Healthy Cooking Methods
Using healthy cooking methods are a crucial component in healthy eating. The best cooking methods maximize taste and color, while retaining the most nutrients in your food. When your foods retain its flavor and appeal, healthy cooking becomes more fun and rewarding and you're more likely to develop healthy habits.
Before discussing some healthy cooking methods, here are some tips to keep in mind:
* Cooking in lower temperatures reduces the destruction of food enzymes...which are helpful in preventing diseases and other chronic conidtions
* Research shows heating oils to high temperatures results in the production of oxidized compounds and free radicals detrimental to your health
* Avoid boiling vegetables as this method depletes much of the nutritional value
* Recent studies show the use of non-stick pans their coatings may release toxic chemicals and fumes when heated
* Non-stick coatings on pans also chip off over time...usually into your food
* Microwave cooking destroys foods' nutritional content that fight disease, boost our immune system and enhance overall health. One study shows microwaving vegetables destroys up to 97% of their nutrients.
* If using non-stick cookware, use wood or plastic utensils while cooking (to prevent chipping of the material into your food)
Healthy Cooking Methods
More to come in the Newsletter and Blog, but as an introduction, here are some of the best healthy cooking methods:
Steaming is one of the best cooking methods for maximizing taste and color while retaining nutrients, especially in vegetables and fish. When steaming, finish the dish with herbs and spices and/or oil such as grapeseed oil or olive oil. You can create a very satisfying and delicious dish with this method.
When steaming, make sure the water is at a rapid boil before adding the ingredients. This ensures that the heat is consistent throughout the cooking time. Also, steaming should be done for a minimal amount of time. For vegetables, they cook "al dente"...meaning their crisp inside and tender on the outside. This is an ideal way to maximize their nutritional
Sautéing is cooking food in a pan with a small amount of liquid. Like steaming, this is a great technique to use for vegetables because it really brings out the flavor, retain the color and nutrients. Although butter can be used, try small amount of grapeseed oil, olive oil or extra-virgin coconut oil for variety.
Alternatively, the use of an onion is a good way to saute' without the use of oils. As it cooks, it release its own oil. Also you can use a sodium-free broth.
Stir frying is cooking food in a large pan or wok on the stove over high heat, stirring frequently. To avoid the harmful effects of oxidation of oils when using this method, broth can be used. However, if using oil, the food should be stirred constantly to allow the ingredients to cook quickly. This reduces the oxidation effects and keeps them nice and crisp without burning.
Baking and Roasting
Baking is using an oven to cook food, usually at lower temperatures. Roasting involves higher temperatures.
Broiling and Grilling
Broiling is cooking food at high temperatures in the oven close to the direct heat source. Because of this, it cooks the food fast and efficiently indoors. Additionally, by using a broiling pan, some of the excess fat drips off of the meat.
Grilling is similar to broiling as food is cooked close to the heat source but it is done on a grill outside. With grilling, food can be cooked on low, medium or high temperatures.
Cooking oil is an important factor in cooking methods...whether you are trying to be healthy or not. To learn more through our quick reference quide, please
click here to go to our reference guide.
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