because it conjures up visions of alfalfa sprouts and rabbit food. First step to a healthier lifestyle is to get this erroneous notion right out of your head. Healthy cooking can be as much fun as you make it. Here are a few simple ideas that you will soon find make a whole lot of difference to the way we eat.
- Avoid cooking in fat such as butter and oil. If you need oil choose olive oil or vegetable oil containing unsaturated fats rather than cooking in saturated fats.
- Cut out the salt in your food; try to substitute with flavored vinegars, lemon juice, herbs and spices. Avoid excessive use of tomato sauce and other processed sauces like soya sauce; they have a high salt content.
- You need to be firm in your resolution where fried foods are concerned. All fried foods need to be replaced with steamed, baked, stir fried, grilled or roasted foods. An additional benefit is the foods retain most of their original nutrients when they are not fried.
- As much as possible, choose to cook using fresh ingredients such as vegetables and meats. Try to avoid canned and processed foods – they have high sodium contents and are often full of additives. Natural foods have so many more benefits than processed or preserved foods.
- Full cream and whole milk can be cut out and replaced with skimmed milk. This step is necessary if you have weight problems.
- Avoid cooking your food more than is necessary. For example, if you can eat something by boiling it for 3 minutes, why insist on cooking it for 10 minutes? Overcooking kills the nutrients in the food and the body does not benefit from such foods. Follow these tips and you will soon become an expert at healthy cooking!