In a food-frenzy era where there are unlimited tastes to try out, where entertainment always includes food and where trends make their way into your pots, you have to find the solution to eliminate the unnecessary trimmings adding to your waistline. Let us discuss a few small adaptions to your cooking.
1. Less is More
We are bombarded by the culture that everything has to be bigger and more to be better. However, your tummy is actually as small as your fist. Adjust your portion sizes and in a blink of an eye, you will get used to eating for quality and not quantity. Cut back on fats by using a non-stick pan when frying, adding water to your dish instead of oil and using good fats such as olive oil or coconut butter and try using less. Cut back on salt; replace salt with alternative seasonings such as pepper, fresh herbs, spices, lemon juice or vinegar. Cut down on sugar. Sugars of any kind, whether white sugar, brown sugar, honey or maple syrup, add significant calories without any nutritive value. The usage of dried fruits provides a natural sweetness.
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2. Meat Doesn’t Have to be the Main
Meat is a great source of protein and we always find it necessary to include meat in most of our meals. However, meat is also a big source of saturated fat in many people’s diets. Cook small amounts of lean meat, fish or poultry and fill up the rest of your plate with healthy vegetables and whole grains. Trim the fat from meat and remove the skin from poultry before cooking. Instead of frying it, try alternative cooking methods and bake, grill, microwave, roast or poach it. Put your meat on a grill rack to allow the fat to drip away. You can also brown your meat and drain away the fat before adding more ingredients. There is an increasing amount of creative vegetable dishes you can try out, with the added benefit of it being a budget-friendly option.
3. Back to Basics
Refined and processed foods undergo various processes, bleaching, adding unhealthy chemicals for extended shelf life, removing most of the nutrients and fiber and are linked to various diseases. It is usually high in calories, contain all sorts of artificial ingredients. Incorporate more single-ingredient products into your meals. Unprocessed foods contain less sodium and more fiber, vitamins and other essential nutrients benefiting your health. Enhance food with bold flavors from healthy natural ingredients like fresh herbs, spices and citrus instead of sauces containing huge amounts of hidden calories and saturated fats.
4. Use Substitutes
The Banting industry made a big name and introduced new trends in eating habits. You do not have to follow the Banting diet, but it does offer clever ideas to substitute unhealthy carbs with veggies. There is an overwhelming number of recipes substituting the old-fashioned unhealthy ingredient with a healthy one. Cauliflower can be minced and used as mash or a wrap, flapjacks can be made without flour, hamburgers without buns and sweet potatoes as abase in baking. Coconut milk, almond butter, almond flour, thin strips of veggies used as pasta, seeds to add crunchiness. The options are limitless. Be creative!
Who said healthy should be boring? With simple but smart choices, small changes in your conventional habits and some creative experimenting, you can make a big improvement to cooking healthy.