There is no doubt that there has been a real initiative in the last few years to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals. Further, the last 18 months have shown the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and the positive effect it can have on your health and wellbeing. One of the best ways to promote a healthy lifestyle is to improve your diet and the foods you eat. Eating the right foods can have a transformative effect on your physical health, mental health, and even your mood. If you need some inspiration for how to make your meals healthier, read on.
Cook from scratch
While buying ready meals may be convenient and save you time, they can have additives, contain processed foods, or lose some vital nutrients along the way. To ensure you are getting the healthiest food options, avoid using jars or microwave meals, especially those high in saturated fats. Where you can, opt to make as many meals from scratch using fresh ingredients. To save time, consider batch cooking extra portions that you can freeze and defrost for busy weekday meals. This will also save you money, as pre-made meals often come at a premium.
Cut down on salt
Having a diet high in salt can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure. Ironically, salt also contains sugar, and too much sugar will also have adverse health consequences. Here are some tips to help you cut down on your salt intake. Obviously, consider any chronic illnesses you may have that require extra salt to avoid dehydration – but for the bulk of humans, salt can be a problem.
- Don’t add extra salt to your cooking. Taste it first, as some foods are naturally high in salt and will enhance the flavor without added seasoning.
- If you have added salt to your cooking, don’t add it to your meal when you sit at the table to eat it.
- Opt for and buy ‘no added salt’ versions of commonly high salt-containing foods like butter or margarine.
- Limit your intake of processed foods, as these often contain high levels of salt.
- Be mindful of how much salt is contained in foods by reading the nutrition labels.
Switch to low-fat cooking methods
There are a few simple steps to switch to low-fat ways of cooking. Replace oils and butter for low-fat cooking sprays, and use low-fat alternatives, such as low-fat cream, sour cream, or creme fraise. Another excellent way to reduce the fat in your cooking is to switch to an air-fryer. Air-fryers are a much healthier way of cooking food, and are said to cut calories and fat by 70 – 80%. An air-fryer can be used to cook a wide range of meals and recipes, from an air fryer burger recipe to the perfect air-fried pizza or even doughnut. In addition to air-frying, another healthy means of cooking your food can include steaming, baking, or boiling. All of these will help retain the nutrients of the food without adding oils or fats.