Heart Healthy Cooking
Healthy cooking is a big part of being healthy. The ingredients and methods used can make a big difference too. The good news is that there are many very healthy meals that are still good. Cooking healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up great taste.
Last night for example we cooked chicken enchiladas with rice and black beans. Most of the ingredients were very healthy and contained very little fat and carbohydrates. We used whole grain enchilada shells and some great tasting salsa that contained healthy diced onions and tomatoes. Leaving out the sour cream and extra cheese helps cut down the fat and carbohydrates too.
Many recipe books exist for healthy cooking. You can do a quick internet search and find all kinds of great recipes too.
I must admit when I first started trying to eat better I knew what not to eat. But I didn’t really know what I could eat. Our kitchen didn’t have a good stock of good foods so it was difficult coming up with meals. After a bit of study I found there are many good options for healthy meals.
The Mayo Clinic website has a great section that lists many health recipes. Here’s the link: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-recipes/RecipeIndex
Flax seed is another popular option know for it’s omega 3 content. However, it contains the ALA type of omega 3 fatty acid and not the DHA or EPA types which are found in fish oil. It’s still a healthy choice but don’t be mislead into thinking you’re getting all the omega 3’s you need only from flax seed! By the way there are some great cook books available for flax seed (ground and unground) recipes. Chocolate chip cookies made from oat meal, flax seed, and brown sugar are relatively healthy and taste great!
When frying always use olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil contains extra antioxidants and is even healthier, although a bit more expensive. Stick margarine has commonly contained trans fat so definitely do NOT use that. Trans fat is the worst kind of fat you can eat. Margarine in the tub, the softer kind, is usually free of trans fat. But check the food labels if you buy margarine. Make sure it doesn’t contain trans fat.
Fruits and vegetables should be a bigger part of your meals. When cooking vegetables it’s better to use the microwave and use frozen vegetables rather than canned vegetables.