Healthy Cooking – 8 Tips To Cook Healthy Meals

 

Healthy Cooking

Healthy Cooking: 8 Tips To Cook Healthy Meals

 

Do you enjoy cooking at home for yourself and your family?

The truth is that if you cook a meal of high quality ingredients – such as organic and GMO free vegetables, hormone free and antibiotic free meat and chicken, or wild caught fish – it’s probably the healthiest and most nutritious meal you can have.

 

What you eat can either support and optimize your health – or damage it.

 

And besides the “healthy aspect” of a home cooked meal, it’s also a very nice gathering for a family or a couple to sit around the kitchen table and have dinner together. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to share how his/ her day has been at work and at school

However, it’s not only important to be careful with the quality of the ingredients you’re preparing, but also HOW you prepare it, that is your cooking methods.

Moreover, the equipment and tools you have and use in your kitchen can also have an effect on the food quality.

For the healthiest meals possible: Make sure you use cooking methods and tools in your kitchen that do not impair the food quality.

 

Better than Botox

Here are 8 important things to know to cook the healthiest meals possible:

 

1) Use SAFE cookware

The safest and healthiest cookware you can use are cookware made of authentic ceramic, stainless steel, iron, or glass (glass that is heat- and ovenproof).

You should avoid using non-stick cookware like Teflon, because chemicals called poly- and perfluoroalkyl (PFAS), are used to create the slippery surfaces of non-stick and Teflon-coated pans.

PFAS are fluorinated chemicals that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found to be “likely carcinogens.”

And therefore there’s a risk that these chemicals emit toxins when you use non-stick pans for cooking at high temperatures.

If your non-stick pots and pans get scratched, this increases the risk of releasing toxic fumes in your home even more.

Cookware with copper for the cooking surface should also be avoided.

The same with aluminum since it may react with salty and acidic foods and release itself into your food during cooking or baking.

 

2) Avoid plastics

Try to avoid using kitchen utensils, bowls, lunch boxes, food/ storage containers etc made of plastic.

Plastic may contain toxic chemicals like BPA and phthalates. These chemicals can leach out of the containers, boxes, covers etc, and contaminate your food with endocrine and hormone disruptors.

For cooking utensils, stainless steel is a good choice. And for other kitchen utensils, bowls, lunch boxes, food/ storage containers etc, use those that are made of glass, stainless steel or ceramics.

 

3) Don’t cook food wrapped in Aluminum Foil

When you bake food in the oven or put it on the BBQ, don’t wrap it in aluminum foil.

The migration of aluminum into food during the cooking process is above the permissible limit set by the World Health Organisation.

It’s considered safe though to wrap cold food in foil, but don’t do it for a longer period of time, due to the risk of aluminum leaching into the food.

Also be aware that aluminum is significantly more likely to leach into food, and at higher levels, in acidic and liquid food solutions like lemon and tomato juice than in those containing alcohol or salt.

Be Younger4) Don’t overcook your food

It’s important to cook e.g. meat, poultry, fish and seafood well to avoid bacterial infection.

However, cooking meat, poultry, or fish at very high temperatures for long periods of time can also be dangerous to your health. The reason for this is that cooking at high temperatures can cause harmful and carcinogenic compounds to form.

Overcooking of some baked and fried starchy foods (like cereals, chips and potatoes) may cause acrylamide (a probable carcinogen) to be formed.

And when you cook meat at high temperatures, toxins called heterocyclic amines (HCA), are created. HCA have been linked to some cancers.

Therefore, it’s healthier to cook your meat, chicken and wild fish at lower temperatures to prevent the formation of possible carcinogenic toxins such as HCA.

Cooking at a lower temperature will also minimize AGE (advanced glycation end products) formation in the food.

AGEs are the end-products of glycation reactions, i.a. when sugar molecules attach themselves to a protein or a lipid in the bloodstream. High levels of AGEs are linked to speeding up aging and several chronic diseases.

Tip: Use a cooking thermometer and you’ll know when your meat, chicken or fish is cooked enough.

 

5) Alternate cooking method – and use Rosemary

Most people love to BBQ!

However, if you want to cook healthy meals, you should make an effort to alternate your BBQ with other cooking methods, due to the elevated risk of HCA (heterocyclic amines) and AGEs (advanced glycation end products) when you BBQ at high temperatures.

