More and more people are making changes to their diet and are seeking out healthy cooking tips. Eating healthy starts with cooking healthy. Healthy cooking tips can help you to change some old habits and adopt some new ones.
A lot of people are tired of worrying about what is in their pre-packaged, over-processed foods, so they are taking things up a notch by growing what they eat. As more research supports the idea that we actually are what we eat, it has become more important than ever to follow some healthy cooking tips.
Let’s Get the Elephant Out of the Room
In the US we talk about weight a lot and we blame weight for a lot of health problems. While it is true being overweight is risky to your health, don’t kid yourself, thin people are experiencing some of the “obesity health problems” like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more.
What you look like on the outside does not always determine what is happening on the inside. In other words, you do not need to be overweight to be suffering from nutritionally driven health problems. Everyone regardless of size can benefit from learning more about nutrition and taking advantage of healthy cooking tips.
For those people that are candidates for weight loss surgery, healthy cooking tips, can help you to get rid of unwanted weight and avoid having to put your body through the surgery. How you cook is as important as what you eat. For example, vegetables are a great source of nutrition, but not if they are coated and deep-fried and served with a hearty side of ranch dressing.
Following healthy cooking tips is not just a way to lose weight, it is a way to transform your health. Managing disease risk, feeling better, having more energy, and yes weight loss are all good reasons to follow healthy cooking tips for you and your family.
A Few Kitchen Design Ideas To Help You On Your Journey
You do not have to make tremendous changes to your kitchen, or have dramatic kitchen design ideas, to start cooking healthier and eating better. A survey of people that did renovate their kitchen found that a full two-thirds felt that they were eating healthier because of the changes that they made, but you do not have to do a full renovation to get the benefits.
One way you can design your kitchen for healthy meal prep is to make everything streamlined. Have your cutting area near the stove, and have the refrigerator situated nearby. Fewer steps from the station to station will speed up the process and make healthy cooking easier.
When you are making changes to your kitchen keep in mind that you want every task to flow seamlessly into the next. Of course, your design should exclude a few things to promote healthy cooking. For example, you should not reserve a space for a deep fryer, instead reserve that spot for an air fryer instead.
There are two things that will help you stayed focused on healthy cooking tips. Get your kitchen organized, and have the right tools on hand. If you need to hire house cleaning services to help you organize your kitchen. It can be really frustrating to cook in a kitchen that is not organized.
An organized kitchen is an inviting kitchen that beckons to the cook. Once you have things organized, it is time to consider what tools and equipment you will need to cook healthy.
At a minimum your kitchen should be outfitted with the following healthy cooking tools:
- An air fryer
- A wok
- A steamer or a metal basket for steaming in a pot
Throw out your old deep fryer and substitute it with an air fryer. An air fryer is a modern marvel that will give you that deep-fried crisp without adding any fat. You get all the taste of frying without having to worry about adding calories or fat to your diet. It is a worthy investment.
Woks are great for stir-frying and cooking quickly. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. You should have one in your kitchen.
You do not have to go out and by a fancy steamer. You can use a metal basket made for steam and a pot and get the same great results.
Before we move on to the healthy cooking tips, there is one more thing you should do. One of the biggest problems in America when it comes to eating is where we eat. People eat in their cars, in front of the TV, in their bedrooms, and usually, it is not healthy food that is being consumed in these spaces.
Make it a rule that you and your family only eat in the dining room or kitchen and other areas of the house are off-limits to food and drink. This simple rule can keep the consumption of junk food down, and it will help to keep the house cleaner too.
Take lunch and snacks with you to work or to sporting events with the kids to ensure the temptation to stop at the local fast food joint is taken off the table. With a few rule changes, eating healthier will be easier.
Healthy Cooking Tips
There are some tips that are standard like frying is bad. Frying is one of the worst ways to cook food because you have to add fat to do it. Not all fats are bad but even the good fats like olive oil should be added in moderation.
Another one of the standard healthy cooking tips is the brighter the color of the food you are cooking the healthier it is. For example, potatoes are white, broccoli is a deep green, peppers come in a range of colors. The more color the more nutrition. When you are preparing meals to keep in mind that the lighter colored foods or the less vibrant colored foods should be used in moderation.
