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Secrets of healthy cooking- Live longer, look younger

Apr 4, 2022 Wellbeing, General, Lifestyle diseases

 By Silpa Sreekumar, Candok Health Coach @ candok.in

Most of us will have our own stories about our mother, the delicacies she prepared and how that shaped our eating habits. Overweight, obese or thin, regardless of your age practicing healthy cooking at home is the smartest way to improve your health and the wellbeng of your family members.

If you would be interested in doing a pilot at your home kitchen, the points below may offer you attractive options to bring in the change. Rather than working individually, motivated couples working together on a healthier goal achieves better results and sustains healthy habits. Growing kids follow what their parents do, not what they are told to do.- experiencing a healthy, yet tastier diet at home is a lifetime opportunity for kids to cherish. 

Try a 4 weeks plan to begin with. Make sure the changes don’t affect the daily calorie and the nutrition requirement. In addition to making these dietary changes, if you also schedule yoga or physical activity a good level of performance gains can also be experienced. A balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits appears to reduce body weight,  bring down high blood pressure & high cholesterol and manage diabetes.

The making of a healthy kitchen. 

Most complain it is the genes, instead of looking at lifestyle changes; here are the steps you can take and bring a surprising change to lifestyle- A dietary intervention is simple yet powerful step to bring remarkable change.

Add colorful vegetables & fruits: It is true that in recent years the awareness to include more fresh vegetables and fruits in our diet has gained importance. Include a variety of vegetables and fruits in your daily diet.  Make half of your plate with these for each meal. Go for colors and variety- dark green, yellow, orange and red.

Cutting vegetables: Cut vegetables just before cooking and cut them into bigger pieces as much as possible to prevent loss of vitamins and other essential nutrients.

Preparing vegetables: Scrape vegetables rather than peeling them as many nutrients are found close to the skin.

Cooking vegetables: Roast, bake, steam, boil or grill vegetables instead of deep frying. If required, stir fry with a little added oil or vegetable broth, use a nonstick cookware. Microwave or steam your vegetables when possible instead of boiling to retain the nutrients. If you like to boil vegetables use a small amount of water with the lid closed while cooking; do not over boil them. 

Reduce usage of oil: Cook in liquid such as stock, lemon juice, water, fruit juice instead of oil. Low fat cooking is the right way to stay healthy. If you need to use oil, try cooking sprays or apply a small amount of oil with a pastry brush.

Seasoning vegetables: Season foods with herbs, spices, garlic, pepper and lemon or lime juice to add flavors instead of salt, butter or margarine.

Use brown rice, wash once or twice with boiling water, if it’s organic wash it with minimum water.  Cook brown rice using just a sufficient amount so that all water is absorbed and no nutrients are discarded with excess water. 

Whole grains: Base your meals on high fiber carbohydrates. Whole grains are the best options.

Meeting the calcium requirement: Calcium is an important requirement in diet, but milk is not the only or even the best source. Saute spinach if you want to make the most of the nutrients in spinach, saute and quickly enjoy while it is warm.

Reduce sugar and saturated fat: Cut down on saturated fat and sugar, choose foods with healthy fat and avoid foods with trans fat. Plant oils, nuts and fruits are healthiest sources.

Reduce salt and other sources of sodium: Eat less salt, no more than six grams of salt a day for adults. If you have any chronic conditions or hypertension a minimal use of salt is recommended. Reduce your use of soy sauce, tomato sauce and processed sauces and condiments because sauce and processed foods contain high levels of sodium. Check nutrition facts labels for sodium and opt products with less sodium content.

To take or not to take multivitamins: In some cases daily multivitamins may be a great nutrition insurance policy. Based on your requirement multivitamins may add an extra health boost

Get Omega 3 fatty acids: Eat foods containing omega-3 fatty acids. Add walnuts to cereal salads or muffins. Try walnut oil in salad dressings. Eat 2 to 4 oz portions of fatty fish each week such as salmon mackerel or sardines. Check the label while buying eggs; some eggs may have higher omega-3 depending on chickens fed with high omega 3.

Get sufficient protein: Include plant-based food sources of protein including beans, lentils seeds and nuts. Choose skinless poultry or remove the skin before eating. Fish, poultry, nuts and pulses are a variety of options.

Choose low fat milk and yogurt:  Move towards using low-fat milk and yogurt

Additional tips: 

Important to read the labels: Check the nutrient label with fiber feet diet rich in whole grains vegetables and fruits. Try and avoid processed foods as much as possible.

Quit smoking and limit alcohol: Avoid harmful use of alcohol don’t smoke and be active physical activity is beneficial for overall health and that includes bladder and bubble functions

Drink water : Drink plenty of water. If you don’t have a specific condition where a physician has advised you to limit water intake, drink 8-10 glasses of water. (Women- 2 ltr, Men – 2.6ltr). 

Live longer, look younger:

These simple steps would reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases like obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and save life. Over and above, helps you live longer and look younger. 


Click here to speak to a Candok Health Coach for your personalized consultation. 

Candok Health Coach can provide guidance,  prepare a customized diet plan, guide you through your journey to health and wellbeing. If you or your family members are suffering from any chronic conditions, based on the requirement, the coach will involve your treating physician to monitor and taper medications as required. 

Understanding and applying Nutrition Series. Edited by Candok editorial board, Candok Lifestyle. Live Life, Naturally!

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