These days people are very driven to be healthy, be it yearly gym memberships, going vegan, doing yoga or adopting new age diet fads! With increasing focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, we are careful about making good food choices, maintaining a strict diet and even going on an impromptu jogging spree once in a while.
But did you know that apart from consuming healthy food, it is critical to cook healthy too? It is extremely important to maintain food health while cooking, so that it helps you maintain yours!
Here are 12 super healthy cooking tips to maintain food health – after all, cooking healthy is the key to healthy living!
1. Cooking a rich Indian curry – and worrying about the calories? Simply cut out the heavy dollop of whipped cream and use thickly pureed veggies instead. They thicken the curry and add to the taste.
2. Use less water for cooking fresh vegetables. Steaming and sautéing are two options that use minimal water. The reason we should minimize usage of water while cooking is that excess water simply absorbs the water-soluble nutrients from the veggies and makes them less nutritious in the process.
3. Bulk up your dishes on proteins with the addition of pulses and lentils in your food. Make sure you add wholesome lentils like the Fortune Arhar dal into a vegetable dish or even to meat. This will ensure you get a substantial meal with a whole lot of proteins, vitamins and dietary fiber.
4. Do not overdo washing rice. Rice contains several water-soluble nutrients that can be lost if we rinse it many times. But Basmati rice contains higher nutrients as compared to other rice types. We recommend trying the Fortune Basmati rice for your meals, for maintaining a healthy gut, and acceptable blood sugar levels.
5. We love to include deep fried foods in our meals. But most oils have a low smoking point and reheating these in the process of frying food can cause formation of harmful trans fatty acids (TFAs). Thus, choose healthy oil options for deep-frying food. Rice bran oil is good for deep-frying as it has a high smoking point and prevents formation of TFAs. We recommend trying Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil, described as a heart oil as it protects from TFAs and promotes heart health.
6. Create homemade sauces and tomato puree for cooking. The lycopene in tomatoes is better available in purees or sauces as compared to raw slices. Adding this lycopene-rich ingredient to your food will help accelerate the cooking and bring taste.
7. Use crushed garlic instead of whole pods or chopped pieces. Garlic is known to have amazing medicinal properties right from helping stabilize blood pressure, to improving bone health to treating colds. Using crushed garlic helps release its nutrition easily into your food, instantly improving the food health of your dishes.
8. Substitute the store-bought heavy sauces and salad dressings with easily available citrus juices like those of lemons, oranges, grapefruits and sweet limes. Adding citrus juice to your food helps add a vibrant flavor, without preservatives and additives found in the readymade dressings.
9. While cooking in a microwave, make sure you cover the pots and pans with a lid, to maintain the moisture and steam, which helps make the food succulent, retaining its nutritive value.
10. Substitute coconut cream and milk with low fat yogurt or tomato, as the fat content in coconut is high and is not suitable for everyday food. Yogurt or pureed tomato bases make for good substitutes while retaining the creamy thick consistency.
11. Sunflower oil is among the beneficial oils that help add to the food health of your dishes. Ensure minimal usage of oil to make for healthier cooking. To brown veggies, use a brush to coat the pan with a thin film of oil, then proceed to toss the vegetables till nicely browned. This reduces the amount of oil the veggies absorb.
So, whether it’s a friendly heart oil, the freshest veggies or high quality organic produce you buy, in the end it is only beneficial if you cook food in a healthy way. So, go ahead use these healthy cooking tips to get the most out of your lifestyle!