‘Health is wealth’. This is not only the most appropriate quote to start this blog on but also explains the importance of health in the most lucid way.
Healthy cooking, healthy eating and healthy living are all phrases, directing at the topic of good health. In today’s fast life, where a large number of the world’s population is overweight and obese and is at a high risk to a number of related ailments, the urgency to follow a healthy diet and live an active life is all the more. Vegetables, fruits, meat, dairy products, whole grains, etc. are all needed for good health. However instead of cutting down on carbohydrates or good fats as suggested by a number of online sites and dieting plans, it is actually wise to eat all of them in moderation and gain required nutrients. This can only be done, if you are assertive, alert and informed about healthy cooking practices and eating habits. To help you with this, I have listed down a few tips that can come in handy in while selecting, cooking or eating food. Implement them and follow a regular exercise plan to live a long, healthy and active life.
Selecting Healthy Foodstuffs:
- While selecting grains like rice, wheat, etc. look for whole grains. They are more nutritious and healthy.
- Always read food labels. Pick packaged foods that have clear mention about less fat, good cholesterol, less saturated fat, low or no sodium and low sugar content.
- Likewise, try and use skimmed milk and yoghurt and non-fat/low-fat dairy products as much as possible.
- While choosing meat, select lean varieties. While buying poultry get the skin off. This will lower its saturated fat content.
- When it comes to cooking, always add less salt than required. Taste your food and then add little salt if needed. This will not only prevent your dish from getting salty but will also help you cut down on sodium content. Also keep your salt shakers away from your dining table to train yourself and your family to eat food containing less salt.
- Oil is another ingredient that needs to be used less while cooking. To consume less saturated fat, lower the use of oil, butter, cream and cheese during every cooking expedition. Olive oil is the best among all oils.
- Salads containing vegetables and fruits are quite healthy. Do not make them unhealthy by adding fatty dressings like mayonnaise, sour cream or cheese. Instead add lime juice and/or herbs to enhance its flavour.
- While cooking, a lot of people use packaged foods like ketchup and sauces of different varieties to make their dish tasty. These processed and packaged products contain high amount of sodium. Instead you can add a dash of lime juice, use tomato sauce prepared at home, sprinkle oregano and herbs, spices, vinegar, tamarind, etc. to pep up the taste of your dish, while making it healthy.
- If you are buying canned vegetables, pulses or fruits, always rinse them.
- Overcooking vegetables can rob them off their nutrients. Instead, wash your vegetables, dice them into small pieces and steam them in your steamer basket or microwave. Note the time. This method is better than frying, blanching or even boiling vegetables.
- Fried food uses a lot of oil, which is really unhealthy. However, if you are really tempted to eat fried stuff, then avoid the pan. Spray oil on the oven (as it uses less oil) and try frying/grilling/baking in the oven.
- Wash and eat fresh fruits and vegetables regularly.
- Avoid eating processed and packaged food, fast food like pastries, burgers, pizzas, hot dogs, chips, sweets, etc. as much as possible.
- Never skip your breakfast. In fact have a filling protein rich breakfast. Include a cup of skimmed milk or yoghurt in your breakfast to add calcium in your diet.
- If you feel hungry quite often and want to have snacks, then have a fruit, munch some almonds or eat some light crackers. Do not go for a burger or pizza.
- Drink at least 6 full glass of water daily. This will keep you hydrated, flush out toxins and wastes from your body and avert unnecessary hunger pangs.