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Healthy food cooking ideas
July 22, 2018, 2:58 pm

Eating smart is about learning to ditch the junk food, and make healthier food choices that give your body the nutrient-dense fuel it needs. With just a few small changes to your cooking routine, you can cut out the sugar, salt and cholesterol while introducing more flavor and healthy ingredients to your dishes.  Let’s start with a list.

Spice it up: Go for a few tasty herbs or spices rather than the heavier salt or sugar filled condiments for adding taste to your food. Fresh herbs and spices add more flavor to your cooking than salty, fat-filled sauces or dressings.  With regards to the choice of dried or fresh herbs, when cooking with oil, water, or fat; dried herbs are preferred because of how easy the flavors interact with the food, but with fresh herbs, you want to solely use in recipes that don’t require high-heat cooking.  As for spices, since they contain large amounts of flavor, be sure to use in small quantities for the full effect.

Opt to bake:  Anything you choose to fry can be baked as well, without as much oil. Read up on good recipes for baked fries, baked sweet potatoes, brocolli, zucchinis or you can go the roasted route and roast your favirote vegetables as side dishes instead. Also, grilled cheeses like halloumi cheese works as well, and it delivers a good dose of protein.

Skip the salt: Rather than salt, utilize citrus sauces, balsamic vinegar or vegetables broths to work in you food. This tip also allows you to manage your blood pressure.  

Add little oil: Use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter. First start by cooking your meal with little oil, then add some olive oil at the end to reduce the formation of trans fatty acids, a major cause of cholesterol.  Any oil that is heated becomes hydrogenated, and is so called trans fatty acids.

Except for raw food, never use olive oil when frying your food.  If you need to use oil, use cooking sprays or apply a small amount of oil with a pastry brush. Liquids such as stock, lemon juice, fruit juice, vinegar or water are healthier ways to fry your food instead of using oil.

Go whole grains: In addition to standards grains like whole wheat bread, try nutrient-dense grains like barley and oats for a change and an extra dose of chromium, magnesium, B vitamins and Folic Acid. There are many health benefits associated with these nutrients.

Color your plate:  The more colorful your choice of fruits and vegetables in your lunch and dinner, the more cholesterol-regulating phytonutrients and antioxidants they contain. To eat healthy, you also have to be willing try new varieties of fruits and vegetables, and learn to cook them in a manner that they taste good and retain their nutritional value. To get an idea, here is an example, the color yellow and orange usually found in squash and some tomatoes mean a high level of vitamins C and A, which are good for your eyesight.

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Hello Mira, I appreciate your weekly advice column. During the summer, I crave cold sodas and oily fast food, but I want to eat healthy. Could you tell me what is the best diet to follow to control your cravings during the heat of the summer months?

Hello, there is no diet to follow; it is just a matter of healthy choices and following a wholesome lifestyle. Instead of cold sodas, I recommend you stick with diet soda or make some cold lemonade with sweetener.  You can make homemade drinks that contain fruit like healthy smoothies or juices. Enjoy cold frozen yogurt as a snack rather than fries or hamburgers. Regarding the fast food, you need to decrease your intake; you should eat good fat oils like nuts, avocados, olive oil, grilled food, which is lighter in summer, and stick with tasty salads rich in leafy vegetables.  And, of course, don’t forget to drink a lot of water.



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