Archives

5 tasty ways to tweak recipes for healthier eating

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Want to cook healthier? These 5 tips will help you slice and dice recipes to cut fats and sugars, but pump up flavors.

Most of us have gotten the message: Upping our quota of fruits and veggies, and lowering our intake of salt, sugar, processed foods and red meat is a good idea. But if you’re struggling to master the art of cooking for wellness, you’re definitely not alone.

Nutrition pros have developed many techniques and tricks that can help you modify recipes for healthier eating — and evidence-based research tells us they taste great, too.

These five tips will help you get started.

1. Start fresh, stay positive
Nutrition experts often recommend starting with some new-to-you recipes to launch your healthier eating journey. But you’ll soon be savvy enough to transform favorite recipes into healthier versions, too.

Remember: “Healthier” doesn’t mean “less tasty.” Keep your mind open to experiencing new flavors. Enjoy the process as you experiment with fresh ingredients and create dishes that don’t rely on fat and salt for taste.

2. Reduce fats, sugars and salt, increase herbs and spices
Most of us consume too much saturated fat. But fat adds flavor, so scaling back fat alone is not the answer. Studies have found, though, if you scale back fat and pump up flavor by adding herbs and spices, you can get the great taste you crave.

For instance, instead of 80 percent lean meat, choose 95 percent lean meat. Then, use a heavier hand with the basil, oregano, garlic and other favorite flavors for a really satisfying result.

Researchers have tried the approach with dessert, too. In one study, they cut the sugar content of apple crisp by more than a third, but added an extra jolt of Saigon cinnamon to compensate. It worked: Tasters liked that version just as much as the full-sugar original.

Build up your store of herbs and spices, set the salt aside and you’ve got a solid formula for healthier, tastier eating.

3. Swap this for that
Learn some basic ingredient swaps and you’ll instantly up your healthy cooking quotient. Here are just a few examples:

Heavy cream or half-and-half = fat-free half-and-half
1 egg = 2 egg whites
Garlic salt = garlic powder
Syrup = pureed fruit
Ground beef = extra-lean beef, or ground chicken or ground turkey
White rice = wild rice, pearl barley or bulgur wheat

4. Learn new cooking techniques
Beware the fryer! Eating a lot of fried food has been associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Instead, learn to bake, grill, steam and roast.
Pre-heat your saute pan. Adding cold ingredients to a cold pan results in drier, less tasty food; starting with a hot pan lets you sear in flavor.

5. Stock the right tools
Nonstick pan. Does your recipe call for sauteing vegetables in oil? Using a good nonstick pan, you can usually saute without added fat.
Steamer basket. Many top chefs steam fish, chicken or seafood atop a layer of aromatic herbs or vegetables for moist, flavorful results without adding fat.
Kitchen shears. Invaluable for snipping away fat from meat, cutting up dried fruit for sauces and toppings, or quickly clipping fresh herbs.
Armed with your new knowledge and a few essential techniques and tools, you’ll be able to tackle any recipe, and make it your way — the healthy, delicious way.

Source: Mayo Clinic


Caregivers – You are NOT alone

At Alpine Cardiology we are committed to keeping you healthy and heart smart and our posts have been focused on doing just that. One area we haven’t touched on is the vital role family caregivers provide for our patients and the resources available. Caregivers may be spouses, partners, adult children, parents or other relatives. A Caregiver might do daily check ins on a loved one, provide 24 hour care or somewhere in between. Caregivers are critical partners in the plan of care for a patient with a chronic illness and often forget to care for themselves. 

Caregivers hold it all together, but they also need support and to take care of themselves. As a caregiver, it is normal to feel isolated, at a loss and unsure of yourself sometimes. Staying both physically and mentally healthy can be almost impossible when your focus is taking care of a loved one.

Remember, you are not alone. Others have been down this same path and are willing to share their experiences and insights. The links below can be indispensable as you care for someone who has heart disease or who has experienced a heart attack, heart surgery or stroke. Don’t be afraid to talk to yours or your loved ones doctor about any concerns you may have or challenges you are facing in your caregiver role. 

American Heart Association Support Network

American Heart Association Caregiver Support

Caregiver.org

US Department of Health & Human Services Resources for Caregivers

National Institutes of Health Caregiver Resources

Otsego County Commission on Aging is a great resource for assistance in your community and hosts a caregiver support group at Otsego Haus in Gaylord. Link below for more information.

Otsego County Commission on Aging Caregiver Support Group


© 2019 Alpine Cardiology, All Rights Reserved