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Healthful Cooking Tips

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by , health and fitness expert

If you're like most people, your idea of healthful cooking means giving up the stuff you like. While that may be true, it does not mean eating dull and boring foods. Quite the opposite.

First, let's look at what you are "giving up" by changing from the standard disease diet to one that actually makes sense. If you read the ingredients on the packages of your processed "foods" you will notice the same things over and over. As you read, it should dawn on you that most of what constitutes the American diet consists of two flavors:

  1. Corn syrup.
  2. Hydrogenated fats.

That is, most of what you eat tastes pretty much the same. By eating processed "food," you give up dozens of amazing flavors that exist in nature's bounty and that are readily available in your local grocery store. To take advantage of those flavors, you need to start with how you shop. Spend most of your grocery store time and budget in the produce department.

  • Your grocer has several lettuces and cabbages. Use these as the base for raw vegetable dishes (which taste great with a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing you can make yourself). Iceberg lettuce? Don't bother with it.
  • Bok choy, also called Chinese cabbage, is an excellent calcium source. Yes, it beats milk on that score. Use the leaves like lettuce and cut up the stalks as if they were celery sticks.
  • Sweet potatoes are a nutritional power house. You can bake them in the microwave to save time.
  • Mushrooms are loaded with important nutrients and add great flavor. Buy whole ones and slice them up as needed for cooked and raw dishes.
  • Squashes come in a variety of flavors. Buy several.
  • Peppers add zest and are loaded with nutrients.
  • Eggplant has potent cancer-fighting properties. Dice raw eggplant into cubes and add to salads and soups.
  • Onions add flavor.
  • Each time you go to the store, pick up one new vegetable you haven't tried before.
  • You should own a crockpot. Buy a bag of beans, soak them overnight, rinse them, and then cook in the crockpot (cover beans in 2 inches of water in the pot). You can add chopped garlic when you add the beans, for an aroma that's wonderful and a taste that satisfies.

You should generally avoid buying food that comes in a container. Of course, there are exceptions. Olive oil and vinegar, for example, aren't sold any other way (nor would you want them to be). The key is to avoid things that are adulterated with sugars and damaged fats, and such foods come in containers. Read the labels. A note on beans. Canned red kidney beans come in sugar water, so buy dry red kidney beans and cook them yourself.

Avoid products that contain wheat, corn, or soy--they are nearly always GMO. You can find alternative flours in most stores, today. Oat flour, for example, is widely available.

Don't buy instant anything. Instant oats, instant coffee, etc., are less healthful than the regular kind.

 

 
 
 
Healthful cooking tips
 

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