Planning Healthy Meals: Simple Tips for Preparing Heart-Healthy Meals

On Thursday, July 9th, 2015

When planning heart-healthy meals, it’s important to moderate the quantity of rich sources of cholesterol. However, before eliminating these from your diet, weigh the risks versus their potential benefits.

Do some fat busting. Trim off all visible fat and stay away from thickly marbled cuts of meat. Meat containing dishes can often have a layer of oily film coating the surface.

A simple way of removing this involves cooling the dish in the refrigerator until the layer of oil congeals to opaque fat that can be scraped off with a spoon before you reheat the dish. When sauteing ground meat, you can also drain off the oil that is released as the meat is cooked.

Cook fat-free. As much as possible, do not introduce additional fat content to the dishes you prepare. The more healthy ways to cook meat involve roasting, grilling or broiling, steaming, braising, and cooking in liquids. The first three methods have the added advantage of allowing excess fats to drip away during the cooking process.

Cook with minimal, healthy fat. Sometimes, the dish won’t work without adding a little oil to the mix. In this case, use the minimum amount necessary. Use non-stick pans to reduce the amount you need. It’s healthier to use vegetable oils such as canola or olive oil. Non-fat cooking sprays are another alternative.

Cook vegetables for the minimum amount of time. To preserve as much of the color and nutrients, cook vegetables for the least amount of time, and with the least amount of water. Blanching the vegetables is an effective way of maintaining their bright color while ensuring they stay crisp yet cooked. In lieu of salt, season them with lemon-pepper, paprika or other spices to give them a burst of flavor.

Avoid egg-based or cream-based salad dressing. Although creamy dressings taste spectacular, they can also add a lot of unnecessary calories and cholesterol to the diet. Equally delicious alternatives are spicy vinaigrettes or a simple mixture of extra virgin olive oil mixed with freshly squeezed lemon or even orange juice, with a dash of pepper.

Choose clear soups over cream-based soup. Clear soups are better choices and often healthier than cream-based soups, especially if you’re trying to watch your weight. If you have an undeniable hankering however, you can use low fat or skim milk, and thicken the mixture with couple of tablespoons of flour or cornstarch. Other appetizing and nutritious soup thickeners include vegetable purees, which gives it a boost of antioxidants as well.

Making just a few changes to the way you cook your meals can make all the difference to your heart.

About - Narendra is the editor of www.thelifestyleis.com, a freelance writer, photographer, style blogger and PR strategist. He loves fashion and style and unashamedly expresses his interests.

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