Healthy Eating

20 Easy Ways To Make What You Eat Healthier

Three Bean SaladHealthy dieting doesn’t mean that you or your family must stop eating favourite dishes.

A few small changes in the preparation and cooking of vegetables can prevent vitamins and nutrients from being leached out and washed down the sink. Wash fresh vegetables quickly under a running tap instead of soaking, and use the minimal amount of water necessary for cooking. To maintain nutrients and colour use a steamer, pressure cooker, or microwave for faster cooking time. A rapid boil is better than simmering for a long time. Vegetable water can be used as stock for soups and gravies.

Copper saucepans destroy vitamin C.

Start meals with soup. Soup is nutritious as well as filling, and you can make large quantities and store in a freezer. Once cooked, serve vegetables as soon as possible. Keeping them warm will destroy vitamin C.

Choose lean meat or trim off fat. You need low fat ingredients if you want a low fat meal. Fish and seafood are low in fat.

Most people consume more meat than the amount recommended to maintain a healthy diet. Nutritionists recommend 125grams of meat or fish a day.

Cook casseroles a day ahead and refrigerate. Any unwanted fats can be removed before reheating. The flavour will also be richer.

Use herbs to add flavour to your meal, they’re also rich in vitamins, potassium and phosphorus.

Herbs can be preserved by freezing in ice cubes. Just drop the ice cube containing the particular herb/s you want, into the soup or dish being prepared.

To keep quantities of parsley, chop first and then place in a plastic bag in the freezer.

When you juice lemons, try wrapping and freezing the left over skins. Later when a recipe requires only the lemon peel you won’t have to use a whole fresh lemon.

Peeled bananas will not change colour if you coat with lemon juice.

Store peeled potatoes by covering with cold water and adding 3 drops of vinegar. Place in a refrigerator where they keep well for 4 days.

Serve toasted bread wedges or triangles with dips and pates. It’s a lot cheaper than buying biscuits, and a lot lower in fat and salt.

Cheese is a valuable source of vitaminB2, protein, and calcium.

Cook rice, buckwheat and barley by the absorption method to prevent vitamin B from being lost.

Wholemeal or wholegrain bread, rice and pasta, add extra fibre to your diet.

You can maintain a diet and still enjoy ‘something sweet’. An occasional portion of chocolate or ice cream with topping is unlikely to have much effect on a well balanced diet. Better still, choose baked custards, crème caramels, gelato or fresh fruit.

Most recipes can easily be changed to use less fat, sugar, or salt, without any loss in flavour, allowing you to continue cooking your family favourites knowing they’re a lot healthier.

About the Author:
Margarete Abel is a Health Educationalist, formerly with the Health Education Unit, Perth, Western Australia. Sites include:


Healthy Eating

Healthy Meals, 12 Sneaky Ways to Eat More Vegetables

Stuffed PeppersEat more vegetables when you want to lose weight. You’ve heard it before and you know the benefits:

  • Hard to overeat. You can eat potato chips all day and night, but you quickly feel stuffed on carrot and celery sticks.
  • Feel fuller faster.
  • Decrease meat content by adding more vegetables.

But eating more vegetables is often easier said than done. Try these painless ways to sneak more vegetables into your diet:

  1. Precut vegetables into serving size portions and place in the refrigerator for easy access. Make your vegetables as convenient to eat as any other snack food and you will eat more of them.
  2. Serve your vegetables on a beautiful plate or bowl. Break out the china or treat yourself to a funky new serving platter.
  3. Serve vegetables in fancy shapes. Use cookie cutters or learn how to make roses, palm trees, birds, and other creations with vegetables. You have fun decorating cakes and cookies, why not vegetables? There are simple courses on the market teaching vegetable garnishing. Check the internet for instructions, too.
  4. Create a salad bar with healthy dips and those vegetable decorations you learned to make. Dips include low fat salad dressing, peanut butter, cottage cheese, and salsa.
  5. Slice vegetables thin and layer them in sandwiches.
  6. Got a shredder? Choose a variety of vegetables you don’t normally eat: asparagus, parsnips, beets, whatever strikes your fancy. Shred them together and top with your favorite dressing.
  7. When serving hamburgers, sloppy joes, pizza or any other kid pleasing fare, toss in some shredded carrots or broccoli. Just a small amount will blend right into a red sauce and boost the nutritional value of any dish. While you’ve got the shredder out, shred more vegetables and package them in ziplock bags or air tight containers for the next meal.
  8. In beef stew, cut the meat in half and double the vegetables. Try adding another vegetable along with the traditional carrots and potatoes. You’ll still have the meaty taste, but with lower fat and calorie content.
  9. Traditional nori seaweed wraps form the outer casing of sushi. You can buy nori made from vegetables or fruits and use it in place of tortillas or sandwich bread. Asian grocers or health food stores carry this product, or you can order on line.
  10. Hide vegetables in chocolate cake. Add tomato juice or pureed spinach to the batter. You won’t be able to taste the veggies after the cake is baked.
  11. Learn to cook spaghetti squash. A 4 ounce serving has less than 40 calories. Spaghetti squash can be boiled, baked, slow cooked, or microwaved. Once tender, pull a fork through squash to tear out spaghetti like shreds. Ladle on tomato sauce perked up with shredded carrots, mushrooms, and sliced broccoli. Nutritious and delicious.
  12. Try grilled kabobs. Cut bite size pieces of vegetables and grill them on skewers or alternate with chunks of meat. Add a tasty marinade.

About the Author:
Kathy Ferneau has created an excellent resource for information on diets, healthy eating, and exercise. Get a free smoothie recipe e-book just for visiting!