Try adding some of the micro green varieties as a substitute for other greens. They are densely packed with nutrition, and fun to eat. The greener the better.
There are a few things that you should use in smaller quantities when you are cooking including:
- Gravy and sauces
Sometimes it is not what you are adding to your cooking that makes a difference it is was you are leaving out. For example, using too much salt adds more sodium to your diet than you need. Sodium can cause bloating, water retention and can raise your blood pressure. Use a pinch of salt or use a salt substitute to keep your sodium content down when you are cooking.
Fats are necessary for your body to function. You cannot cut out all fats from your diet but you certainly should not be adding additional fats to your diet. You can cut down on adding fats by substituting fats with other ingredients. For example, you can use apple sauce in cake mixes that call for oils to be added.
Instead of using vegetable oils use olive oil. Learn to read nutrition labels to determine which fats are okay and which ones you should avoid.
Gravies and Sauces
The fact is that while that gravy slathered on your mashed potatoes may taste good, it can be bad for you. One of the easiest healthy cooking tips there is to follow is to just say no to fat-heavy gravy and sauces.
Most every gravy and sauce is made with a fat base. In most cases, gravy and sauce has an animal fat base. Moving away from adding gravy and sauce in your cooking can help to improve the nutritional content of your meals, cut calories, and deliver the healthy meals that you want for you and your family.
Water gets its own section in healthy cooking tips because it is the lifeblood of all humans. Soups, broths, and other liquid-based meals are good for you because they are mostly water. When you have to make beverage choices to serve with your new healthy meals, make it water.
Cutting out other beverages from your diet and strictly drinking water can help to save on a ton of calories and help you to increase your water intake by leaps and bounds. Serve meals with water with a twist of lemon or lime. If you have children make water the main beverage and it will become natural for them to drink water when they are thirsty.
It cannot be driven home enough that ingredients really matter. The fresher the ingredients the better. If you can shop locally. Utilize your local farmer’s market if you have one. Shop local farms if you can.
Avoid processed and pre-packaged foods. Avoid canned ingredients, frozen is always better. Canned foods typically have very high sodium content that is used in the processing. You should try to exclude any food that has been preserved or processed. Think fresh when it comes to ingredients.
Grow Your Own
There is a huge trend today. The grow your own movement encourages people to grow their own food whether they live in urban areas or the burbs. You do not need tons of garden equipment to grow at least part of what you eat. You do not even need tons of space.
Millennials are helping to change what type of food is served in restaurants. Around 67% of millennials recently responded that they love the option of ordering healthy food at a restaurant.
From catering to restaurants that farm to table cooking is really taking off. Planting a small vegetable garden can be done in containers on your balcony or fire escape. Window herb gardens make it easy to include tasty fresh herbs in your recipes.
Growing your own food is rewarding and has the added benefit of you knowing exactly how that food was grown. Organic tomatoes, peas, greens and more can be grown in very small spaces. You can save money and eat with confidence knowing what you are eating is truly 100% organic.
There are resources online that will help you to get your little kitchen garden started and join the revolution in growing your own farm to table eating even if you live many miles away from your nearest farm.
No one is denying that finding time to cook amazing meals every day can be a stretch. Of course, the problem is when you run out of time, and everyone still needs to eat, that quick take out looks like a good idea. You can avoid that rushed feeling by pre-cooking (meal planning) your meals for a few days at a time.
A Sunday afternoon is a great time to cook the meals for a few days. You can cook in bigger batches so that your meals will be ready on those days when time runs out. It is a convenient way to stay on track with your commitment to healthier eating.
You can freeze meals, or just pile them in the fridge in containers so all you have to do is reheat. If eating “leftovers” is not your family’s thing, you can cook parts of the meal ahead of time. For example, if chicken and rice with beans are on the menu for Tuesday night, get the rice done and the chicken is done on Sunday, you can add the beans on Tuesday.
Take the Next Step
healthy living is composed of two things what you eat and what you do. Once you have followed the healthy cooking tips and got your diet on track, join fitness classes or find something that you love to do that requires you to move around. Adding some exercise can really get you on track with a healthy lifestyle.