Healthy cooking doesn’t have to mean fancy techniques or expensive cookware. It simply means being wise about what methods you utilize to cook dishes as well as the quantity of ingredients you use. In fact, all of the cooking techniques we will discuss are methods that you have probably employed in some of your previous cooking, you probably just didn’t know that doing it that way is healthier than the other.
Let’s start with ingredients:
Be careful with the salt. The recommended salt for daily consumption is at about 1 tsp a day. This will include the salt that you will find in chips, processed foods, etc. When cooking with salty foods like bacon or parmesan cheese, you probably do not need extra salt or at the very least, add just a small amount and keep in mind that the other ingredients are already salted. Salt is essential in maintaining body functions, but too much can cause health concerns.
Substitute with herbs and spices. Herbs and Spices can allow you to lend flavors to dishes without having to resort to adding more salt. Look into garlic powder, basil, oregano, pepper, cumin and other herbs and spices to make your dish more flavorful.
Use healthier oils. Avoid animal products when you can in cooking, such as lard, margarine or butter. Choose healthier options that contain unsaturated fats like olive oil or canola oil, which helps lower bad cholesterols while upping good cholesterol. Even with these oils, balance out the amount that you use to cut down on the calories.
Cook with more white meats. Choose white meats over red meats, like lean chicken and fish. These will be full of proteins too but without the extra fats. Moreover, fish is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, a type of antioxidant that helps protect the cells.
When choosing red meats, go lean. When choosing your red meat, choose the cuts with the least fats. This will usually be tenderloin, or sirloin. While more expensive, it is also better to go with grass fed beef.
Now, let’s go to cooking techniques:
Frying. Generally, frying should be your last resort because this is the method that retains and adds the most fats in the food you are cooking. If you opt to fry your food, its best to use a griddle so that some excess fats can drop on the ridges surface. If you cannot use a griddle, just make sure to minimize the amount of oils that you use.
Baking. Baking is one of the best ways to cook food because it doesn’t require that you add fat to the dish. It also enables your dish to retain much of its flavor, especially when it is cooked covered.
Grilling or broiling. Grilling or broiling means you place the food you are about to cook in very close contact with the heat source or fire. Grilling is said to be one of the healthiest ways to cook food because it allows extra fats to drip from what you are cooking. Just make sure not to burn your food too much.
Roasting. Roasting is a sort of marriage between baking and grilling, since it is done in the oven but the food is allowed to drip. Again, this allows the food to get rid of some of the fats without necessarily have to add more oils to keep it juicy.
Steaming. Steaming is again super healthy because it makes use of steam without adding any oils to cook food. You can cook vegetables and even meats with this method, using only the ingredients that you started with. Much of the nutrients are preserved in your food when you use this method.