Has this happened to you? You learn about some evil food that you should never, ever eat. And then a few months later you find out it’s actually good for you?
These mixed pieces of advice are frustrating. If you’re as confused as we sometimes are when it comes to nutrition, then you may need a few handy kitchen tips to get healthy meal ready! Cassie Strid, who’s somehow mastered the art of healthy cooking, helped us by writing down her methods:
Well, I know to skip the butter and reach for the healthy oil. But what kind of oil? And how much? How can I flavor my food without adding a bunch of sodium? What can I use to maximize flavor and health?
1. Oil vs. Water. Oil vs. Oil. Oh my Use more water and less oil to sauté veggies and meat. If you do use oil, use coconut and grape seed oils. I only use olive oil as a dressing, because it can be harmful when heated past its smoke point. Coconut oil has many nutrients that are easier on your digestive system, meaning greater weight loss and metabolism. It also helps lower bad cholesterol, improves heart health, increases your immune function, and helps to fight aging. Grape seed oil is a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and helps with acne, dry skin, sunspots, and sunburns.
2. Use flax seed oil to top your sautéed vegetables instead of butter. Flax seed oil is pumped withfiberand Omega 3s, which are great for your digestive health, brain, skin, hair, and nails. Flax seed oil has also demonstrated strong anti-inflammatory abilities, meaning decreased risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Adding flax seed oil means more nutrients than your plain old olive oil or butter would provide. And if you want to stick with olive oil, opt for extra-virgin olive oil–it is typically higher in polyphenols, an antioxidant.
3. Protein Punch: Amino Acids Braggs Amino Acids is a great, nutrient-filled soy sauce substitute.
Amino acids in this form give you a gluten free option while providing your body with protein building blocks. Your body needs protein to lose weight and provide you with energy throughout the day. Braggs is made up of soy protein–meaning it’s great for vegetarians. Amino acids can help to prevent cancer, osteoporosis, other diseases, and is said to even help with menopause.
4. Flavor Saviors: Onions and Garlic Onions and garliccontain allicin, a powerful cancercombating nutrient. Garlic also improves your immune system and acts as a natural antibiotic. Plus, these delicious guys offer up low-calorie flavor and great texture!
5. Miracle Food? Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Folk wisdom tells us that apple cider vinegar contains will help you develop healthy protein in your body, and that it can also also cleanse your digestive tract, boost your circulation, clear your skin, soothe irritated skin, and relieve muscle pain from exercising (thanks, potassium!). It’s also rumored to give you immediate energy while boosting your metabolism. Some people swear by this magic food, others are skeptical. But scientific studies back up the claims that apple cider vinegar has promising health benefits for those who have trouble regulating their blood sugar. It may also have cholesterol lowering powers, and is said to help people feel full–resulting in weight loss. You can use apple cider vinegar by mixing it into water or juice, or by adding it to food for some extra flavor. It makes a nice salad dressing for a variety of recipes, like this one from Fit Sugar
6. Agave? Absolutely Agave nectar, with its comparatively low Glycemix Index, is a natural sweetener that won’t raise your blood sugar levels as much as your regular white or brown sugars. Substitute agave for baking or to sweeten your morning coffee. This will help you avoid the more evil of the evils, like high fructose corn syrup!
7. Pass the Cayenne Next time you need some spice or extra flavor, reach for the cayenne pepper. Not only will it add some bright color to your dish, it will rev up your metabolism and offer a virtually calorie free flavor punch!
Read more from the Stonewear’s Cassie Strid here and here.