Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Seven (7) Steps to Healthier Cooking

   I was asked to provide an easy step-by-step way to prepare foods to cook in a healthier way.  Since no specific foods are part of the request, I will include protein such as fish, pork, and beef.  I will include vegetables as it's own special category as it is as healthy as anyone can expect anyone else to eat or prepare foods.  I write this because you will never see anyone who consumes primarily vegetables as typically having a problem with their weight from eating vegetables.  Maybe a challenge for protein due to lacking knowledge, but not from gaining weight from vegetables. 1. Use a Food Chopper for Vegetables, made from Iron, Stainless Steel or Aluminum. Before you chop or cut your veggies, wash them and wash them if you can with filtered water. Purchase Organic if you can afford,  ff not try a farmers market or buy locally whenever possible and still wash all vegetables first before any cooking or food preparation begins.   2.   If you prefer, yes you can still eat vegetables prepared with Oils.  Specifically, you should always use Olive Oil and in some cases Peanut Oil.  But, always  choose Olive Oil as it does have benefits that can lessen the concerns of the Fats included.  Again, Fry in a Wok, Stainless Steel, Iron, Anodized or Aluminum Pan as to avoid the Teflon at all costs.
   I will now detail fruits.  Fruits are always wonderful for many of the same reasons that vegetables are and even many more.  Fruits again like vegetable contain those wonderful anti-oxidants that benefit our bodies in a number of ways that far out-way some of the negative perceptions coming from fructose.  Fructose is another of many types of processed sugars.  It is derived from fruits and vegetables.  Unfortunately, the processes involved in getting fruit to fructose is quite unhealthy as "agricultural business or ag-business for short became involved in the 1070's and 1980's and turned what could have and should have been a healthy sweetener into a processed food-product capable of far more negatives to the human race than currently identified. (Dozens of hazards are currently identified.)
3.   When preparing fruits to eat, wash them, peel them when you can, cut or chop them with a Food Chopper.  4.  Juicers, Power-Juicers, and Juice-Extractors are excellent appliances providing ways to create wonderful tasting and very healthy juices without the added and processed sugars sold without product listing guidelines mandatory in other food groups.  Juicers deserve their own step as they eliminate many processed products from store-bought and non-Organic Juices.
       Again, buy organic if you can financially swing-it, buy locally whenever possible as this can decrease the amounts of pesticides used for growing.   I asked Jennifer Cunningham M.D, an Endocrinologist her thought as to why companies get away without labeling added sugars to Orange and other juices and her was "Juice is a Carbohydrate and as a 'Carb' it digests fairly quickly to glucose anyway so that must be how this occurs."
5.   Meat, as in Beef & Pork; first wash it with water, filtered when possible, second cut with a knife to trim and reduce the fat.  If the Meat is Organic or even Grass-Fed,  you will not need to trim any fat as the fat content is naturally reduced.  There is no marbled-look to Grass Fed Beef or Organic meat that occurs from pigs and cows being feed processed corn and corn products.  Also, the fat contains healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids avoiding the need for supplements.  After trimming the fat, rinse the meat again to remove  bacteria from packaging.
6.   When the meat is ready than you are ready to use a Meat Slicer, Meat Chopper, or a Meat Grinder that are made from Iron, Stainless Steel or Aluminum. www.meatgrindersnow.vom  These metal products are easier to clean and are far more sanitary to prepare foods for cooking than products containing plastics and/or Teflon (which is a  form of plastic). 
7.   I save my personal favorite for the final step as a matter of pride. Yes, I will put this in writing:
"Save the Best for Last!"
Fish and Shellfish, whether it is Salt or Freshwater, alway try to purchase "Wild-Caught" as well as try to avoid Fish that are not "Self-Sustainable."  Just as I wrote with every other food group, always clean your fish with water.  Filtered water if/when possible, an do this rinsing liberally.  Avoid fish with a strong "fishy" smell that you find unpleasant at all.  If it does not small positive in the store, it will be worse at home.  Grinding Fish of all kinds leaves you with many options for cooking.  Using Olive Oil to Fry or Broil works well and Spices like Dill and Basil can enhance the flavor immensely.

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