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Healthy Cooking Made Simple: 10 Easy Tips

Updated on September 12, 2011

Do you want your cooking to taste great and keep you fit too? That's really not asking too much. If you follow some simple tips in cooking healthy, you will have food that is better for you and very enjoyable to eat. Even though some people have special needs in their diets, these are10 overall healthy cooking tips that will benefit most people.

Do You Need to Get Fresh?

1) Get as fresh as you can! When choosing what to cook, use whole foods or foods closest to their natural state as possible, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fresh meats. This is better for you because, as you may know, the more food is processed the more likely it will have added salt, artificial preservatives, and additives that are not good for you. Plus food loses some of its nutrient value in processing. Even though getting fresh is not always possible, just remember that generally highly processed package food is worst, canned will do, frozen is better, and fresh whole food is best. Limit foods that have artificial flavors, preservatives, and additives. Even though processed foods have made their way into society and are likely here to stay, choosing them less often will benefit you in the long run.

Read Labels to Know Your Cooking Ingredients

2) Cook foods that are lower in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Instead, use foods like lean meats, beans, fish, vegetables, and nuts. Vegetarians can use tofu.

3) Go easy on the salt. It can elevate blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1 tsp a day, so use it sparingly, and you can use fresh or dried herbs instead to enhance flavor.

4) Cook more foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like those found in salmon, trout, and albacore tuna. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can reduce your risk of dying of heart attack by 1/3 or more by eating fish at least once a week.

5) Use good oils in cooking like extra virgin olive oil in salads, and for sauteing, and grilling. Use canola for baking and rare frying. You can use coconut oil in baking.

Can You Turn up the Heat Without Frying?

6) Yes. You can fry less. Bake, grill, saute, and broil more. These methods are less fattening and really do still impart great taste in cooking.

7) Limit the use of animal fat. That includes the bacon when used as seasoning in some styles of cooking. Using it sparingly is better and not at all is best. If right about now you are thinking, what? Just remember don't hate the messenger, since the messenger may like it too.

Know when to say enough!

Having Seconds?

8) Cook and serve correct size portions of your delicious meals. Excesses in this regard will bust some of the benefits you will gain by cooking healthy. Resist the urge to get seconds. Tell yourself it won't be your last because you can have your favorites another time. This tip may have to be tried before it is true.

Are you getting a hot one or a cold one?

9) No meal seems complete without a refreshing beverage. The best you could have is ice water with lemon or lime. It helps with digestion and calories are not a factor. You are not going to have only that with every meal, but do chose ones that are lower in calories and/or sugar. If you choose alcohol, be moderate in drinks. Some of the popular mixed drinks have high sugar content. You can break out the juicer and make smoothies, especially during warm months when fresh fruits and vegetables are more readily available.

If you would you like a sweet sensation, then...

10) Choose dessert recipes that start with ingredients like fresh fruit and dried fruit for their natural goodness, dark chocolate for its cocoa benefits, and/or nuts. You will be starting that treat off right. Also, by making them with less oil, such as substituting some recipes' oil with apple sauce and using wonderful spices for flavor, you will have desserts that delight and are lower in fat and high on flavor. If you like making richer desserts, perhaps you could cut the calories and fat by having half-size serving. That way "you can have your cake and eat it too-morrow."

As a caution, this is not an endorsement for a particular diet but is offered for information purposes only. This article does not replace a recommendation that you speak with your doctor regarding issues of diet and health.


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    • Cassidella profile image

      Cassidella 7 years ago

      I agree that changes can be good, especially if they are changes you can live with and make you healthier or happier. Thanks for dropping by.

    • profile image

      pottychair 7 years ago

      these are very good tips for eating healthy and being satisfied with what you choose to eat. change is good.

    • Cassidella profile image

      Cassidella 7 years ago

      Hello akirchner and Pamela. Glad you like the tips in this hub.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Good hub and you are right that sometimes just making a few changes is the answer.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Great tips and so true!