For many years, you have thought about eating healthier. You have always wanted to, but keep putting it off. Thinking that healthy eating may cost more money than eating fast food or precooked packaged foods.
Most of our foodies inside of us would have a mini stroke just thinking about food’s that are healthy, worried whether a healthy food option will separate you from the foods that you love and the comfort that you receive from them. But, you still want to try. You have decided that you owe the health of your body that much.
So you have finally taken the dive and are now actively trying to cook and eat healthy meals, but unfortunately the water is icy cold, you can barely see anything and have no clue in which direction you should swim.
These doubts and uncertainties are only natural, questions that need to be answered crop up in every mind about the right way to eat healthy. Those questions will be answered in this article, some of them at least, and they will help and guide you.
Questions and Answers about Healthy Cooking
Question 1: Should we avoid cooking oils, some of them are healthy, right?
A: The old information on cooking oils was to avoid them as much as possible, because the fats in them were the leading cause of heart disease.
New medical research has shown that diets high in omega-6 fatty acids as well as sugar, and especially HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) are the cause of inflammation in the body, and it is inflammation that is causing the diseases we experience as we age, heart disease being one of them.
Opting to steam, bake, or roast your food don’t require the use of a lot of oil. Stir-frying is still great cooking, as the food is diced or cut into small pieces, using a small amount of oil, all making it so the food cooks fast, and you receive maximum nutrients. The best oils to use are coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil.
Question 2: Fats are bad, right? Should I aim for a zero fat diet?
A: Not at all! All fats are not bad, in fact, some are essential. Our body cannot produce the essential fatty acids required for survival, so we must get them from food. It is not healthy fats, or unsaturated fats, that are bad, but rather Tran’s fats, found in the processing of seed oils, like canola oil, soybean oil, or corn oil. Also excessive consumption of fats, even if they are good for you is not good. It is recommended that 20% to 35% of the total calorie intake should come from fats.
Question 3: What are good fats?
A: The good fats are the monounsaturated fats and the polyunsaturated fats. Some examples are the fats found in natural foods like walnuts, avocados, olives, nuts (peanuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts), flaxseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin, and sesame seeds. Including fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids, like tuna, salmon, trout, herring, mackerel, and sardines.
Also olive oil and avocado oils have healthy fats, and with new medical research, coconut oil, believe it or not, also is healthy for you and the membranes of ever cell in your body. The same fat in coconut oil is the same fat that protects your cells.
Question 4: I have learned there are fats that are good for you, but I still prefer not to use oil and other fatty items like cheese and cream in my cooking. What should I do to make them taste better?
A: Even though fats feel satisfying, you can still have the same quality of satisfaction by using the large varieties of herbs and spices for seasoning. Along with adding flavor, all of them have additional health benefits too. Go and get some of the commonly used ones to start your journey into the mystical land of mouthwatering combinations of flavors.
You can easily find herbs like oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, sage, mint, marjoram, garlic, chives, and much more. Also useful is marinating the food item to be cooked beforehand. This is a good trick when it comes to meats. Use of lemon, and vinegar, mixed with spices according to your preferences not only will make the meat tender but also induce a lot of flavor even before you have started cooking. You could leave it overnight for marinating with the herbs and spices and enjoy a hearty and healthy meal the next day.
Keep in mind though that extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil actually contain healthy fats.
Question 5: Is Healthy Cooking More Difficult Than Other Types Of Cooking?
A: Not at all healthy cooking does not take much more effort or time than any other type of cooking. It’s more about learning the proper techniques and how to cook healthier recipes and use healthier ingredients.
Question 6: Can I cook my veggies?
A: When it comes to vegetables, eating a variety of them is what matters the most. Many people have this erroneous notion that cooking destroys a majority of the nutrients, and this is far from the true.
Cruciferous vegetables need to be cooked so as to break down the enzymes they contain, that otherwise our digestive system would not be able to if these vegetables were eaten raw.
Cruciferous vegetables include kale, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, just to name a few.
Some vegetables do lose some nutrients when cooked, especially if they are overcooked, gentle methods like steaming or roasting do not result in a major loss.
Some vegetables like tomatoes and carrots actually benefit from cooking, some of the compounds that function as antioxidants increase in number after cooking. Buy fresh carrots and steam or broil them yourself, avoid canned foods. Do the same with tomatoes, make your own tomato sauces, keeping in mind the longer the sauce sets, the more lutein that is present in the sauce, an antioxidant good for heart function.
The important thing is to eat vegetables, if you can’t eat them raw, cook them and eat them. You don’t have to feel guilty. You are still getting their inherent goodness.
Question 7: What Are The Best Pans For Healthy Cooking?
A: Depending on what you are cooking, using ceramic coated pans offers the best advantage, as ceramic coated pans do not leach harmful toxins into your foods (Read more here about Ceramic coated pans). Cast iron is also a great choice to cook with (Read more here about cat iron cookware). Though hard ionized pans have a good rating, still if you over heat them and over time, they will leach toxins into your food.
Question 8: How do I buy healthy foods in the supermarket?
A: First of all, steer clear of junk or processed foods. Also, organic foods are healthier in general. If you want to buy packaged food items, buy naturally processed food items and look at the information provide on the packaging – it will give you a general idea on the calories, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Avoid anything with Tran’s fats.
When in season and the weather allows, instead of heading over to the supermarket for your produce, buy local by going to the farmer’s market. They have the best produce when it comes to fruits, and vegetables. Even the herbs are fresher, as well as the eggs.
Most venders at the local Farmer’s Market don’t use pesticides and other unnatural ingredients while growing the food crop’s you prefer to consume.
Question 9: Are all packaged foods unhealthy? What are the alternatives?
A: Not necessarily, but most of the time they contain preservatives for longer shelf life of the food item. It is best to avoid them. Mostly, we tend to buy sauces, jams, and oils in terms of packaged foods. You could make the sauces, and jams yourself. It takes a little time to can foods, but in the long run is less expensive, and you have canned jams and other canned food items for months.
The best thing about healthy cooking is that there is no fad dieting. Dieting basically tries to limit your calorie intake, as well as limit some foods. Healthy cooking lets you eat what you like, by cooking it right in the first place.
Healthy cooking also stresses on a more holistic approach to food, whole clean foods. Whole foods, those are sure to encourage a healthier lifestyle.
Question 10: Is There A Way To Enjoy A Healthier Version Of Fried Chicken?
A: Yes, coat the chicken with bread crumbs and bake instead of frying. This will eliminate a lot of the fat content and when baked at high heats, the chicken will be crunchy and delicious. Also, preparing homemade shake and bake makes a more tasty and natural coating with the addition of herbs, that otherwise would lose their flavor being deep fried.
Healthy cooking with whole clean foods is worth the cost. Just keep in mind, pre-cooked packaged foods may be cheaper, or the dollar menu may be cheaper, but is it really worth it if your hospital bill, due to complications of inflammation casing disease’s cost you $50,000 out of pocket? You decide, it’s your health.
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