Posts Tagged ‘healthy cooking’

How to Cut Sugar in Secret

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

lollipopsby Leigh Ann Otte

What’s your favorite food group? Mine’s sugar. It’s not a food group? OK then, sweets. Don’t argue.

For this reason, I both love and hate the article we’re featuring this week. Registered dietitian Jill Weisenberger tells us how to stop eating so much of the sweet, powdery delight. I hate it because, well, what’s there to like about eating less sugar? But I love it because it includes easy ways to cut back without your taste buds (or your family) really noticing.

For example, one of her tips is to cut 25 percent in baked goods. Another one is to use the artificial-sweetener baking blends. So I figure, cutting 25 percent and substituting half of the remaining sugar with an artificial sweetener might lead to a deliciously subtle change that no one will mind. Including maybe even me.

What do you think?

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Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a freelance health writer.

This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

3 Seasoning Tips to Boost Taste and Health

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

by Leigh Ann Otte

Herbs and spices are more than just delicious. They’re also healthy! In this week’s featured article, get lots of great tips on cooking with these little delights. Here’s a taste, so to speak:

  1. Let garlic sit for 10 minutes after chopping it. Heat kills its health-boosting properties; letting it sit before cooking helps preserve them.
  2. To get more flavor out of dried spices, crush them before cooking them.
  3. Make oils more flavorful by infusing them with herbs and spices. Then you can use less of the fat. (Directions are included in the article.)

What’s your favorite healthy seasoning?

Here’s a bonus article: a chart listing which herbs and spices go with what.

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Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a freelance health writer.

This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

Tips for Yummy, Lower-Salt Food

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

by Leigh Ann Otte

So you want to cut back on salt, but it just tastes so good? Practical registered dietitian Jill Weisenberger has some tips you can live with in this week’s featured article, “7 Tips for Reducing Your Salt Intake.”

For example, if “no added salt” foods taste blander than cardboard to you, try mixing them with the regular versions, to ease your way into this lower-sodium world. And if you’re cooking from a box that comes with a sodium-stuffed seasoning packet, use half the packet.

Get all Weisenberger’s tips in the article, here. And for ideas on healthy dishes to cook at home, check out our recipes section.

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Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a freelance writer.

This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

Easy Health: Why Microwaving Your Veggies Is Better Than Boiling

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

by Leigh Ann Otte

Rumor has it that boiling leeches nutrients from vegetables. Steaming is better. But is that true?

Registered dietitian Janel Ovrut says yes. But steaming’s not the only way to preserve those nutrients. Microwaving and stir-frying are great options too.

She explains more in this week’s feature article, including how to steam if you don’t have a steamer, and whether you need to worry about the fat in stir-frying.

What’s your favorite way to prepare vegetables? What do you think is the tastiest?

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com.

Convenience Foods Offer Little Time Savings

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

By Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D., C.D.E.

 

These days everyone is in a hurry. We’re juggling work, homework, family, friends, pets, fitness, soccer, gymnastics, field hockey, household chores and more, more, more. Getting dinner on the table can be a challenge.

No doubt that bagged salad and frozen vegetables can save you some hands on time in the kitchen. And these foods do offer a lot of nutrients. But UCLA researchers, who videotaped 32 families’ dinner routines, found that families who relied the most on convenience foods failed to get dinner on the table any faster than those who used convenience foods less or not at all. On average, meals took 52 minutes from start to supper table. Heavy users of convenience foods saved 10 to 12 minutes of hands-on prep time, however.

Packaged entrees such as hot dogs, stir-fry mixes and items similar to Hamburger Helper made frequent appearances. Use caution here: you may save a few minutes of chopping and stirring, but the trade-off is often more sodium, sugar and fat and less nutrients overall.

If you chose to use convenience foods – and most of us will – select the ones that really make throwing together a nutritious meal easier. Keep frozen and canned vegetables on hand. Buy bagged salads weekly or more often. Supplement your meal with canned mandarin oranges or other favorite fruit. Have the grocer steam some shrimp. But skip the sodium-laden boxed meals and fat-laden rice and pasta sides. Instead of saving 10 to 12 minutes of preparation time, spend those few minutes with your family stirring and cooking or simply enjoy the process of bringing a meal together.

 

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