What we feed our family has a direct influence on their heart health. It’s never too early or too late to get them paying attention too that fact. Even though cooking at home is much healthier, we still need to be aware of what is served at the table. Your family’s health is in your hands and this is a huge responsibility but with knowledge, you can do it easily and without interrupting everyone’s daily eating habits.
Protect the heart and blood vessels by preparing less saturated fat meals. Remember, not all fats are bad. You just have to know how to identify the bad ones. The ingredients you will use and the way you cook the food will make a big difference in cooking healthy food for the heart.
Don’t forget the basics of healthy eating
Use Less Fat– You can cut down on the fat by changing your cooking methods. Stop the frying. Switch to boiling, broiling, steaming, roasting, baking, grilling and microwaving food. If you need to fry, use non-stick pans and a cooking spray instead of frying in oil. Fats do add a lot of flavor to your food but they aren’t the only option. Use plenty of seasonings and spices instead. Lemon juice is great for steamed vegetables and broiled fish. Pepper is great for chicken seasoning and you can grate up the lemon peel to add for even more flavor. Onion and garlic can boost the flavor of meat and vegetables and are a definite must have in any kitchen.
Lean Cuts of Meat– You cannot avoid meat so if you are looking for me to tell you to go vegetarian you will be disappointed. I haven’t met a single vegetarian that hasn’t hurt their body with their lack of protein. K, off soap box lol But you can keep the cholesterol down by choosing leaner cuts. With beef, choose cuts like round, flank, sirloin, tenderloin, rib, chuck, rump roast, T-bone, porterhouse and cubed. In poultry, white breast meat is lowest in fat. In pork, the leaner types are pork loin, center loin chops, Canadian bacon and ham. You can cut a lot of fat out by simply looking at the package of meat before buying. I know every store seems to have different names for the same cut of meat.
Also, once you are home trim the meat before cooking. You can take off even more fat quite easily. Cook the chicken breast without the skin and you take off a good portion of fat there as well.
Low Dairy Fat– Dairy should be part of your meals because of the calcium. However, dairy can be pretty fatty if you do not know how to choose. Instead of drinking whole milk, opt for fat-free or at least 2%. For yogurts, buy the low fat or fat-free ones. For cheese, Parmesan and cottage cheese have less fat. You can use a neufatel cheese in place of cream cheese. This works great for dips and sauces as well. It’s easy to switch out for lower fat options in your dairy section now.
Find Substitutes– Just because you are taking the fat out doesn’t mean you can’t make your food delicious. Look to using substitutes. For instance, instead of using regular salad dressings, you can go for low-fat mayonnaise and low-fat salad dressing. Instead of sour cream, go for plain non-fat yogurt to make a creamy sauce. You can also cut the fat in lasagna by using low fat cream cheese instead of ricotta.
By making little changes in what you cook for your family, you can help protect them from heart diseases. In addition, they learn to eat healthy at home. It will be easier to continue a healthy lifestyle for their lifetime.
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