5 Ways to Make Foods You Love Healthier!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

food being cooked

Worried that cooking healthy means losing flavor? The good news is that by preparing and cooking food differently, you can make foods you love healthier and still keep all the taste. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Baking
    Baking is a great alternative to frying. Lightly coat your meat, poultry, or seafood with egg whites and then dip it in crunched up whole grain cereal and then bake for a healthy “fried” option. You can also wrap individual pieces of meat, poultry, or seafood in aluminum foil packets (don’t forget to throw in some veggies). Bake the sealed packets at 325–375° F for 30 to 45 minutes.

  2. Broiling
    If you don’t have a grill (or if the weather isn’t cooperating), broiling can be a great alternative. Coat the broiling pan with some non-stick spray or a bit of olive oil. Preheat your oven using the broil setting (on high) and put the rack about 3 to 4 inches below the heat source.

  3. Grilling
    Whether you’re cooking steak, a firm piece of fish like salmon or tuna, or boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilling can be a great way to pack in extra flavor without loading up on unwanted fats. Preheat your indoor or outdoor grill until it’s hot (use the water test—if you spritz some water on it and the water sizzles, the grill is good to go).

  4. Roasting
    In addition to being a healthier cooking option, roasting provides a lot of options for mixing in extra veggies with your meal. You can roast using the broil or the bake setting on your oven. As with broiling, use some non-stick cooking spray or a little bit of olive oil to lightly coat veggies, meat, seafood, or poultry before roasting.

  5. Add veggies
    Whether baking, broiling, grilling, or roasting, adding veggies to the mix can add lots of color and flavor to your favorite meat, poultry, and seafood dishes. And with some techniques—like roasting and baking— you can add veggies into the same pan, making for easy clean up.

When cooking meat products, it's important to cook the meat to a temperature level that is safe for eating.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • Ground meat (e.g., beef, turkey) 160 to 165° F

  • Beef, veal, lamb, pork, and ham 145° F

  • Poultry (e.g., chicken, turkey) 165° F

  • Fish 140° F

  • Seafood: Cook until flesh is pearly and opaque. Shellfish will open when fully cooked.

There are so many ways to enjoy food and incorporate yummy, healthy foods into your life. Print these tips and post them on the fridge for a healthy reminder. Need some ideas? Check out Spice it up! And ask our fabulous Smokefree Women on Facebook Exit Disclaimer for their favorite healthy recipes.

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