A lot of the focus on healthy eating goes into choosing great ingredients that are balanced and nutritious. Fruits and vegetables and proteins, whether meat or plant based are packed with the nutrients that you and your family needs to be healthy. It helps your body to grow, your brain to grow and it keeps you balanced with your hormones and sugar levels balanced, too.
The trouble is that most of us don’t cook as healthy as we could. The way that you prepare food can be just as important as the ingredients that you are buying. For example, there is no point in buying broccoli if you’re just going to cover it in processed cheese. There is no point in eating potatoes if you’re going to deep fry them in a lot of oil. Setting cooking techniques can help you to maximize the nutrients in your food and others can minimize the intake. You don’t want to add too much sodium or unhealthy fats into your diet because your body and your organs are going to suffer as a result.
Companies such as EasyDrain have brought out products that can help in the kitchen to make eating and preparing food much more healthy, but we’ve got some suggestions for you below as well. It’s nice to have all of the gadgets if you’ve got them, but take a look at the suggestions below and you will be able to be a healthier cook as a result.
- Cook your vegetables the right way. Truthfully, as long as you are eating vegetables it’s good for you. However, if you want to maximize your health you need to look at the way that you’re cooking them. There’s nothing wrong with boiling vegetables, but overcooking them when you boil is very easy and it can rob them of their vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you are trying to gain. Steaming vegetables can help preserve the nutrients and all you need is a steamer basket and a timer. You can also steam vegetables in the microwave as a quick and easy way to do it if you don’t have a stovetop steamer or a plug-in steamer. Roasting vegetables is also a great way to cook through the vegetables without losing too many of the nutrients. When you treat your vegetables right, you treat your body right.
- Start tasting your food before you add salt. It’s super easy just to check on salt and pepper as seasoning to enhance the flavor of food, but many vegetables and meats out there already are flavorful. One teaspoon a day of salt has around 2300 milligrams of sodium, and that’s the maximum you should have in a day. By chucking on salt as you please, you are not going to be able to cut down on sodium and you are going to increase your risk of blood pressure or chronic kidney disease. The recommended maximum is 1500 milligrammes a day, so get rid of the salt shaker and start tasting food before you add seasoning to it. Your taste buds will adjust overtime to less salt in your food.
- Wash your vegetables. While it’s never a good idea to rinse your meat, which we will cover later, you should always wash your vegetables. You can buy small buckets for the sink so that you can have your vegetables in them and wash them as you bring them in from the grocery store. You can cut down on the sodium in canned vegetables and legumes such as chickpeas by rinsing them out in water before you cook them, because this can lower the sodium content by up to 40%. Fresh and unseasoned vegetables can be washed under the tap with just some plain water.
- Don’t wash the meat. You may have been taught to wash chicken under the water in the sink, but it’s not a good idea. Raw meat does not need a quick rinse because you’re going to cook it enough so that there’s no bacteria left. Water doesn’t remove dangerous pathogens in the first place, and running water can actually contaminate your sink and other services in your kitchen with bacterial splash.
- Drain your beef. Is usually packed with fat, and even if you buy the leanest possible meat you still end up with grease and fat in the pan. We mentioned products to the kitchen earlier on and you can use one of these to help to drain the meat off, but you could also cook off the ground beef and continue cooking until the fat completely reduces down. You can separate the fat and use it in sources, but it’s often healthier just to make sure that you have drained it and got rid of it.