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What Are the Best Tips for Healthy Cooking?

Alex Tree
Updated May 17, 2024
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Healthy cooking is a lot more than salads and extra vegetables. A lot of cooking habits and recipes can be tweaked for healthier living, including the amount of salt and oil used. In addition, an individual can be pickier about the kinds of meat he or she eats to stave off cancer. Even sandwiches can be prepared in healthier ways, like replacing white bread with wheat and mayonnaise with fruit or nut spread.

Cooks can try not to cook with salt, especially when recipes call for salt to taste. The salt can be added to taste at the dinner table rather than guessing at the perfect amount. Some people choose to omit table salt altogether, from both the kitchen and dining room.

A cook can use less cooking oil whenever possible; for example, switching to cooking oil in spray form to make a tiny amount go further. Some people also choose to switch to healthier cooking oils, but there is no major difference between them when only using small amounts. When using these oils, anything more than enough oil to stir fry vegetables is likely too much. No amount of recipe tweaking will make deep frying healthy cooking.

In addition, a cook can choose leaner meats, eat less red meat, and only go overboard on the portion sizes on special occasions. Some studies show that vegetarians live longer than omnivores, even if they occasionally eat eggs, poultry and fish. Excessive portions of red meat is linked to an increased risk of numerous cancers. It is usually fine to eat it now and then, but red and fatty meats in general are not part of a healthy diet.

White flour goes through a process called milling to make it white, which removes important vitamins. When white flour is turned into white bread, it is significantly less healthy than wheat bread. As a healthy cooking practice, cooks can opt for whole grain flour that includes all of the healthy bits. The downside to unmilled flour is that it has a shorter shelf life than milled.

Instead of butter or cream, a cook can engage in healthy cooking by using salsa, nut spreads, or soy products. For example, instead of using whole milk in a recipe, the cook can use skim milk or soy milk. As another example, many people use avocado, hummus or other spreads on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise. Sometimes it is even possible to get a similar taste, but with a much healthier alternative.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Alex Tree
By Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and WiseGEEK contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.

Discussion Comments

By Feryll — On Dec 22, 2014

I'm not a great cook. One of the biggest problems I have is that most of the things I know how to cook are not healthy. However, my girlfriend recently suggested I go online and look up simple, quick, healthy recipes that I could prepare.

I don't know why I didn't think of this myself. Now I am cooking a larger variety of foods, and I am eating healthier at the same time.

By Animandel — On Dec 22, 2014

This article briefly mentions portions. One of the best steps we can take to improve our eating routine is to eat in moderation. Not eating too much of one food is good advice. Remember all of the food groups we learned early in school? Choose foods from all of the groups and eat them in healthy recipes, and you have the foundation of a healthy diet.

By mobilian33 — On Dec 21, 2014

I know doctors and scientist have taught us more about the impact of the foods we eat on our overall health. I'm sure much of what they tell us is true. However, maybe there is more to the foods we eat and how we prepare them than the experts know.

The reason I say this is because my grandparents and my mother cooked with animal fat. They ate all of the meat, including the fat. They drank whole milk and ate pure butter. And they ate plain flower.

Even with all of their unhealthy recipes and unhealthy eating habits, both of my grandmothers lived well into their 90s. Maybe they would have lived to be 100 if they had practiced healthy cooking, but I doubt they would have changed their habits for a couple more years at the end.

Alex Tree

Alex Tree

Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and WiseGEEK contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
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