When cutting back on sodium, fat, and
cholesterol, how you cook is just as important as what you cook. Armed
with nothing more than a quality non-stick cooking pan, you can learn to
prepare foods with little or no oil for a healthier way of cooking.
People with heart disease and their families don't have to give up taste
or the foods they love.
Often minor changes in how favourite
foods and recipes are prepared can make a big difference. The cooking
techniques described below demonstrate how you can best capture the
flavour and nutrients from your food without adding excessive amounts of
fat or salt.
A few tips to keep
Use non-stick cookware, which
eliminates the need for oil or butter.
Use oil sparingly. Choose olive,
peanut and canola oils, which are lowest in saturated fat.
Use vegetable cooking sprays, wine
or vinegar instead of oil or butter.
Trim all visible fat from meat
before cooking and drain off all fat drippings after cooking. Remove
fat from soups, stews, sauces and gravies by chilling and skimming
Bake Since baking generally does not require that you add fat to the
food, it is a great alternative for cooking besides breads and
desserts. Use this method to cook uniform-sized pieces of
vegetables, fruit, seafood, poultry, or lean meat. Bake foods in
covered cookware with a little extra liquid.
Enhancing food with spices and herbs, is one of the best ways to add
color, taste and aroma to foods. Add fresh herbs toward the end of
cooking. Add dried herbs in the earlier stages of cooking, crushing
them first to release their concentrated flavour. When substituting
dried for fresh, use about one-third the amount. Other ideas for
adding colour and flavour without fat or salt are citrus zests,
flavorful vinegar, a sprinkle of toasted nuts or seeds and
garnishing with bell peppers.
Grill or Broil
One can grill outdoors or broil indoors. For grilling smaller items,
use a long-handled grill basket, which prevents pieces from slipping
through the rack. To broil place food on a broiler rack in the oven.
The rack is important so that any fat drips away from the food.
This is a good alternative because it's fast and doesn't add any fat
or calories. It is an excellent way to cook vegetables because the
nutrients don't get boiled out and it is faster than steaming.
To poach foods, gently simmer ingredients in water or a flavorful
liquid such as broth, vinegar or juice until they are cooked through
and tender. Poach foods that contain little fat, as all of it ends
up in the sauce. Tomato juice, wine and vinegar can be used for
stovetop poaching. You can also poach foods in foil packets in the
Roast Using higher
temperatures than baking,
roasting is good for poultry, seafood and meat. When roasting, put a
rack in the pan so the meat or poultry doesn't sit in its own fat
drippings. Instead of basting the meat with pan drippings, use
fat-free liquids like wine, tomato juice or lemon juice. When making
gravy from the drippings, use a gravy strainer or skim ladle to
remove the fat.
Using a good-quality nonstick pan, you can cook food with the
addition of little or no fat. You can use a nonstick vegetable
spray, a small amount of broth or wine, or a tiny bit of oil rubbed
onto the pan with a paper towel. When necessary, use liquid
vegetable oils that have no more than 2 g of saturated fat per
Simmering, also called braising,
cooks foods in a liquid medium in a nonstick frying pan on top of
the stove. Sometimes the liquid comes from the ingredients
themselves, such as the juices that ooze from fruit during cooking.
One of the simplest cooking techniques is steaming food in a
perforated basket suspended above simmering liquid. It is a way to
keep all the nutrients in the food as well as the flavor. If you use
a flavorful liquid or add enhancement to the water, you'll flavor
the food as it cooks.
Using a wok or frying pan, one rapidly stirs vegetables, poultry,
and seafood in vegetable stock, wine, or a small amount of oil until
cooked. Avoid high-sodium seasonings like teriyaki and soy sauce