How to Make Recipes Healthier
By Sara Butler
Cooking meals at home is the best thing you can do to ensure that your diet is full of healthy food without a bunch of added salt, sugar, and fat. But just because you make a recipe at home doesn't automatically make it healthier -- but it's a start. Here are a few easy ways to make most recipes a bit more conducive to your health and wellness goals.
End With Salt
Cooking with as little salt as you can manage is a good practice. That's why you should set a challenge for yourself to cook with as little salt as is possible. One way to do that is to wait until the end of the recipe to add salt. That way, you can taste it and decide for yourself how much salt it actually needs.
Over time your taste buds adapt to the things you expose them to. If you can work to gradually cut the amount of sugar you consume, then you'll train your taste buds over time to want it. You can easily do this by reducing the amount of sugar a recipe calls for by at least 25 percent. So, if it calls for a half-cup of sugar, then only put in one-quarter of a cup. Then, the next time you make it, add a little less. Experiment with other ways to cut down on sugar in recipes too, such as using unsweetened applesauce in baked goods or flavoring your morning cup of coffee with cinnamon.
Cut the Fat
Many recipes, with the exception of some baked goods, will be just fine if you cut out a little fat. In fact, you can easily cut the amount of butter or oil in a recipe in half and you won't be able to tell. When you can't cut out the fat, then consider using a smarter swap such as Greek yogurt or cottage cheese in place of sour cream or heavy cream. Even an avocado can be used to reduce mayonnaise called for in many recipes.
Use Healthy Methods
Remember, it's not simply the foods you cook but how you cook them that impacts how healthy they are. You can bump up the nutritional profiles of your meals by avoiding frying and using better methods such as steaming, roasting, baking, grilling, or broiling instead.
You can make a big difference in the health of your diet by making these small changes.
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