Last Updated on 17th December 2021 by Pauline
Eating healthy seems to be the norm these days, especially now that the world is dealing with a deadly virus. Having said that, if you want to upgrade your meals in a healthier way, but don’t know where to start, then you’re in the right place.
This article delves into six easy and healthy ways to upgrade any meal. Read on to get to know them.
Switch To Brown Rice
White rice is the most consumed and popular rice variety. Although it’s popular, it doesn’t contain much nutrients compared to brown rice. This is because the milling process of white rice will eliminate the germ, bran, and hull surrounding the rice kernel, reducing the amount of nutrients the rice contains.
On the other hand, brown rice still has its germ, bran, and hull. It means it’s naturally fortified with niacin, folate, thiamin, and iron. Also, it doesn’t need to be enriched, unlike the white variety. Moreover, brown rice is packed with vitamin B6, fiber, and manganese compared to white rice.
Reduce The Amount Of Salt, Fat, And Sugar
Often, you can cut down the amount of salt, fat, and sugar without sacrificing the flavor in a healthy recipe.
For baked goods, you can utilize half the butter, oil, or shortening, and substitute the other half with prune puree, mashed banana, or unsweetened applesauce. What’s more, you can utilize a commercially prepared, fruit-based fat placer found in the majority of grocery stores.
When it comes to sugar, you can reduce the amount by one-third or one-half. Or, add this range of spices to improve the flavors of your meals.
For the majority of main dishes, soups, salads, and other foods, you can lessen the salt or completely eliminate it. For instance, you can reduce salt by one-half in baked goodies that don’t need yeast. But, for foods that need yeast, consider experimenting.
Opt For Baked Potatoes Instead Of French Fries
Potatoes are one of the most common side dishes today. With that in mind, the technique in which they’re prepared will greatly determine their health effects.
A hundred grams of baked potatoes has 94 calories, whereas the same amount of french fries has around 319 calories. Additionally, deep-fried fries contain harmful compounds, like trans fats and aldehydes.
Replacing french fries with boiled or baked potatoes is a good upgrade, especially if you want to cut down calories, as well as avoid harmful compounds.
Cook Using Healthy Oils
Highly processed vegetable and seed oils have become a staple of many households over the past couple of years. These include canola, soybean, cottonseed, and sunflower oils. Such oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids, but lack omega-3s.
A high omega-3 to omega-6 ratio may result in inflammation and has been associated with chronic illnesses, like autoimmune diseases, cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
So, if you want to upgrade your meal easily and healthily, use healthier alternatives, like coconut oil, avocado oil, and extra virgin coconut oil.
Change Preparation And Cooking Techniques
A healthy cooking technique may capture the nutrients and flavor of your meal, without adding too much salt, fat, or oil.
To upgrade your meal, here’s a list of preparation techniques you can use:
- Consider steaming, sauteing, poaching, broiling, braising, or grilling your foods.
- If the direction says you need to base the veggies or meats in drippings or oil, it’s best to use a small amount of vegetable oil, fruit juice, and fat-free vegetable oil.
- Use nonstick cookware as it helps in reducing the amount of calories and fats added to your meals.
Eliminate Some Ingredients
If you want to upgrade your meals, you should be willing to sacrifice some ingredients. For example, for the toppings, you can get rid of whipped cream or frosting, which are high in calories and fat.
Moreover, you should also cut condiments, like mayonnaise, pickles, olives, butter, mustard, and jelly, that can have a large amount of calories, fat, salt, and sugar.
As a healthy alternative, you can use cucumbers, non-fat spreads, and tomatoes. Also, instead of jelly or syrup, try using fresh berries that are mashed, and thin slices of peaches, fresh apples, or pears.
Try New Organic Or Locally-Sourced Ingredients
Have you tried using new ingredients in your favorite dishes? Add some organic ingredients you can find in your backyard or ingredients you can source in your local area. Locally sourced ingredients are purchased from a local farmer, fishmonger, or other fresh producers. They’re usually fresher than what you can buy in supermarkets.
Organic food consumption has increased in the last few years, thanks to the health benefits it has to offer. Organic produce didn’t undergo chemical treatments involving insecticides, fungicides, and the like, not to mention that they’re friendlier to the environment.
Compared to conventionally grown food, there are other benefits you may reap by adding organic produce to your meals. Organic ingredients have fewer cadmium, more antioxidants, and fewer chemical residues, which make them more nutritious.
Furthermore, organic vegetables and fruits have a higher level of flavor-boosting nutrients, paired with a lower concentration of sugars and water. Typically, the outcomes are more complex and intense flavors, Also, no preservatives or artificial food colors are added to organic produces.
Often, organic foods offer more beneficial nutrients, like antioxidants, compared to their normally grown counterparts. In fact, those with allergies to preservatives, foods, and chemicals will be less likely to experience the symptoms when they eat organic produce. These foods also contain a higher level of omega-3 fatty acids than non-organic options.
As they include a broad range of products, such as vegetables, fruits, dairy, meat, and grains, you can easily incorporate organic foods, even while you’re on a budget.
Pay Attention To Your Salad Ingredients
When it comes to healthy possibility, a salad is an endless playground. If you want to upgrade your meal, you’ll need to pay attention to the ingredients you’re using when making a salad. If you’re using iceberg lettuce, try kale or spinach. You should also consider adding more sautéed or raw veggies. Remember, your salad doesn’t just need to be vegetables and greens.
Consuming a healthy diet is one of the best things that you can do to protect your overall wellbeing. So, if you think that you’ve been eating unhealthy foods lately and you finally want to make that big switch to a much healthier lifestyle, then you should consider upgrading meals by following the above-mentioned ways.