What’s the difference between a healthy, nutritious meal and one loaded with calories, unhealthy fats and every other substance considered hazardous for the human body? Simple! A few substitutes that would make your meal all the more nutritious and healthy without compromising on its taste at all.
So, if you want to make your dishes healthier without spoiling their taste, here are some cooking tips you can follow. Remember! All it takes is a little substitution!
Tip #1: Substitute Bad Fats with Good Fats
We know how hard it would be for you to let go of that delicious butter when you are baking something. However, did you know that that the saturated fat content of butter is seven times more than that of olive or canola oil (of the same serving size)? So try substituting butter with olive or canola oil for your dishes. The taste won’t change but the nutritional value would!
Tip #2: Substitute Cooking Oil with less Cooking Oil
One tablespoon of olive or canola oil, no matter how healthy it is, contains about 120 calories. So try adding less oil to your dishes. Moreover, use nonstick vessels that would let you use less oil and prevent sticking as well.
Tip #3: Substitute Salt with Lemons of Fresh Herbs
It is recommended that individuals try to have at the most 2,300 mg of sodium each day, which is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt. Wondering how to balance out all your meals with just a teaspoon of salt?
Simple! Opt for natural alternatives like fresh herbs and lemons, which you add to your dishes to balance out the taste. Moreover, when it comes to canned products, always opt for the ones that contain low sodium content.
Tip# 4: Substitute Refined Grains with Whole Grains
Adding more whole grain products to your baked goods would increase the health quotient of the dish without altering its taste. Whole grains would also supply your body with other essential nutrients like fiber, magnesium, zinc and Vitamin B. So substitute at least half of the all-purpose flour that you use with whole-wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour for your baked delicacies.
Tip #5: Substitute Whole Eggs with Egg Whites
Compared to the yolk which contains 5 grams of fat and 54 calories, the egg white contains 0 gram of fat (how about that?) and 16 calories. With such a huge difference, it would not hurt to remove the yolk from most of your dishes. Go for two egg whites instead.
Tip #6: Substitute Cream with Low Fat Milk
Sauces usually contain plenty of cream, butter and cheese. Using low fat milk instead would save you almost 53 grams of saturated fat and at least 680 calories for each serving. If you don’t like the taste of milk, opt for a combination of sour cream and mayonnaise (the low fat varieties of course).
Tip #7: Substitute ‘Deep Frying’ with ‘Oven Frying’
A friend of mine taught me this great method to fry foods without using too much oil and without burning the dish in the process.
Coat the dish with all the ingredients needed (just like you would do when you opt for a deep fry). Now spray some canola or olive oil over the dish using a cooking spray and place it on baking sheet inside the oven. Bake the dish at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until it is cooked and crispy.
Alternatively, you can use a little amount of olive or canola oil to fry the dish in a frying pan. After about 10 minutes in low flame, wrap the partially fried dish in an aluminum foil. Pour some water into a vessel and place the wrapped dish inside it (on top of a small tri stand). Cover the vessel and let the dish cook for the remaining period.
Tip #8: Substitute Cheese with Bold Flavored Cheese
What is the difference you would ask? In the case of bold flavored cheese, you can add less cheese and get the same taste as with normal cheese. So opt for varieties like goat cheese and extra sharp Cheddar to save up on calories.
Tip #9: Substitute Large Portion Sizes with Vegetables and Grains
Increase the portion size of your meals by adding healthy whole grains and vegetables to them. In addition to upping the nutritional quotient, this tip would ensure that you are satisfied with what you eat instead of opting for more (a smaller portion would leave you scrambling for more helpings).
Tip #10: Substitute Regular, Full Fat Ice cream with Smooth, Low Fat Ice cream
This can be done by using low fat milk and gelatin. In addition to offering the same rich texture as that of a regular ice cream, this tip would help you cut down on almost 10 grams of saturated fat and at least 90 calories for every ½ cup.