‘Food and Drink’ Category

Cooking Light: 3 Easy Ways to Start

Wouldn’t you agree that cooking light is healthier for us?  Now, would you care to define what light cooking is?  I didn’t think so.  It’s hard, because to some people, it’s using fewer fats and oils.  To others, it’s about cutting calories.  And I guess they kind of do go hand-in-hand.

But don’t you also think that cooking light is also about more natural foods?  More fresh veggies, fewer canned foods?  At least, that’s kind of how I see it.

Today I have Gregory Spence as the guest author.  Greg will tell us something we’d probably all like to know; easy ways to start cooking healthier meals, without tummy rumbles in protest!

Three Easy Ways to Start Cooking Light

Healthier cooking is all about how cooking light can improve your health without producing boring or unattractive food. Today, more emphasis is being put on reducing our calorie intake and eating foods that are better for us. In order to achieve this we need to look at ways to do this that aren’t difficult.

Suggestion 1:  Oils and Fats

To start cooking lighter, why not substitute your regular high calorie or fatty ingredients with their lighter alternatives? There are many alternatives, and you’ll want to try reading labels (it can be an eye-opener). Choose those ingredients that have no trans fats and are lower in calories.

Dressings are particularly high in all the wrong things!  How about try a low fat mayonnaise or fat free ranch dressing in your sandwiches. Avoid using foods coated in oil;p anyone remember how all tuna used to be packed in oil?  it’s not just tuna that’s come a long way — many types of tinned fish are now packed in water rather than oils, and this significantly reduces your calorie intake.

The oil you use for cooking is also an important part of your lighter cooking style. Extra virgin olive oil is ideal but can be expensive.  A cheaper alternative is canola, which has lots of health benefits when compared to vegetable oils.  Still, if you can afford the extra-virgin olive oil for your cooking light, it’s worth it.

Tip 2:  What’s Your Fiber Like?

If you eat a lot of refined white bread then you will not be getting the fiber you need and your fat intake will be high. When choosing bread go for the oat-based alternative or the 100% whole grain variety.

Just because bread is brown does not mean it is healthier for you. Carmel colorings can do that without a drop of whole wheat.  By taking a true whole grain alternative your body will get an increased intake of fiber and lower amounts of fat. 

Idea 3:  Time to Bake

If you are into baking, try using Splenda instead of regular table sugar.  Splenda is a no calorie sweetener; you might also try stevia, which is all-natural.  If you’ve never tried it, unsweetened apple sauce instead of vegetable oil really does taste pretty good in most recipes.

Line your baking pans with no fat cooking spray instead of butter or shortening; better yet, use baker’s parchment paper for your oil-free baking.  That’s really cooking light!

Use semi-sweet or preferably dark chocolate in place of milk chocolate or (even worse) white chocolate.  Dark chocolate has antioxidants good for your body; just don’t over-indulge.

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Thanks, Greg, for those tips on cooking light.  It’s not always easy these days to get out the fresh veggies and chopping board.  I’ll agree, there are many days where fast food is tempting because I’l so tired.  But fast food is fat food (as I’ve mentioned in several recent posts like this one) so it’s a meal of last resort.

So, guess it’s time to clean out the cabinets again, of some of non-cooking-light foods.  So what will you do?  Are your going to make a more cencerted effort towards cooking light?

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