The Health benefits of your food largely depend on the way you cook. That also means that you can change your food’s nutritional value by improving your cooking methods. So, you can solve most of your health problems when you know how to cook healthy, what ingredients to use, and what to swap. We never advise you to give up your favorite food to lose weight; you can make healthy swaps in your recipes to enjoy your favorite food. Let’s explore some healthy cooking tips and make staying fit easy.
Why should you cook at home?
You can’t control anything about your food if you’re getting it from outside. Though the restaurant may claim it to be the healthiest, you can’t be sure about the quality of the food you’re going to eat. You won’t know much about the quality and quantity of ingredients used and your food’s exact nutritional value. So, if you want to make a healthier choice, start cooking at home and use the best ingredients. It is best for both health and finance, and you will always know that you’re fueling yourself with the best nutritious ingredients. There’s no problem with eating outside, but if you’re doing that on most of the days, then it might be a problem. Follow simple healthy cooking tips and notice the change in your overall calorie intake.
Healthy cooking tips:
- Plan well and Shop smart: Plan your meals and shop according to them on weekends. It is easy to walk away from your health goals after giving silly excuses. So, plan your meals well, list out the ingredients you need, and shop accordingly. By storing the healthy stuff in your kitchen, your chances of consuming something unhealthy decreases as “what is out of sight is out of mind. ” Play with all that nutritious stuff there and cook something healthy for yourself. Try making your favorite dishes wholesome.
- Swap processed food with whole foods: Half of your health problems will solve once you get rid of all the processed items in your kitchen. Almost all of us have processed stuff in our kitchen like breakfast cereals, cheese, bread, microwave meals, biscuits, etc. All processed stuff is not unhealthy, but replacing them with whole food is always a good idea. When you cook using whole food as your ingredient and know the amount you’re adding, you can control your food’s nutritional value. Doing this helps reduce the risk of cancer, Type- 2 diabetes, heart disease and even help maintain weight. Swap your sugar breakfast cereal with a bowl of porridge and some berries or bananas on it, white bread with whole-grain bread, fruit juice with whole fruit, and you can find plenty of such fantastic healthy swaps. But, only if you look for them. 😛 Also, focus on nutritional labels before buying any product.
- Add lots and lots of fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, antioxidants, etc. Their nutritional value makes them the best choice for a healthy gut and can also fight other digestion problems. The fruits and vegetables with more water content are super low in calories and can keep you full longer and maintain weight. It is advised that adults should eat at least one and a half to two cups per day of fruits and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables. So, make your favorite fruit smoothie, add some extra veggies to your sandwiches, have a salad, play with those colorful fruits and veggies and cook something nutritious for you. Even a little bit of them can magnify the taste and nutritional value of your food.
- Choose healthy oils: You can minimize the quantity of oil in your food by using nonstick cookware, but if you want to use some while cooking, choose something healthier. With plenty of healthy oils available in the market, pick something more nutritious like olive oil, canola oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, etc. Don’t reuse or reheat any cooking oil, and if it smells bad, don’t use it. These small tips can help you improve the nutritional value of your food.
- Focus on your cooking methods: Your cooking method can change a lot about your food if you modify your cooking methods. Steam, bake, grill, saute in minimal fat, boil, and modify or eliminate recipes that include butter or oil. These methods can help you save some extra calories and can enhance the taste. An air fryer can also help you prepare your favorite oily snack in a few calories.
- Control your portion size: Too much good is also bad, so if you’re putting too much healthy food on your plate. You might end up eating more than your calorie requirement. You need have to measure every bite, but you can surely learn about managing your portion control.
- Include some protein in your diet: It is recommended to have some amount of protein in every meal. Don’t only focus on completing your protein intake in just one meal. Divide it throughout your meals in a day. High protein intake can help you lose weight, increase muscle and improve other health conditions. So, why focus on one when you can have it in all your meals easily. Chop and add some panner(Cottage cheese) or tofu in your pulses, or even vegetable salad to get some extra protein. There are many different ways to include protein in your diet. Keep experimenting with your favorite recipes.
- Add healthy fats: Fats aren’t bad, and they aren’t the ones that make you fat. It’s a calorie surplus that increases weight. Fat helps you absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fat is an essential part of a well-balanced, healthy diet. You have to focus on getting them from healthy sources. Get the required fat from avocado, nuts, chia seeds, whole eggs, etc. You can add some nuts to your dessert or just have a whole egg. There are different ways to include them; keep experimenting. 😀
- Go easy with dipping sauces: Sauces can increase the calories of your favorite dish easily. There are some dishes like pasta, Manchurian, etc that use sauces. Adding too much of them will increase your overall calorie intake. Many times we don’t count these calories and that leads to wrong calories estimate. Here’s how dipping sauces can make a huge difference.
- Restrict salt and sugar intake: Too much salt and sugar intake are already bad for health. Not considering them while cooking could lead to weight gain and other health problems. It is suggested that added sugar limit of no more than 100 calories/day (about 6 teaspoons) for most women and no more than 150 calories/day (about 9 teaspoons) for most men(4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon). Recommended sodium intake for an adult is less than 2300 mg/day(1 teaspoon). Stay in this criteria for both flavor and good health.
These healthy cooking tips will definitely be good for your health and pocket. Drop in some useful tips for the readers in the comment section below. 🙂