Tips for Healthy Cooking

Article by Kar Strout

The key components to staying healthy and fit are exercise and proper nutrition. However, despite your best intentions, you will never reach your fitness goals if you don’t know how to cook healthy foods. Before Strout completed her dietitian certification program, she was clueless when it came to healthy cooking, but now that she is armed with the proper knowledge it has become quite simple. While it can be difficult to know exactly which foods to eat and how to prepare them, the following tips could transform your cooking sessions from a dreaded event to a joyful celebration.

Top 3 Healthy Cooking Tips

1. Remake a Recipe.

We all have tested and approved recipes that we turn to over and over again when we find ourselves in the kitchen. But many beloved dishes may also be extremely fattening and harmful to our bodies. For some dishes, we may have to abandon them entirely, but others could be saved with a simple reworking of the recipe! Simply look at the recipe and swap out any unhealthy ingredients for better options. For example replace ground beef with extra lean ground turkey, or use reduced and nonfat cheeses in place of their full-fat counterparts. Choosing healthier options will allow you to reach your fitness and health goals without having to entirely abandon some of your favorite meals!

2. Use Cooking Spray Instead of Oil and/or Butter.

This simple trick is one of the biggest ways to cut calories and fat from your cooking. Using non-stick cooking spray instead of oil is a quick and efficient way to trim away fat that can clog your arteries and add unwanted pounds. Cooking a stir-fry? Spray your wok or pan with cooking spray instead of oil and turning an otherwise oil-drenched, unhealthy meal into a healthy food fest! Cooking spray also works very well for cooking eggs, sautéing vegetables, cooking meats, etc.

3. Use Color

A beige or white plate of food is neither aesthetically pleasing nor particularly healthy. Splash some color on your plate by cooking with a wide variety of vegetables. You should aim to eat the colors of the rainbow every day. Plan your meals around vitamin-rich foods like spinach, bell peppers, oranges, blueberries, carrots, sweet potatoes and all of the colorful fruits and vegetables that our bodies crave. If you can manage to eat a lot of different colored fresh foods throughout the day, you will be on your way to creating healthier meals and a healthier, happier you!