Eating healthy is not limited to specifically what you are consuming. It also has a lot to do with the method of cooking. There are so many different cooking methods, such as baking, grilling, roasting, smoking, boiling, steaming, frying and braising, giving you plenty of options to choose from, but not all are conducive to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.
Understanding the many ways you can cook your favorite foods can help you stay on plan and be one step closer to your goals while still enjoying yourself this summer. Keep reading to learn more about the healthiest cooking methods to lose weight.
Grilling and Broiling
Summer is the ideal time for grilling, especially in South Florida, making the backyard barbecue a key part of the season here. Cooking over open flames gives your favorite yet simple foods a unique flavor.
Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of the food. It exposes food to direct heat, usually from below the surface. Grilling is a healthy cooking technique because it allows fat to melt and drip from the food being cooked. This is why grilled meats are typically lower in calories than the same meat cooked in frying oil. It is important not to char or cause your food to come in contact with direct flame since this may introduce the formation of potential carcinogens. Additionally you can minimize your risks by always cooking on a clean grill.
Similar to grilling, broiling is another method of cooking that exposes food to direct heat. Broiling uses high heat from a direct flame to quickly cook food surfaces, which requires little to no oil, thus reducing calories in your dish.
Baking is another excellent method of cooking that cuts down on your fat and calorie intake, which helps you stay on track and maintain a healthy weight and diet. Baking is a dry-heat cooking method that is typically in an oven. Again, similar to grilling and broiling, baking requires little or no added oil, reducing the risk of heart disease and other health conditions.
Baking supports individuals who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Being on a meal plan doesn’t have to be boring. Baking captures the unique flavors of all the ingredients present in the dish, making the final baked food flavorful.
Steaming may be one of the best cooking methods for preserving nutrients. For example, one study showed that steaming did not cause any significant loss of vitamin C compared to the other cooking methods. While the only downside to steaming vegetables is that they may turn out bland, there are ways to add flavor with herbs and seasoning.
Sautéing is a popular method of cooking that uses a small amount of oil in a shallow pan over medium to high heat. According to Blue Zones, sautéing preserves more nutrients than boiling and offers cardiovascular perks.
Cuts of meat, fish, and vegetables are good candidates for sautéing. Adding your favorite fresh herbs and seasonings can go a long way and add a tremendous amount of flavor to your food.
Air frying has become a very popular way of cooking due to how easy and quick it is to prepare your meal. It also delivers almost the same taste and texture as your favorite fried foods. Air fryers allow you to cook crispy, decadent, and delicious meals without an ounce of oil added.
From the moistest chicken breast to crispy brussel sprouts, an air fryer is the way to go. You can even find some air-fried recipes on our website, such as Doc’s Air-Fried Zucchini Strips.
Cooking Method to Avoid: Frying
You might find that frying food is flavorful but is it good for you? It actually may possibly be the worst and unhealthiest method of cooking. Food that is fried becomes higher in calories because the food absorbs the fat of the oils it’s being cooked in. Fried foods are also typically high in trans fat, a form of unsaturated fat. Trans fat has been associated with an increased risk of many diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Enjoy your favorite foods this summer, the healthy way! At CardioMender, MD, we are committed to helping you reach your health and wellness goals. You can find on-plan recipes on our website and shop our pantry for healthy meals, shakes and supplements!