If we think about the foods we like, it is usually the sugar, the fat, and salt that is the component we truly enjoy eating. Now think about typical favorite comfort foods like pizza, fries, doughnuts, ice cream, or popcorn, and you will notice it will all again come back to sugar, fat, and salt ingredients that nearly all of us crave.
The problem is sugar, fat, and salt are essentially not the best foundation for a healthy eating program. Of course, we can, and we should enjoy eating them, but if all we consume is fried in fat, filled with sugar, and mostly covered in salt, then we wouldn’t be the healthiest of peoples.
But can food produce flavor, taste great and be healthful simultaneously? The answer is yes, It is indeed possible. To help you satisfy your curiosity, try to read on below.
Good fats over bad fats always.
A lot of us like the taste of butter and we know there is no exact and complete replacement to it, particularly in baked goods. However, to keep saturated fat to a minimum, you can make good use of olive oil or canola oil instead of using butter as likely as possible.
A tablespoon for tablespoon, butter has at least six times more saturated fat compared to oil. Start testing it out with your favorite recipe by substituting at more than half of the butter using oil.
Trim down on homemade ice cream.
For a rich, creamy ice cream that is lower in fat and calories than typical ice creams, try using low-fat milk thickened by gelatin.
It copies the texture of a regular ice cream but cuts nearly around 100 calories as well as 10 grams of saturated fat which is about 50 percent of our daily limit per half-cup serving.
Create creamy dishes in the absence of cream.
Creamy sauces similar to those in fettuccine alfredo or in homemade macaroni and cheese salad are usually loaded with heavy cheese, cream, and butter. We get rid of the heavy cream and create luxurious sauces using low-fat milk that is thickened using flour.
To easily create your own cream alternative: Mix 1 cup low-fat milk together with 4 teaspoons of all-purpose flour, and whisk under medium heat until it becomes thick and bubbling. Cup for a cup, thickened low-fat milk helps in saving at least 680 calories as well as 53 grams saturated fat versus heavy cream.
For the creamy salads like for instance, potato salads, go for reduced-fat sour cream or low-fat mayonnaise, or you can go for both; a combination of the two tastes excellent.
A tablespoon of regular mayonnaise contains 90 calories as well as 10 grams fat versus 15 calories and around 1 gram of fat in low-fat mayonnaise.
Minimize oil when cooking.
Canola oil and extra-virgin olive oil are both the preferred healthy oils for several recipes. However, both of them still carry about 120 calories per one tablespoon, so keep in mind to add them carefully.
Encourage yourself to add less oil particularly to your favorite salad, sauté, or soup recipe. Also, when making food on the stovetop, enamel-coated, cast-iron, skillets or nonstick and pans allow you to use the least amount of oil with minimal sticking.
Get your crispy fried dish without the grease.
Skim over deep-frying and try this oven-frying method: Dip vegetables, fish, chicken, in egg, buttermilk, or milk, dredge in breadcrumbs and seasoned flour, then coat with olive oil or canola oil cooking spray.
Put on a wire rack set on your baking sheet and try to bake from 425° to 450°F until it becomes crispy. Two healthy pieces of this fried chicken contain around 40 percent fewer calories as well as 4 grams less saturated fat in comparison to two pieces of regular fried chicken.
Add vegetables or grains to meaty dishes.
To have ground meat foods like burgers or meatloaf satisfying without tilting the calorie balance, try adding whole grains (like brown or bulgur or rice) or diced veggies (like peppers or mushrooms) to the meat to bulk up the portion size.
Besides, it is also an excellent way to have more veggies and grains into your diet which are foods we usually don’t get enough of. You can add between 3/4 and 1 cup diced veggies or cooked grains for each pound of meat.
Boost the flavor without using the salt shaker.
The experts in agriculture sector recommend limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg which is around 1 teaspoon salt per day.
Although keeping things within that specific guideline can be very tricky even if you cook most of what you eat at home. Try to replace some of the salt added in a recipe using sodium-free flavor boosters such as a squeeze of lime, lemon, or fresh herbs.
Always keep an eye on sodium in Instant Pot products like canned tomatoes, broth, and beans as well. Usually, there is a lower-sodium alternative available, so remember to check the nutrition panel of the product to compare among labels.
Take advantage of whole grains in your baked goods.
Substituting around half the all-purpose flour in your baked goods using whole-wheat flour helps in adding fiber which is around 12 more grams per cup, it also helps in boosting essential B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc.
Try utilizing white or regular whole-wheat flour in bread, muffins, and lovely cookies, and practice using finer-textured and whole-wheat pastry flour in pie crusts, cakes, and touchy cookies.
Opt for egg whites than consuming whole eggs.
An egg white contains only around 16 calories and without a gram of fat compared to 54 calories along with 5 grams of fat in single egg yolk. Try putting two egg whites in most of your recipe in place of 1 whole egg.
Cut on cheese while keeping the flavor.
Lesser cheese intake gives any meal a natural health incline. Go for bold-flavored cheeses, such as Cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and goat cheese to add more flavor impact with fewer calories along with less fat.
A step towards a healthy eating lifestyle comes with motivation and a bit of creativity because some healthy foods just can’t meet our taste preference. On the bright side, by knowing the different alternatives for flavors, you can now make your delicious and healthy foods at home without worrying much.