Healthy Cooking Methods For Healthy Eating
Healthy cooking methods are really important when you decide to lead a healthier lifestyle. You can transform healthy foods into unhealthy meals during preparation. How? Add too much salt or overload your meal with fats and you will lose the health benefit! You can use several preparation techniques to reduce the amount of fat in your meal. Once you make the change, your tastebuds will adjust. You will also manage your weight better and reap the health benefits of having more nutritious meals.
Healthy Preparation Techniques
Steaming is an excellent cooking method as it does not destroy nutrients in the food during the cooking process. You can steam food over boiling water by placing it in a sieve-like container and leaving it over the pot of boiling water until lightly cooked. You can season the water for the aroma and flavour to infuse into the food.
Asians have long been using stir-frying in their cuisine, as a way to retain the texture, colour and flavour of vegetables during cooking. In this way, they do not over-cook the food and preserve the nutrients. The key is to use only a little cooking oil, and to first add a little water to the wok in order to prevent the oil from becoming too hot. Toxins called acrylamides are released when oil is heated to very high temperatures. These are known toxins and carcinogens.
You can grill food either outdoors on the BBQ, or indoors in an oven or griller. Food prepared this way is well-loved for its charcoal or smoke flavour and is a healthy low-fat way of cooking, although you need to take care not to char the food, as this can produce carcinogenic by products. It is best to grill food at lower temperatures.
Roasting & Baking
Baking and roasting can be another healthy cooking method if you restrict the amount of oil you use and lightly spray the food with olive oil instead. If you use a rack in the tray it allows the fat to drip off. Another technique you can use to limit the fat content is to baste with lemon juice or vinegar while cooking rather than the pan juices. You should also roast vegetables separately to prevent them getting coated with fat from the meat.
Low Fat Cooking Tips
- Do not deep fry food. Stir-fry, bake, or grill instead
- Use non-stick cookware which eliminates the need for oil or fats
- Do not add extra oil or fats to food when roasting, baking or grilling food
- Use cooking oil sprays instead of oil or butter
- Use less oil than the recipe calls for when making curries or casseroles
- Choose healthy oils such as olive and canola oil in place of saturated fats such as butter
- Substitute evaporated milk or low fat yoghurt for coconut milk and sour cream in recipes
- Trim excess fat off meat cuts before cooking
- Skim fat off stews, sauces and gravies during the cooking process
- Drain fat drippings off after cooking, before serving the food
- Cut back on cream, cream sauces and oily gravies when cooking
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