How do I Start Cooking Light?

As many people become more aware of the need to use nutrition as a tool in remaining happy and healthy, the issue of preparing food often comes to the fore. Often, this doorway to a healthier lifestyle is difficult for people to navigate through, since it means leaving behind some of their favorite foods or making drastic changes in the way they cook. If you are faced with the challenge of cooking light, here are a few tips to take some of the sting out of the task and hopefully start you on the way to eating better.

One of the best places to begin your effort to enter the world of low-fat cooking is eliminate one form of food preparation from your life. Fried foods are unhealthy in several different ways. They are often laden with extra calories and carbohydrates as well as unhealthy fats. Choosing to bake, broil, or grill fish, chicken, pork, and beef instead of frying will immediately reduce your caloric intake as well as eliminate bad carbs and extra fat from your diet. It will also help you ease into the habit of cooking light.

Cooking light also means going with lean red meats instead of fatty meats. While it is true that fat does provide meat with a lot of the flavor, there are ways to get around that. For example, you can make hamburger patties using ground sirloin, an option that has considerably less fat than ground beef. Broiling allows a fair amount of the remaining fat to drip away as the patties cook. To boost the flavor of the meat, add herbs and spices when forming the patties. Using cayenne, garlic, and onion instead of salt will also make the meal healthier.

When it is necessary to use some type of oil in food preparation, go for olive, peanut, or canola oil instead of lard or even most vegetable oil blends. They are more heart healthy than other options and work very well in many recipes. While more expensive, they are less likely to promote clogged arteries and thus will minimize your chances of experiencing a stroke.

Adding more fish to your diet is another painless way to get used to cooking light. Broiled fish with hint of lemon juice and a sprinkling of herbs such as rosemary, parsley, and cayenne create a flavorful dish that is rich with heart- and brain-healthy nutrients. Fish prepared in this manner will provide just as much satisfaction as fried fish. Compliment the fish with a salad of mixed greens topped with a few chick peas and tossed in a homemade oil and vinegar dressing, and you have a great meal that provides you with many vitamins and minerals but with much less fats and carbohydrates.

Healthy cooking is often easier if you think of the process as broadening your culinary horizons rather than denying yourself favorite dishes. Beginning with changing the way you cook will allow you to ease into the process. As you become more confident in your ability to cook light, begin to experiment with light recipes you find in low-fat, low-carbohydrate cookbooks. You will soon find that you do not have to suffer in order to eat better. In fact, as your waistline shrinks and the potential for developing diabetes, heart problems, or stomach ulcers begins to fall, you are likely to find that cooking light is not only enjoyable, but also the best move you ever made.


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Post 1

Some rules I use are, whenever possible I use olive oil instead of butter, reduce the cheese, it contains a lot of fat, and replace it with low fat cheese when possible. Heavy creams are also to be avoided, even though I love the cream, I know it is not heart healthy. Mayonnaise, I omit whenever possible.

Other condiments and products can replace some of their more fatty counterparts. Ketchup, mustard, yogurt, low fat sour cream, herbs, balsamic vinegar, all add flavor with few if any calorie.

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