Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Healthy Catering

Being healthy is on everyone’s list. It’s a destination that we all want to reach and we have tried and tested all the routes. Whether it is a drastic lifestyle change or simple tips to implement into our diet, we've done it all. Some people may increase their physical activity whilst others just add fruit and vegetables to their diet.

The truth is that our bodies work differently according to our individual metabolism. Some peoples may work faster whilst others may work slower and there are ways to increase ones body metabolism. The point is our body works differently, whilst one diet plan may work on one person it may not work on another. But there are some things which work on everybody and that is to use healthy cooking methods.

This route is effective and something everybody can follow. The aim is to reduce the amount of saturated fat in the diet. This entails one to use healthy cooking methods to replace the unhealthy high fat ones we currently use.

For example, instead of frying your chips why not oven bake them. This way it is cheaper and healthy. You can even season them with spices and herbs to make them tasty. Herbs and spices are a very good way of replacing your salt seasoning.

Salt is a big health hazard in everybody’s diet. It increases the risk of hypertension and other heart diseases. Reducing the amount of salt in your cooking is another painless way to becoming healthy. Halving the amount of salt in your cooking is a great start; just replace it with your favourite herbs and spices.

Fat does not need to be added to food for cooking, there are other alternatives. To reduce the amount of fat in your cooking why not try using a non-stick pan or if oil needs to be added use spray oil instead. Healthy oils should be used for cooking, like olive oil or canola oil. This limits the amount of fat in your cooking keeping it as healthy as possible.

Cooking methods are very important. A healthy meal can be overturned very quickly by the way in which you cook it. There are many healthy cooking methods, such as, grilling, steaming and stir-frying. This allows you to eat what you want but in a healthy manner without saying goodbye to your favourites foods.

Cooking your own food doesn't mean you need to become a qualified gourmet chef with a big professional kitchen and kitchenware. As long as you know the basic you’re good to go. Here are some healthy cooking methods explained to implement in your life:

  • Baking: Simply put your marinated food in an oven dish and cook at correct temperature. Seafood, poultry or lean meats can be baked.

  • Braising: Browning the food in pot on the cooker. A small amount of water or broth is usually added to stop the food drying out.

  • Grilling and Broiling: This is when the food is cooked by the heat coming from below or above. This allows the fat to drip off whilst it is being cooked.

  • Poaching: This is when the food is cooked around a liquid, usually water or broth. This allows the food to retain its shape with no input of fat.

  • Sauteing: This is a very quick method where very small refined food are cooked in a pan preferably non-stick. Curries are usually sauteed before adding in poultry or lean meat.

  • Steaming: Food (usually vegetables) cooked over simmering liquid in a perforated pan until it is cooked.

  • Stir-Frying: Using a wok or a pan cook chopped small pieces of food in a small amount of oil. This is a famous Asian cooking method.

If you want to increase your nutrient intake, an easy routine to follow is to fill half your plate up with either a salad or steamed vegetables with every meal. It is very easy and makes you eat less of your main meal especially if it is high in saturated fat.  

We often tend to go for the easy option when selecting meals for ourselves and our family. This is due to our busy schedules which dictate our lives. But there are ways to save time. Freezing extra food is a great way to save time without sacrificing the nutrient value of the food.

Another concerning issue that we find in most of our homes is processed food. This tends to be high in fat and salt, which means high risk of life threatening diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. Instead try to make your own food as much as you can. This allows you to cater to your own taste and health, which is cheap and fulfilling. 

Eating what you want does not necessarily mean eating how much you want. Portion sizes are very important as this will help you to stick to your daily calorie intake, according to your gender. Your food is your fuel so you also need to utilise it, in order to keep your body in balance. It’s all about energy balance. The amount of energy you consume, that amount of energy needs to be expended equally. This keeps you in energy balance avoiding you to gain or lose unnecessary weight. This can be done in a means of daily physical activities which you enjoy.

The benefits of reducing the amount of fat in your diet are very rewarding for your lifestyle and your body. The benefits in the long run need to considered, hopefully, you will live longer and look much younger with much more energy to expend, ticking off the other goals and aims on your to do list!

So, chuck out that deep fat fryer and stay away from the fat and salt as much as you can. And you will be reaping the rewards and celebrating by ticking off that ‘healthy goal’ on your list with a big red marker!

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