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Sep 27, 2019 | Healthy Living

Using Healthy Cooking Methods for Optimal Nutrition

Feeling motivated to make some changes in your diet to support your detox?  Want to increase your energy and feel better? It’s time to head to the kitchen and work on ways to maximize the health benefits of the foods you cook.

In order to get the most healthful bang for your buck, there are a few things to keep in mind.  All vegetables lose nutrient value the longer they are cooked. Shoot for al dente in order to get the most benefit along with buying organic veggies. Choose lean pieces of organic, grass-fed meat or wild fishes. Use seasonings like fresh herbs and/or spices rather than fat for flavor. Try different cooking methods for nutrient value, flavor, and variety.  Here are some options that will keep you going strong:

  • Steaming is one of the healthiest cooking techniques. Ideally, your pot should have a strainer that sits above the liquid you use to steam.  Try using broth or other seasonings in the water – the flavor will be absorbed by what you steam. Fish can also be steamed.
  • Grilling is another option. Use seasonings rather than added fat, and make sure to remove your food before it gets blackened. his is especially important if you use charcoal, as the foods can absorb some of the charcoal if it gets burned and burning your food causes the food to become unhealthy and a possible carcinogen.
  • Baking and roasting are other great alternatives for cooking. The evenly distributed heat cooks foods thoroughly, and you don’t have to add fat to keep it moist. It is best to cook at lower temperatures for a longer period of time then high temperatures for shorter times. You can use water or broth as needed. You can also put meats on a rack in the oven, and the fat will drip into the pan.
  • Stir frying is a great way to cook a variety of veggies at once. While you do need to use a little oil you can keep it to a minimum. Never stir fry with olive oil as its healthy qualities break down at high temperatures. Use the following oils for stir frying or sautéing: sunflower grapeseed or coconut oils Stir frying allows you to quickly cook veggies and protein, which helps the ingredients retain nutritional value.

How you cook your food is as important as the food you cook.  In order to get the most from your food, keep it as close to its natural state as possible and avoid or limit adding fat when you cook.  Don’t forget about raw veggies, either!  They are quick, easy to grab, and have their full nutritional value.  Have fun when you cook.  Don’t be afraid to try new recipes or foods.  Variety is the spice of life, and the more you branch out, the easier it will be to create the healthy meals you deserve.