We choose to eat healthy for a lot of important reasons, and one of these reasons is the desire to lose weight or to maintain our weight. We are all conscious of the type and the quantity of foods we eat. We consume the right foods at the right portion needed by our body to function well while closely monitoring our weight.
But still, despite our best efforts, not a single sign of any significant improvement is evident. How can this happen? As we eat healthy, how we actually prepare these foods is also a big factor in order to make it a success. Unknowingly, some of our cooking habits can turn our healthy diet foods into fat gaining foods.
Here are 10 bad cooking habits we should break:
1. Frying Foods In Oil
We prefer to fry meat, fish, and eggs, because it’s fast, easy and will make them really taste great, but frying is one of the unhealthiest ways to cook your food, as it only increases the fat content by using cooking oil.
To break this habit, try healthier ways to prepare meat, fish and eggs. Other than frying, you can poach or hard-boil your eggs. You can grill, bake or broil meats and fish instead.
2. Use Of Too Much Cooking Oil
Frying is an unhealthy way to cook your food and using too much oil will make it even unhealthier.
Frequently, we reach out for the cooking oil impulsively and use more than the amount needed. Just a couple of spoons of cooking oil will increase your meal’s fat content.
To break the habit, you can use non-stick pans, so you will not have to use oil or use lesser amount of oil.
Choose healthier cooking oils such as olive oil and canola oil because they are high in monounsaturated fats, the healthy fats. Use a spray oil, if you must use oil at all.
3. Snacking On The Ingredients
It is a common habit to snack on the ingredients, such as nibbling on slices of cheese as we prepare our meals. Snacking is entirely different from tasting, and you are filling up your tummy, even before eating your meal.
To break the habit, as you cook, prepare chopped vegetables, like carrots or celery and fruits, like raisins or apple slices in a small bowl.
Instead of snacking on the ingredients, you can munch on one of those healthier alternatives.
4. Using Ready-Made Sauces
We prefer to use ready-made sauces because they can save us time and energy, but these sauces can ruin a healthy meal. They are high in fat, salt, preservatives and additives.
To break the habit, stock your cupboard with staple ingredients for making sauces. Sauces made from scratch cost less and taste much better than the ready-made sauces. A healthy meal is worth your time and energy in preparing.
5. Using The Whole Packet
Foods from groceries and supermarkets usually come in packed portions, but cooking the entire portion is not necessary. While it’s easy and mess-free to cook the whole portion, doing so will only mean that you have to consume more than you should. To break the habit, buy zip-lock bags or plastic food storage containers to store and save uncooked portions for easy access when you have to use it the next time.
6. Leaving The Skin On
When cooking meat, particularly chicken, we prefer to cook it with the skin, because it gives a scrumptious flavor. But, most of the fats are found in the skin, so it is best to remove the skin if you want to eat healthily.
To break the habit, you can marinade the meat for hours or even overnight to achieve the desirable flavor when you remove the skin.
7. Using Cream-Based Salad Dressings
Salads are supposed to be healthy and so the dressings should be healthy, as well. Caesar and other cream-based sauces which we are used to contain oils and eggs, which are high in fat.
To break the habit, French dressing is a healthier choice or better yet; you can prepare your salad dressing made from lemon juice, a little vinegar and a bit of extra virgin olive oil. You can add flavorful ingredients, like herbs, spices, capers and olives, so you won’t need too much sauce.
8. Pouring On Excessive Condiments
Condiments, such as mayonnaise, relish and ketchup can surely add flavor, but can also add unnecessary calories, fat, sugar and salt to your meal.
Ketchup contains high amounts of added salt and sugar, while mayonnaise is full of oil and eggs, which are high in fat. To break the habit, try preparing healthy homemade sauces, such as guacamole or salsa.
9. Reaching For The High Fat
When marinating lean meats, especially beef, many people prefer to use olive oil in the marinade mixture, because it makes make the meat tender and also adds flavor. However, olive oil is high in fat, which makes it an unhealthy choice.
Instead of using a cup of olive oil, you can use 2 cups of nonfat yogurt. Together with the yogurt; add ¼ cup grated onion, 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro, 1tsp. ground cumin, and ½ tsp. ground black pepper for a healthier marinade. Marinate the beef for six hours and chicken for not over 4 hours treat will toughen.
10. Using White Flour
We are used to using all-purpose white flour when baking and cooking. What we should know, white flour is a processed food stripped off of its healthy fiber, which is essential for good digestion. Use whole wheat flour or oat flour, which is very rich in fiber. They can also add texture to your muffins or biscuits.
Healthy eating contributes a lot to maintaining proper weight, so make it a lifelong habit. This does not mean you have to deprive your body of the nutrient it needs. Eating healthy is eating the right type of foods in the right amount, but you should cook it in a healthy way, as well.
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