Contrary to popular notion, eating healthy does not mean that you have to cut down on your favourite foods. It is the method that you use to cook that contributes a lot to healthy cooking. For example use modern non-stick utensils over traditional pots and pans to reduce the need for cooking oil or microwave or steam vegetables instead of boiling them to seal in the nutrients. Make optimum use of grains, lean meat, vegetables and low-fat dairy in your cooking and cut back on fat, sugar and salt.
Here are five tips for healthy cooking which you can follow to keep your family in the pink of health.
#1 Keep fat intake to a minimum
Prefer lean meat and low fat dairy products and reduce processed foods as they contain hidden fats. However, all fat is not bad for you. Fish, nuts, seeds, olives and avocado have long-chain fatty acids which are all linked to good nutrients. When cooking, use a little amount of cooking spray and spread the pan with it with a pastry brush. When vegetables need to be browned, put them in a hot pan and then spray with oil. This will reduce oil-absorption by the vegetables. Cook food in liquids such as lemon juice, stock, wine or water instead of oil.
#2 Preserve nutrients
Do not over boil vegetables. It is preferable to microwave or steam vegetables instead of boiling to seal in the nutrients. Stir-fry vegetables and include plenty of them in your diet. These are cooked quickly and all nutrients are retained apart from giving that lovely crunchy taste.
#3 Reduce salt intake
This is crucial for a healthy diet. Go with fresh or frozen vegetables since the canned and pickled varieties are packaged with salt. Reduce intake of salty processed meats such as corned beef, smoked salmon, salami, ham and chicken loaf. While cooking, do not by force of habit add salt. Taste the food first and then decide. Adding a dash of olive oil or vinegar to cooked vegetables at the end of cooking time enhances flavours similar to what salt does.
Initially, departing from your normal cooking style might be difficult for you. But once you know that it will be beneficial for you in the long run, you will surely incorporate these minor adjustments in your lifestyle.