Making healthy lifestyle changes is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year. However, many people go on restrictive fad diets thinking it will help them become healthier. In reality, these diets are not healthy and they can also create an overall bad relationship with food. So, in order for your body to be strong and healthy, you must first realize that the food you eat is your body’s fuel. Changing to this perspective makes it easier for healthy eating to become a part of your long-term lifestyle instead of just a short-term way to lose weight.
Healthy Cooking Tips for 2019
One of the first steps to making healthy eating a part of your lifestyle is learning how to make healthy and delicious meals at home. Here are some healthy cooking tips from EatingWell and The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on how to cook healthier!
1. Cook with “good” fats. According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, unsaturated fats are considered “good” fats because they can improve blood cholesterol levels, ease inflammation and stabilize heart rhythms. So when cooking, opt for extra virgin olive oil instead of butter. Also, try incorporating avocados, nuts, and seeds into your dishes.
2. Include more Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that are important in preventing and managing heart disease. Try using oils that provide omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil and add walnuts to cereal, salads or muffins. You should also aim to eat two 4-ounce portions of fatty fish each week, such as salmon, lake trout, albacore tuna (in water, if canned), mackerel or sardines. Also, some chickens are given feed that is high in omega-3s so their eggs will contain more as well, so check the label on the eggs you buy!
3.Avoid Frying Whenever Possible. Instead of frying, try sautéing with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil, baking, broiling, or roasting your lean meats and fish. Also, drain the fat off of cooked, ground meat for a leaner meal.
4. Go unrefined. Choose whole grains instead of refined grains at the grocery store. This ensures you are getting more fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and other nutrients.
5. Remember portion control. When cooking dinner, think about plating. You want half the plate to be filled with non-starchy vegetables of all colors. Then 1/4 should be dedicated to lean protein, about the size of a deck of cards, and the last 1/4 should be made up of whole grains.
6. Reduce sugar and sodium intake. Aim to buy only fresh ingredients for your meals. This isn’t always possible, so just be mindful of food labels when buying packaged foods. Then, try flavoring your dishes with fresh herbs, spices, and citrus instead of salt, sauces, or dressings.
Following these tips will not only help you enjoy healthier meals, but they will also help you on your journey to maintaining a healthy lifestyle! Click here to learn more!