3 Ways To Make Your Favorite Recipes Healthier Without Sacrificing Taste

During the first few weeks of your diet, you might have the willpower to overlook your favorite foods and snack on chia seed. Unfortunately, research has shown that when diets are too different from your regular eating regimen, people have a tendency to give up much faster. Here are three ways to make your favorite recipes healthier without sacrificing taste, so that you can keep that weight off.

1: Grill Instead

Everyone knows that fried foods are bad for you, but it can be hard to know how to replace that chicken cutlet you are supposed to sauté in olive oil. In an effort to cut calories, you might be tempted to use a smaller portion or meat, or to skip the chicken altogether. However, by grilling meat instead of braising or frying it, you might be able to infuse a lot of flavor without loading your dish full of calories.

When you bread and fry meats or braise them in a sauce, you are essentially adding other ingredients to the meat. That breaded piece of pork will soak up a little oil, and the breading can add a lot of carbohydrates to your meal. Braising ingredients in sauce or liquid can fill them full of fats and salt, which tastes great, but can be bad for your diet. However, when you grill foods, their natural sugars caramelize, boosting their flavor.

The next time a recipe asks you to braise a meat or shallow fry an ingredient, take the time to switch on your grill instead. Consider marinating your meat in a low-sodium marinade before grilling to impart even more flavor. Your golden brown grilled ingredients will taste incredible, without making your dinner heavier than it needs to be.

2: Use a Non-Stick Pan

As you cook, you might find yourself using fats and oils out of sheer necessity. It isn't always easy to keep scrambled eggs from sticking to the pan, or that sauce from burning and destroying your dish. To give yourself a little more wiggle room, you might be tempted to toss in a few pats of butter or some olive oil. Unfortunately, it isn't always easy to tell how much fat you have added to your dish, which can destroy your daily calorie goals.

However, you might be able to cook without adding any fat at all by using a non-stick skillet. Non-stick skillets are coated with a substance called PTFE, which stands for Polytetrafluoroethylene. This substance reduces friction with other chemicals, producing an ultra-slick surface.

Not only do non-stick pans allow you to make the perfect omelet without using any fat, but they are also incredibly easy to clean. Because nothing sticks to the pan, you can rinse out your breakfast pan with a little soapy water and be on your way.

3: Skip the Fatty Garnishes

Garnishes are another way that fat sneaks into your favorite recipes. When you finish preparing that healthy salad for your family, you might be tempted to top it off with a little extra cheese, or some candied nuts to make it look appealing. Unfortunately, extra decorations can be bad for your waistline. Here are a few garnishes that you should skip or substitute, so that you don't ruin your careful cooking:

  • Whipped Cream: Instead of finishing that fat-free cake off with a dollop of whipped cream, consider skipping it altogether, or using a fat-free, sugar-free substitute.
  • Cheese: Everyone likes to finish a dish with a little browned cheddar. Unfortunately, cheeses are high in calories, which can destroy an otherwise healthy meal. Instead of garnishing your dish with extra cheese, go to websites for ideas and add a few pinches of fresh chopped herbs.
  • Guacamole: As you prepare Mexican food, it can seem like a sin to skip out on the pile of guacamole. Unfortunately, guacamole is inherently fatty and filled with salt. Consider passing on the guacamole, or making a small side of roasted tomatillo sauce instead.

When you cook while you are on a diet, remember that each dish is a sum of its parts. Carefully analyze each ingredient, and look for ways to skip the fatty items.

Making a few small changes might not seem like a big deal, but in the long run, those saved calories can really add up.