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Top cooking tips to stay in shape!

Last updated on: October 27, 2010 18:28 IST

Top cooking tips to stay in shape!

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A little effort can go a long way when it comes to preparing healthy meals.

Did you know that you should scrub vegetables rather than peel them, or that whole meal pasta is more filling than the regular white variety?

There are several methods of cooking to retain the nutritive value of food. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

General tips

  • Cut off all visible fat from meat.
  • Remove all skin from poultry before cooking.
  • Weigh, do not guess your portions.
  • Scrub rather than peel vegetables.
  • Avoid nibbling.

Do you have any healthy cooking tips to share? Write in to us at getahead@rediff.co.in (subject line: 'Cooking tips') and we'll publish the best ones right here.


Image: Cut off all visible fat from meat
Photographs: Kent Wang/Wikimedia Commons
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Handy appliances

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Try using some of the items below in order to save nutritional content and minimise the use of fat in cooking:

  • A steamer for fish and vegetables: This is clean and easy to use, although it is slower than boiling or baking. As the food is not immersed in water, valuable vitamins and minerals cannot leak out.
  • Wok: An ancient but highly efficient cooking implement that requires only a tiny amount of oil or water for cooking. Its shape helps to spread the heat quickly and evenly, so food can cook in minutes and thus retain its nutritional content.
  • Using a food processor for chopping up vegetables.
  • Microwave cooker: Great for baked potatoes, the hungry dieter's healthy fast food.

Image: You can retain nutritional content with a wok
Photographs: Mats Stafseng Einarsen/Wikimedia Commons
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Cooking methods

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  • Dry fry in a non-stick pan whenever possible.
  • Minced beef usually contains a lot of fat, so it may be dry-fried and the fat drained off before continuing with the recipe.
  • Grill, poach, steam, bake, pressure-cook or microwave in preference to frying or roasting whenever possible.

  • Image: Grilling is a preferable option to deep-frying
    Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
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    Cooking methods

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  • Avoid deep-frying.
  • Thicken casseroles by draining off the liquid and fast-boiling it to reduce.
  • Avoid tasting dishes too often.

  • Image: Thicken casseroles
    Photographs: Suvi Korhonen/Wikimedia Commons
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    Healthy substitutions

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  • Use skimmed milk instead of whole milk in drinks, sauces, custard, milk puddings, mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs.
  • Low-fat natural yoghurt for cream in casseroles and cake fillings.
  • Sorbet or yoghurt ice-cream instead of regular ice cream or custard.

  • Image: Use skimmed milk instead of whole milk
    Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
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    Healthy substitutions

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  • Use whole meal pasta and brown rice for white varieties, they are more filling.
  • Use whole meal flour for white or use half whole meal and half white.
  • Use low-fat spread for butter and margarines.

  • Image: Whole meal pastas are more filling
    Photographs: Ragesoss/Wikimedia Commons
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