Eating is an essential part of our day. What we consume should provide our body with the necessary nutrients and protein needed to fuel our daily function.
While we have often discussed foods that are fantastic options for health and wellness, the way you prepare your food contributes to your health, as well.
Here are the best ways to prepare your food to get the most nutritional value out of your meal.
HOW SHOULD YOU BE COOKING?
These are some of the best ways to cook your food without taking away nutrients or introducing unhealthy fats into your meal.
Baking your food is a great way to cook your food without introducing any additional fat.
Simply lay your veggies or protein out on a sheet pan and place in a preheated oven, following the specified temperature and time requirements for your dish.
You may choose to use some oil when baking (or roasting), but there are healthy fats available available to incorporate into your baking.
Reach for avocado oil or olive oil rather than traditional saturated fats. Be mindful of the smoke point of your chosen oil.
This cooking method is almost identical to baking, except you are increasing your temperature and lowering your cooking time.
This is a great way to help lock in any key nutrients in your food that may escape during longer cooking times!
Pan sautéing your food is another way to cut down cooking time and to reduce the overall amount of fats.
Keep the items you are cooking small. Cut your protein into smaller pieces, use individual leafy greens, slice up your mushrooms, Brussel sprouts, or green beans, etc.
Choose water, bone broth or healthy fats to sauté your food in, and cook over medium heat.
Your pan choice is important here.
Woks are a great choice as they distribute the heat very well and allow for faster cook times. This means less time in the oils.
By cooking your food with steam, you are not introducing any extra fat into your meal. All you need is about an inch of water and a pot or saucepan on the stovetop!
Whether you are steaming chicken or fresh veggies, this is a moderately fast method of cooking to both cook and soften your food.
After cooking, you can season with your spices of choice, some olive oil for healthy fat, or a squeeze of lemon for a bright addition of flavor.
This is another quick method of cooking.
To blanch your vegetables, place them in boiling water for about a minute to let them cook all the way through. Then, quickly transfer your boiled veggies into ice water.
This quick temperature change zaps your food, stopping the cooking process and locking in both flavor, color, and key nutrients that may otherwise cook away.
Eat your greens freshly blanched, or transfer them to a cooking sheet for easier roasting.
HERE'S WHAT YOU SHOULD BE AVOIDING
The way you cook your food plays a major part in the nutrients you are then able to absorb into your system! Here are a few methods that you should choose with caution or avoid altogether:
You most likely already know that fried foods are the first to avoid.
Frying your food entails large amounts of oil and often a thick coating of starch and breading.
These factors remove or negate the nutritional value of your food, and they introduce inflammation-causing ingredients into your meal.
Yes, grilling is an American pastime – but it is also a very easy way to introduce harmful chemicals into your protein.
These toxins are introduced into your food from char.
By exposing your meat to high temperatures, heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can form.
These toxins have been shown to cause cancer.
Marinating your meat can help to minimize this toxin production.
Choose lean protein with minimal fat, and cook in the center of your grill to help prevent charring as much as possible.
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