Healthy Cooking for Weight Management and Heart Health

Mixed greens on whiteEating and cooking for good health is becoming more and more popular. People all over the world are adopting a healthy lifestyle to help fight the devastating effects of stress, pressure, obesity, and life-threatening diseases.

For many years, fitness through exercise was the main focus for individuals interested in a healthier body; but there is much more to it than that.  Adopting a healthy lifestyle is not just about exercise.  Changes in the diet through healthy cooking and healthy eating play a major role.

An important factor than too many people ignore is that healthy eating requires the use of proper cooking methods. You can buy healthy, fresh ingredients and destroy the nutritional benefits by preparing them in unhealthy ways, such as: cooking with unhealthy fats, adding sugar and refined flour products, etc.

It is a fact that the way you cook your food can affect your health by increasing your cholesterol levels, triggering serious weight gain, putting yourself at risk for heart disease, and more.

Avoid Unhealthy Cooking Methods

Choosing the right cooking techniques can have a significant positive impact on your health.

The right methods will help to control fat intake and also help retain the nutritional value of the ingredients. Unfortunately, there are many popular cooking methods like deep frying and cooking with butter that create wonderfully delicious meals; but, cooking with those methods continuously is dangerous to your health.

Use Healthy Cooking Methods – and Live Longer

  1. Steaming is one of the easiest and most nutritious cooking methods for preparing healthy and tasty dishes (especially good for vegetables).  It preserves the natural pigment and nutrients in food, which leads to glowing, healthy skin.
  2. Baking can also be a healthy cooking technique when used wisely.  When the term baking is used, we think about breads, desserts, biscuits and other goodies. If you must bake, avoid using butter for greasing pans for baking; use parchment paper or no-stick cooking spray, which, has not fat or calories.  Also try baking with coconut oil – a healthier alternative to butter.
  3. Poaching is a wonderful culinary technique for eggs, chicken, fish and seafood because it does not require unwanted fat and still provides very tasty dishes.
  4. Stir-Frying is a good technique for cooking a combination of chopped vegetables and lean meat, fish, or poultry. The ingredients should be cooked over medium heat while continuously stirring and tossing, using as little oil as possible. Olive oil is a great choice for stir-fry because it is one of the healthiest oil choices, plus it contains beneficial nutrients and adds a delicious flavor.
  5. Grilling is a wonderful way to cook vegetables, meat and poultry. It requires no added fat, and the natural fat drips off the grill and away from the food.
  6. Stews and Soups can be made on the stove top or in a slow cooker. The important step to make a healthier dish is to refrigerate the dish before serving so the fat can solidify and be removed before it is eaten. Another side benefit of letting it sit for a time is that the flavors tend to blend even more, making it very delectable.

All the above methods of cooking are great options for a dedicated and healthy lifestyle.

A Healthy Heart Means a Healthier Body and a Longer Life

To keep your heart happy and healthy, there are some things you should keep in mind.

  1. A well-balanced healthy diet is one of the most important steps in keeping your heart healthy.  This can be done by cooking with fresh herbs, eliminating refined sugar and flour, using whole grains, eating lots of vegetables and fruit, and choosing lean meat like chicken and fish over red meat as often as possible.
  2. Reduce the use of packaged, processed, and canned goods. Most of them contain harmful additives (preservatives), plus a lot of sugar and salt. They may also contain saturated fats and trans-fats that are extremely bad for you. All of the items mentioned should be avoided if at all possible.
  3. Incorporate physical exercise into your daily routine. It can be walking, jogging, running or yoga. Exercise helps you maintain your optimum body weight, aids in quality sleep,  reduces your stress levels, and keeps your mind and body working at peak performance.
  4. Have the following checked regularly: blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar. Make sure they are within normal, healthy limits because unhealthy numbers in any of those areas over a prolonged period of time can damage your heart.