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Techniques for Cooking Light

Food Fitness to Nourish Your Body

Adjusting to a lifestyle of light eating is really a matter of using smart cooking techniques and substituting low-fat ingredients for the high-fat ones. Apply these techniques to your own favorite recipes so that you still can enjoy them, but lighter in calories and bad fats.

Cook using Techniques for Cooking Light

Cooking Smart

  • When sauteing or stir-frying, you need a lot less fat than you think. Use a nonstick skillet or non-stick wok, then a small amount of margarine or, better yet, nonstick spray coating. If you prefer to use oil, olive oil is a good choice because it appears to have a cholesterol-lowering effect.
  • Opt for grilling or broiling tender cuts of meat, rather than sauteing or pan-frying.
  • Use cooking techniques that require no added fat, such as broiling, grilling, poaching, steaming, or baking.
  • Use fat sparingly. Fat serves to prevent foods from drying out, particularly during baking or broiling/grilling. Start by brushing a small amount of oil or margarine over the food; then, during the baking or grilling process, use a fat-free salad dressing or marinade, mustard, chutney, fruit preserves, or salsa to keep the food moist.
  • Often a recipe begins with sauteing or browning vegetables or meat, then adding liquid or vegetables to braise the food. Start by using just a teaspoon or two of fat or nonstick spray coating for browning in a nonstick skillet, then add a couple of teaspoons of liquid and cover, cooking the food over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  • Drain off any excess fat from sauteing or browning before adding the remaining ingredients.
  • Trim meat of all visible fat before cooking; remove skin and fat from poultry. Use tuna packed in water, not oil.
  • Cook vegetables quickly to preserve their texture and vitamins -- opt for steaming, stir-frying, or microwaving.
  • Roast vegetables, when you have the time. It helps bring out their natural sweetness. Prepare more than you need as a side dish; you can toss the extras into a salad or pasta dish the next day.
  • Cook fruits and vegetables in their skins whenever possible to preserve fiber and nutrients.
  • Cut down on salt -- never add salt during the cooking process. Wait until you serve the dish, and salt it at the table with a low-sodium product, if needed.
  • Rinse and drain canned shrimp and vegetables before adding them to a recipe; you'll remove much of their salt.
  • Take advantage of reduced-sodium chicken broth for stir-frying, sauteing, braising, or poaching meat or fish.

Five Tips for Eating Out

A growing number of restaurants are targeting the needs of the health-conscious and offering more diet-friendly items on the menu. But "diet-conscious" does not necessarily mean "nutritious". Following are five tips on how to make healthy choices.

  1. Choose a restaurant with a variety of items on the market.
  2. Order off the menu as opposed to opting for an all-you-can-eat buffet.
  3. Choose grilled or broiled meat entrees instead of fried or sautéed meat entrees.
  4. Order a baked potato instead of French fries; use lemon juice instead of butter on your potato.
  5. Hate to leave without dessert? Have a bowl of sherbet.

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Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.