You can e.g. alternate with cooking methods that require lower temperatures such as: slow-cooking, pressure-cooking, stewing and boiling. Cooking at at or below 212°F (100°C) using moist heat – instead of dry heat – creates negligible amounts of HCAs and fewer AGEs.

And when you BBQ – marinate your meat and use Rosemary!

Research shows that marinating meat in an antioxidant-rich blend can reduce the risk of HCAs forming by more than 80 percent, and reduce the AGEs formation as well.

And one ingredient that makes a big difference to lower the amounts of HCAs is the herb rosemary.

Rosemary has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, helping to protect cells from oxidative damage.

Studies show that if you add it to ground beef and other types of muscle meat before grilling, frying, broiling or barbecuing, it significantly reduces heterocyclic amines.

Turmeric, onion and garlic are also great anti-oxidant ingredients for your marinade.

Additionally, cooking or marinating meat with an acidic ingredient such as vinegar, tomato juice, Greek yogurt or lemon juice can reduce AGE production by up to 50%.

 

6) Decrease the risk of high levels of arsenic in rice

In the last years, there have been warnings about unhealthy high levels of arsenic in rice.

Therefore, when you cook rice there are a couple of things you can do to decrease it.

To start with, always rinse the rice thoroughly before you’re going to cook it.

You can even leave it soaking in water overnight – if you plan ahead and know what you’ll cook the next day.

Secondly, when you’re going to boil the rice, add a lot of water into the saucepan like you do when you cook pasta. Then just drain it.

By doing this, you’ll decrease the levels of arsenic you’d otherwise consume.

Look and feel younger 7) Cook with healthy fats

Coconut oil, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil and butter are some examples of healthy fats you can use when cooking.

However, some oils are not good for high temperatures. For example extra virgin olive oil is not the best choice for very high temperatures.

For cooking at high temperatures, the most suitable fats are coconut oil and avocado oil.

This has to do with the oil’s “smoke point”, also called “flash point”. It basically means the temperature or “point” at which the oil begins to decompose.

This thermal oxidation leads to a loss in nutritional integrity, but also the formation of harmful free radicals and cancer-causing agents including lipid oxidation products (LOPs) and benzo{a}pyrene.

The oils you choose to cook with must be stable enough to resist chemical changes when heated to high temperatures, or you run the risk of damaging your health.

If you notice smoke coming from your oil, do your best to avoid breathing the fumes, toss the oil and start over.

By the way, if you’re frequently using Vegetable Oils (note: they are NOT made of vegetables!) like Canola oil, you should read this: Why You Should Never Use Vegetable Oils

 

8) Plan your meals and shopping ahead!

If you plan ahead, chances are you’ll cook healthier meals and more often!

Make a plan ahead for a few days ahead, aim for the next 3-4 days.

Do all the grocery shopping in advance, so you have everything you need in your kitchen to prepare it.

This will also help you to avoid any impulse buying of unnecessary or unhealthy stuff, and you don’t have to stop on your way home from work when you’re tired.

You can also prepare batches of meals in advance. This will ensure you always have a good meal available on days when you’re too busy or too tired to cook.

 

Healthy Cooking

So these are my 8 tips how to cook healthy meals at home to support good health! 

 

Do you have any tips to share with us how to cook healthy meals at home?

Then please share in the comment section here below, I’d love to hear it!

I’d also love to hear which of my tips I’ve shared in this article you were not aware of before, and also which tip you found most important and that you’ll implement!

I hope you’ve found this article interesting and useful, if so, please Like and Share with your friends!!! 

 

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References:

http://products.mercola.com/ceramic-cookware-benefits/

http://healinggourmet.com/healthy-eating/lipid-oxidation-products-lops/

https://healinggourmet.com/healthy-eating/advanced-glycation-endproducts-ages/

http://www.eatingwell.com/article/15891/10-secrets-to-cooking-healthier/

http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/cooking-ideas/15-healthy-cooking-tips-food-pros

https://wellnessmama.com/5148/safest-cookware-options/

http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/nutrition/tips/a5642/9-tips-for-healthier-cooking-117719/

https://www.healwithfood.org/list/foods-high-in-acrylamide.php

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/

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