Cooking a healthy meal can be difficult, especially after you have worked hard all day. All too often, it can be easier to cook an instance or boxed meal or even go out to eat. While this is easier, it is not healthy for you. If you are looking for some easy healthy cooking tips, check out the list below!
Use Olive Oil
While many people recommend staying away from oil if you are trying to eat healthier, olive oil is actually a good substitute for traditional oils like canola or vegetable oil. Olive oil is packed with Omega-3s and fatty acids that help lower high blood pressure and are good for your heart. This makes olive oil a good substitute if you are trying to eat healthier but love eating fried foods.
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Bake Instead of Fry
Instead of frying your foods, a healthier option is baking. Baking doesn’t add any extra fats to your food, which is seen as a generally healthier option when making poultry, fish, or lean cuts of beef. You can roast hearty vegetables like potatoes and carrots while you are baking your meats in some instances.
Use Fresh (and Seasonal) Ingredients
Another big tip when it comes to eating and cooking healthier meals is to use fresh ingredients. Often, this means using seasonal ingredients. Using fresh and seasonal ingredients means that you avoid all of the preservatives added to packaged and processed foods. When you use fresh and seasonal ingredients, you are getting more flavor, and more nutrients as the ingredients will be at their peak.
Eat More Vegetables
Eating more vegetables may seem like its an easy thing to do if you are trying to eat healthier. However, it can be more challenging than you think. We often stick to three or four vegetables that we eat regularly, which can make them boring after a while. Instead, try new vegetables that can be the main dish of your meal like eggplant or butternut squash. While these vegetables may seem intimidating at first, they are relatively easy to cook and are very versatile in the kitchen. Another option is to substitute your otherwise unhealthy foods for vegetables. For example, using zucchini noodles instead of spaghetti noodles. Substituting for vegetables in this way is a simple way to enjoy the meal that you love with a healthy twist.
Substitute for Whole Grains
Similar to swapping zucchini noodles for spaghetti noodles, another swap you can do is for whole grain. This means getting whole grain pasta and bread instead of regular or white pasta and bread. Some traditional or white bread and pasta are stripped of their nutrients through bleaching processes. Instead, whole grain options are packed full of natural grains, minerals, and other nutrients.
Use Lean Meats
If substituting vegetables for meat isn’t something you care for, try using leaner cuts of meat. This means looking for meats that have a lower fat content. Leaner meats tend to be more expensive, depending on your location and the type of meat you are getting. Still, they are healthier for you and reduce the amount of fat that you are eating.
Go Easy on the Salt
If you are trying to eat healthier, go easy on the salt. Salt can lead to heart issues, higher blood pressure, and even weight gain. Because salt is usually already added to many of the foods that we eat, adding more salt can increase the chances of health problems down the road. Instead, season your food with other spices or fresh herbs. Other spices and fresh herbs are not only healthier options, but they also add more flavor than just plain salt.