6 Important basics to healthy cooking
So you want to start cooking healthily, how do you begin? There are a few basics to healthy cooking that will not only allow you to consume more beneficial nutrients, but also taste great for the whole family. If you want to start, better now than later! Check out 6 important basics in healthy cooking below.
1. Shopping For Healthy Foods
Healthy cooking begins the moment you select your ingredients. Choose the healthy alternatives whenever possible, for example milk, cheese, yoghurt, salad dressings and oil. At the same time, limit fast foods such as chips, crips, and unhealthy fats. Try shopping with Luxofood where we offer a wide range of natural ingredients that are healthy and in great quality.
2. Include All Food Groups
Eating a variety of foods from the five major food groups provides a range of different nutrients to the body, promotes good health and can help reduce the risk of disease – as well as keeping your diet interesting with different flavours and textures! The 5 food groups to focus on are :
- Vegetables and legumes/beans
- Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
- Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans
- Milk, yoghurt cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat
3. Know Your Methods
To retain nutrients, know your way around the healthiest cooking methods. This is because many vitamins are sensitive to heat and air exposure. The longer you cook and the higher the temperature, the more you lose. Try a mix of healthy cooking techniques in this order which allows you to still eat a variety of meals, ie steaming, grilling, baking, sauteing and microwaving.
4. Cut Down Salt
Salt is a common flavour enhancer, but research suggests that a high salt diet could contribute to a range of health problems including high blood pressure. Limit adding salt without tasting and substitute with a splash of olive oil, herbs, cheese or lemon juice for taste. Get the unsalted version of butter or margarine to go with your bread or cooking.
5. Modify Your Recipes
A little change goes a long way. When the recipe calls for a certain ingredient, find how you can modify it to keep it healthier. For example, trim the fat from meat and remove the skin from poultry before cooking, replace mayonnaise with yoghurt, or choose butter instead of margarine. You can also use alternatives such as brown rice or oats or use dried fruit while halving your sugar.
6. Keep it Simple
There’s no need to fuss on complex cooking tools. Instead, invest in basic healthy cooking tools, such as non-stick fry pan, instapot, reliable knives, etc. Similarly, don’t overwhelm yourself with complicated recipes. Try quick-cooking such as stir fry, simple pasta, beans and rice, and wholesome soup. As for dessert, juicy fruits are always welcome.