Healthy eating isn’t just about the food you consume, but also how you cook the food you’re eating. That’s why we’ve put together a quick guide to ways you can make your meals healthier.
1. Aim for balance in every meal
A healthy diet and a healthy meal should include foods from multiple food groups to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need. Your daily diet should include a reasonable portion of whole gains, dairy, nuts and oilseeds, fruits and vegetables.
2. Choose the right cooking oil
You should adapt the oil you’re using to the cooking method. For instane, olive oil is healthy, however if you are cooking on a high flame, you should avoid using olive oil as it does not have a high smoke point. A good alternative is rice bran oil.
3. Use fresh ingredients
One of the simplest ways to ensure your diet is a healthy one is to ensure you’re purchasing and eating fresh, local produce in your cooking. Fresh produce will have no or fewer preservatives than packaged food.
4. Season your food with herbs and spices
Many people wrongly believe that oil is what adds flavour to a dish, however we recommend using less oil and more seasoning, including various herbs and spices, to add flavour to your meal.
5. Avoid excessive use of salt
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the salt RDA for an adult should be around one teaspoon. Try to avoid excessive use of salt in your food and try adding other flavours such as lemon, herbs and spices.
6. Change your cooking method
There are a range of cooking methods you can use to reduce the amount of fat or decrease the loss of important nutrients in your meals. Healthier cooking methods include grilling, steaming, poaching, pressure cooking and sautéing.
7. Avoid reusing oil
Many people reuse the same oil to fry foods again and again, which is very bad for you as it increases the trans-fat content in the oil. If you have to fry your food every now and then, use fresh oil.
8. Do not cut raw vegetables in advance
We all love to be organised and are guilty of cutting up our vegetables, putting them in a bowl and leaving them for a while before cooking. However, doing so can mean losing some of the vitamins and minerals in the vegetables, and we therefore recommend chopping your vegetables just before you cook.