There’s no magical way to make all your meals healthy, sadly enough. Although we’d all like to have a magic wand to turn our ready meals into healthy cuisine, there are some easy ways you can bring your cooking techniques to the healthy side. We’ve come up with the 5 best foolproof tips that anyone can use to cook healthier!
Butter isn’t your friend
Butter – tastes so right, feels so wrong! Try cooking with canola or olive oils instead, to limit your saturated fat intake. Use sparingly, and your body will thank you! Amazingly, butter has more than 5 times more saturated fat than oil, so it makes sense why you should avoid it. You should try to limit your oil and butter use in general whilst cooking (to avoid calorie overload). Don’t fear though, as you can often create tasty meals with a quarter or even half of the amount that a recipe calls for!
Mix up your textures
To keep things fresh and exciting, mix up the textures in your food! If you’re trying to cut things like fats and salt, chances are you’ll be sacrificing a little flavour. To make up for this, try adding interesting textures to each one of your meals. Tender meat? Pair with crispy veg. Boring salad? Throw in some nuts for a lovely crunch. You can do this with pretty much everything, so experiment and find out which textures you like best!
Watch your salt intake
You know it, I know it – salt makes food taste amazing. It’s also a necessary mineral in your diet, as your body needs some of it to control all the fluids sloshing around inside you! The problem comes when you consume too much of it, as it can be really damaging to your heart health. The easiest way to control your salt intake is to avoid processed foods and make most of your meals at home to keep an eye on sodium levels. As for flavouring things, sometimes when you think you need salt, you actually need acid – so try adding some lemon or lime juice! Finally, it’s likely that you don’t need to add more salt to your finished meal. Keep the salt shaker off the table – out of sight, out of mind!
Go whole or go home
When it comes to grains, whole is always the way to go. Refined grains are found in white bread, pasta, cereals and pastries. The big difference is that refined grains (as the name suggests) are processed, with all their grainy goodness stripped. This is so they’re finer and last longer, but it also removes all the healthy stuff – the fibre, the vitamins and the minerals. Opting for whole grain versions of foods will up your levels of all this good stuff and will leave you feeling fuller for longer! An extra selling point is that whole grains will leave you feeling less bloated than processed ones – refined grains tend to fill you up in a bad way, whereas whole grains will aid your digestion and keep you regular!
Don’t skip breakfast
The advice your mother always gave you turns out to be right! You shouldn’t be skipping any meals, but especially not breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast provides your body with the energy it needs to get up and get on with your day. Your body has literally been ‘fasting’ all night, it needs that energy to kickstart your metabolism, raise your energy and light up your brain! A perfect breakfast will have a great source of both fibre and protein – the fibre is what fills you up, and the protein is the thing that kickstarts your metabolism!
Do you use some of these tips already, or do you have more hiding up your sleeve that you’re willing to share? Let us know in the comments!