Last fall I signed up to be apart of a "Get Fit" group. I receive emails from Dr. Jacobs, at the University, on a regular basis. It is often such good information about healthy living and weight loss, which is why I like to share it with you.
Here is the most recent email from Dr. Jacobs.
Healthy Home Cooking Tips
By: Amber Odom, R.D., L.D., Cooper Clinic Nutrition Department
It’s true more people today are cooking and eating less at home. If you are eating more than 50% of your meals out, you’re in the majority. You may feel that you are cooking less at home because of the time it takes, busy schedules after work and with the kids, not knowing how to cook healthy foods and lack of healthy recipes. However, cooking at home has many benefits, including better nutrition with balanced meals and portion control, cost savings and opportunities bringing the family closer together.
Whether it’s a new recipe or an old family favorite, here are a few simple steps to making those recipes healthier:
1. Substitute. Start with one ingredient and substitute it for a lower fat, saturated fat and cholesterol version. If there are a large number of ingredients you can substitute another ingredient the next time you make the recipe. Keep substituting until you are happy with the recipe.
For example you can substitute:
• Nonfat milk for whole milk
• 2% milk cheese for regular cheese
• Light or fat-free yogurt for regular yogurt
• Chicken or vegetable broth for gravy
• Applesauce for oil in baked goods
• 97% lean hamburger meat or ground turkey breast for regular hamburger meat
• Nonfat cooking spray for oil or butter when sautéing
• Two egg whites for one whole egg
• Whole-grain pasta, brown rice and whole-wheat bread for regular versions
2. Decrease. Decrease the amount of a less healthy ingredient.
For example you can decrease:
• Sugar in baked goods by 1/4 to 1/3.
• Oil or shortening in baked goods by 1/4 to 1/3.
• Creamy, cheesy, or buttery sauces on casseroles or vegetables by 1/3 to 1/2.
3. Add. Find creative ways to add nutrient-rich ingredients into your recipes. This is a great way to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption, which will add vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber to your diet.
For example you can add:
• Broccoli, carrots, squash, zucchini or other vegetables to spaghetti sauce, soups, salads or sandwiches
• Fruit and walnuts to salads
• Tofu or soy products to stir-fry
• Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and other veggies to sandwiches
• Berries and ground flax seeds to oatmeal
4. Eliminate. Do away with less healthy ingredients, especially if they are included by habit or old family tradition.
For example you can do away with:
• Croutons, bacon bits or cheese on salads
• Salting foods at the table
• Sour cream on fajitas, tacos or baked potatoes
Here’s an example of how to make a recipe healthier...
Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad Calories Saturated Fat
4 cups romaine lettuce 30 0
4 oz. fried chicken breast 294 4
4 Tbsp. parmesan cheese 84 4
1 oz. homemade croutons* 142 0
4 Tbsp. Caesar dressing 383 7
TOTAL 933 15
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Calories Saturated Fat
4 cups romaine lettuce 30 0
3 oz. grilled chicken breast 100 1
4 Tbsp. low-fat parmesan cheese 40 1
1 oz. homemade croutons* 80 0
4 Tbsp. low-fat, light Caesar dressing 68 0
TOTAL 318 2
* Homemade croutons: 1 slice whole-wheat bread, cubed
Spray with non-stick spray.
Toast in oven at 350 degrees for 10 min.
So why not try making your next meal or recipe healthier by substituting, decreasing, adding and/or eliminating ingredients. You will reap the benefits of healthier and leaner meals, which will help meet your nutrition goals.
Happy and Healthy Cooking!