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Healthy Cooking Vegetables

Easy Tips for Healthy Cooking

It’s not always the food we eat that’s bad for us, but the way we cook it. Eating well is so important for our physical and mental well being, helping us stay fit and healthy and able to enjoy life to the full. Eating healthier doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, and a few simple changes can make a big difference to your diet.

Healthy Wholemean Bread Seeds

Reduce Intake of Processed Meats 

As much as we all love a good bacon sandwich, processed red meat, including bacon, sausages and cured meats are all best eaten in moderation. High in saturated and trans fat, these harden arteries and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. White meat and fish are tasty and healthy alternatives. Whether you're eating red or white meat, try using a fat-reducing grill to drain off any unwanted fat whilst retaining the mouthwatering, succulent flavour, and can also be used to cook your veggies next to your protein.

Choose Whole Grain 

White bread, white rice and white pasta have all been manufactured so that only the starchy part of the plant remains. All nutrients and fibre have been stripped away, leaving you with empty calories that provide virtually no health benefits. Whole grain still has the part of the plant with fibre, protein and vitamins, and has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, as well as other chronic illnesses. 

Bake, Grill and Steam 

Avoid frying food as much as possible. Fried foods are higher in fat as this is what they absorb during the cooking process. Baking, grilling and steaming are gentler ways of cooking your food, and help it retain nutrients. Frying foods can also lead to charring, increasing free radicals which are a known carcinogen. However, not all frying is bad. Lightly sauteing vegetables in olive oil for a few minutes keeps some vitamins that would otherwise dissolve in water. 

healthy cooking oils

Cook with the Right Oil 

When it comes to using oil in cooking, the best rule is to use saturated fats for cooking, and unsaturated fats for salad dressings etc. Saturated fats remain stable at high temperatures, and in moderation are good for our health. Unsaturated fats oxidise very quickly in heat, which releases cancer-causing free radicals. Coconut oil is the best fat to cook with, containing 92 percent saturates. Other good oils to use include extra virgin olive oil. Avoid heating refined oils such as sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and sesame oil. Air fryers are also a great way of cooking without using much oil, perfect for chips that are both crispy and healthy.

Get Your Omega 3 

Omega 3 is an essential part of our diet, but is not produced by our bodies. We need to get it though the foods we eat. Omega 3s are proven to reduce our chances of heart disease, stroke and cancer, not to mention they improve our eyesight and slow down mental decline, improving brain performance. It’s recommended to eat fatty fish twice a week, sea vegetables and eggs to ensure we’re getting enough Omega 3 in our diet. Supplements are also available.

If you don't have the time to cook fresh, healthy food every night, have look at our Guide to Batch Cooking for tips on how to save you time and money when preparing tasty meals.

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