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Healthy Cooking

Eating healthy food doesn’t mean giving up your favourite foods and switching to salads. In fact,healthy cooking is easy. In many cases, your favourite recipes can be modified so they offer a healthier alternative. You can use some basic cooking techniques to prepare food in healthy ways.

General suggestions on healthy cooking methods include: Steam, bake, grill, braise, boil or microwave your foods. Modify or eliminate recipes that include butter or require a deep fry or saute in animal fat. Avoid using oils and butter as lubricants – use non-stick cookware instead. Don’t add salt to food as it is cooking. Remove chicken skin, which is high in fat. Eat more fresh vegetables and legumes.Eat more fish, which is high in protein, low in fats and loaded with omega 3 fatty acids.

It is very important to keep fats to a minimum for a healthy cooking. Low fat cooking begins when you are shopping. you can minimise those hidden fats by choosing lean meats and reduced fat dairy products. Avoid eating processed foods which can also have lots of hidden fats. Choose the low fat version of a food if it exists, for example milk, cheese, yoghurt, salad dressings and gravies. Dietary fats are best when they come from the unrefined natural fats found in nuts, seeds, fish, soy, olives and avocado because fat from these foods includes the essential long-chain fatty acids and this fat is accompanied by other good nutrients. If you add fats when cooking, keep them to a minimum and use monounsaturated oils such as olive and canola oil.

It is a standard to keep vitamins people need for a healthy cooking. Water soluble vitamins are delicate and easily destroyed during preparation and cooking. Suggestions for retaining vitamins include: scrub vegetables rather than peel them, as many nutrients are found close to the skin. Microwave or steam vegetables instead of boiling them. If you like to boil vegetables, use a small amount of water and do not overboil them. Stir-fried vegetables are cooked quickly to retain their associated nutrients.

If you want to achieve a healthy cooking, be sure to cut out salt.Salt is a traditional flavour enhancer, but research suggests that a high salt diet could contribute to a range of disorders of body system. Don’t automatically salt your food, you can taste it first. Add a splash of olive oil or lemon juice close to the end of cooking time or to cooked vegetables, which can enhance flavours in the same way as salt. Limit your consumption of salty processed meats, such as ham, corned beef, smoked salmon, frankfurters and chicken loaf. If you eat fish regularly, the need for iodised salt is reduced. Avoid salt-laden processed foods, such as flavoured instant pasta, canned or dehydrated soup mixes, chips and salted nuts. Most cheeses are very high in salt so limit your intake or choose lower salt varieties.Reduce your use of soy sauce, tomato sauce and processed sauces because they contain high levels of salt.

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