Eating well doesn’t have to be chore! Here are 7 simple cooking tips that will make healthy eating a breeze.
Eating well can be tricky, especially if you lead a busy lifestyle. We all know how important good food is, yet many of us choose unhealthy options for sake of convenience. The thought of preparing three healthy meals everyday may seem like more hassle than it’s worth to some, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Eating well is all about developing good habits. These don’t have to be drastic either – small changes can make a big impact on the way you eat. Here are 7 simple cooking tips to make healthy eating a breeze.
Stick With Lean Meats and Fish
Red meats such as beef and lamb are high in saturated fat, and if consumed regularly are a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Stick to cooking with lean meats like poultry or fish. These have the same important nutrients as red meat (such as iron and protein), but far less saturated fat.
Some oily varieties of fish (such as cold water salmon, trout and herring) are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and are very good for you. Try incorporating these into your diet at least twice a week.
Cook With Good, Healthy Fats
Fats are an essential ingredient for cooking, and while many are associated with unhealthy food, not all fats are created equal. Opt for using oils that contain unsaturated fats over butter or margarine, which are high in saturated fats.
Olive oil, flaxseed oil, and canola oil are all go-to healthy options that also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are actually very healthy. They do, however, still contain their fair share of calories. Always use oil sparingly!
Steam, Bake or Grill Instead of Frying Your Foods
There are a number of ways you can cook your food. Frying techniques, such as deep-frying, pan-frying and stir-frying involve the use of added fat (oils or butter), which are absorbed into your food. Steaming, baking, or grilling are all techniques that use little or no added fat, and are a great way to reduce fat intake in your diet with minimal extra effort. Try baking your poultry or steaming your fish.
Make Meals For Your Whole Week
Time is probably the biggest factor when it comes to not eating well. Many people opt for takeaway or frozen foods because they simply don’t have the time to cook. A simple solution? Prepare your meals in advance!
This is particularly useful for lunchtime meals. Taking the time on a Sunday evening to prepare enough food for a whole week’s worth of lunches can save you loads of hassle during the week, and save you from the temptation of choosing takeaway food. It is also a great way to ensure your getting plenty of nutrients to keep you going during the day – we all know it’s hard enough getting out the door in the morning without the added stress of having to make a healthy lunch.
Switch to Whole Grains
This couldn’t be easier! When choosing what kind of carbs to buy in the supermarket, make the switch to whole grains. Whole grains foods are those that have been made using all parts of the grain – the fibrous bran, the nutritious germ and the carb-rich endosperm. These are the healthiest parts of the grain, packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals which you won’t find in white rice, regular pasta, white bread or white flour. Whole grain foods taste very similar, and you’ll be doing yourself a huge favour by making the switch.
Switch to Low Fat Dairy
Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cream are a good source of calcium and other nutrients and are an important component of many meals. By simply replacing full-cream dairy products with low-fat or nonfat in your cooking you can cut out all that unhealthy saturated fat.
Get Smart with Seasoning
Salt is the most common ingredient in savoury cooking, and an essential part of our diet, but too much of it is linked with a range of heath issues, such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Health authorities around the world recommend consuming no more than 1 teaspoon a day. This can be tricky, even if you do make your own food at home. Get smart with your seasoning, and look past the salt shaker for other options such as herbs, spices and citrus. (Tip: many canned foods have salt added too, so keep an eye on these, and if you can, choose salt-free options).