Healthy Cooking Tips to Use Everyday
Healthy cooking is often about planning ahead.
If you’ve put any time into trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you likely know just how important the proper foods can be. What we consume on a daily basis can have a huge impact on our personal health, from lowering blood pressure and maintaining the immune system to preventing certain diseases and other medical conditions.
It’s not just about the nutritious fruits and vegetables that you consume but how these foods are prepared that can make all the difference.
Here, then, are four tips to keep in mind for truly healthy cooking:
1. Choose the right milk and yogurt
When it comes to consuming yogurt and milk, most doctors will tell you to go for lower-fat options. However, some people aren’t always used to the taste, and that may keep them from taking full advantage of these dairy products. So why not start with two percent yogurt and milk, then on to 1 percent and finally work your way down to the fat-free products. It won’t take much time, and you’ll be amazed at what a few simple changes can make.
2. Avoid high-sodium foods
According to the American Heart Association, you should avoid prepared seasonings because they often have an especially high salt content. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t options available to spice up your favorite dishes. For flavor, try for things like hot chilies or citrus zest, which are natural and much healthier. Meanwhile, your salt replacements include herbs like rubbed sage, cumin, oregano, garlic and paprika.
3. Watch your fats
So often, people don’t consider the fats they’re eating. Foods such as beef, pork, lamb and most dairy products – like cheese and lard – are high in saturated fats that can increase your overall blood pressure. Try cutting down on those and focusing on unsaturated options like avocados, nuts and essential oils (olive, peanut and canola). Be aware that even these unsaturated fats can prove harmful if you consume too much, so always use them sparingly.
4. Emphasize texture
We know fruits and veggies are good for us, but not enough people eat them regularly. That’s why nutritionist Jenny Shea Rawn writes in Shape magazine that more people need to focus on the texture of foods while cooking. That could be sautéing your summer squash or tossing your fresh greens with a vinaigrette. Either way, it’s about making foods feel and taste differently, combining different elements and playing them off one another, to ensure you eat those veggies.
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