Last Updated on June 9, 2023 by Shari Mason
Frying is one of the most popular ways to prepare food. In fact, it’s known as the fastest way to cook, making it a staple for most households.
However, despite how much people favor it, the health effects of fried food consumption are well-known. For instance, studies revealed that people who regularly eat fried foods were almost 30% more likely to develop heart conditions.
Recently, a growing number of people have been paying attention to these warnings and choosing to eat healthier.
Case in point, three out of four shoppers prioritize knowing the nutritional value of their food. These respondents stated they would shift to more nourishing options if available.
As a result, many people are expected to lose weight as a side-effect of eating less fatty food. However, it can be tricky to stick with these healthier alternatives when your set point weight regulates your body.
Your brain governs your appetite by keeping tabs on the amount of fat you have in your body and tends to drive your hunger up if you lose fat— leading to people cycling back to eating unhealthy food.
Given this challenge, it’s necessary to have alternatives to frying that are just as delicious and accessible to ensure people stick to healthier cooking methods.
If you’re one of these people, read on to learn more about five alternative cooking methods that are healthier than frying.
Top 5 Cooking Methods Healthier Than Frying
1. Pressure Cooking
Millions of American households own a pressure cooker because it is easy to use. Busy people don’t have to worry about too many steps since it mainly involves placing ingredients inside the pot, selecting the pressure setting, and waiting for it to be done.
Besides the convenience, pressure cooking is also healthier as it uses significantly less oil, which is the cause of most health risks in frying, and it seals your food’s nutrients and natural flavors more effectively.
Add water, soy sauce, honey, garlic, and chicken breast to your pot for a quick healthy recipe, and cook for around 10 minutes for an easy Honey Garlic Chicken meal.
For those who prefer the texture of fried food, air-frying is the solution. Like pressure cookers, users only have to place ingredients inside the air-fryer compartment and set the timer to their desired cook time.
Using little to no oil and high temperatures, air-fryers effectively replicate the results of deep frying food with 70% less oil, which makes it perfect if you’re cooking for weight loss.
Studies show that eating oily, aka high-fat, foods all the time causes unhealthy weight gain.
If you’re looking for a low-fat breakfast, consider mixing egg whites, spinach, tomatoes, and seasoning in a round baking dish and air-frying it for eight minutes for a nutritious Air-fryer Egg Frittata.
Another low-fat option for cooking is to sauté dishes in a hot pan. It’s a quick cooking method as it only entails tossing thinly sliced ingredients and seasoning in a pan on high heat. This swift cooking style means it doesn’t allow as much fat to penetrate the food as regular frying.
Since direct heat exposure is also shorter in sautéing, food can retain essential fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet for a tasty side dish, and add some sliced zucchini, onion, and herbs like thyme and parsley for a healthy Thyme Zucchini Sauté.
Though underrated, steaming is one of the healthiest ways to prepare food, especially vegetables. Cooks only have to boil water and place their vegetables in a steamer basket to cook and soften them up fully.
Studies have proven that steaming helps vegetables retain most amount of nutrients and vitamins compared to other cooking methods, with broccolis and spinach only losing around 10% of their vitamin content after steaming.
Additionally, since steaming requires no specific pot or appliance, virtually anyone can steam at home. Even those new to cooking will find this method easy since it easily cooks even tougher ingredients such as carrots, cauliflowers, and bell peppers.
If you have a dedicated steaming basket, you can even experiment with more impressive dishes like Steamed Ginger Fish.
To make this, you only need to place a slice of lightly seasoned fish and some scallions and ginger slivers in a parchment paper-lined steaming basket.
Baking might be more popular when it comes to pastries, but it can also produce a lot of healthy and savory dishes.
While it may take extra effort to prepare any sauces, glazes, or ingredients beforehand, baked dishes are stress-free once in the oven. You only have to wait until the timer is finished, and you can dig into your perfectly hot baked meal.
When done correctly, proper baking conditions also guarantee the retention of high nutritional value.
An oven like this is highly preferred over frying as it does not involve additional cooking oils.
For example, you can brush a small amount of butter and lemon juice over a salmon fillet for some flavor and stick it in the oven for about 15 minutes for a quick Baked Salmon dinner.
Opting for healthier cooking methods as alternatives to frying can significantly improve our overall well-being.
By embracing techniques such as baking, grilling, steaming, or sautéing, we can reduce the intake of unhealthy fats and calories while retaining the nutritional value of our meals.
These methods promote a balanced diet, help manage weight, and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
By making conscious choices in the kitchen, we can embark on a journey towards better health and enjoy delicious meals without compromising taste or nutrition.
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