Healthy Food Hacks for a Healthy Start

13 June 2021

Vitality Smoothie Bowl by saranglayap
I miss this :(

What is the secret to living a healthy life that's as free from illness as possible? Part of the secret revolves around being physically active. By working out, you are doing all sorts of things to your body that can help you strengthen your immune system. It's a well-known fact that physical exercise decreases the chances of you developing certain illnesses and diseases. It's a truth that bitterly made itself known to me especially this pandemic.

Moreover, there's a second part to the secret, and it revolves around your relationship with food. Having a healthy diet can keep you healthier, but you also need to think about the different choices you make relating to food. This can include the ways you cook or store food, the foods you decide to eat, and so on. 

I recently learned some food hacks that'll help us be a lot healthier and I'm sharing it here to guide us in making smarter decisions.

Bake, don't fry 

You will notice that plenty of foods have different cooking instructions for you to follow. Often, the big two are that you can fry something or bake it in the oven. Frying is usually down as the 'preferred' method, and it tends to be quicker as well. So, we blindly follow this, without realizing we've made a bad food choice.

Frying involves lots of oil and extreme heat, which can do two bad things to your food. The oil makes it highly calorific and fatty, which could increase your chances of heart disease if you keep eating fried foods. The extreme heat from frying may also burn your food easily and destroy many nutrients. Instead, baking in an oven is a much healthier alternative.

Use a separate drawer for raw meat

In your fridge, you can make one smart decision that will help to improve your health and reduce the risks of getting sick. The problem with raw meat is that it can contain lots of bacteria that might contaminate other food in your fridge and cause food poisoning. I learned this the hard way when I got food poisoning last year after using ice cubes from an ice tray that doesn't have cover. It's not good for your body to be put through this, so a lot of your food choices should also revolve around preventing cross-contamination. An easy way to do this is by having a draw in your fridge for raw meat. Nothing else goes in there, and your meat won't be stored anywhere else either. If you don't already have drawers, you can look up the model number for your fridge online and see if there are any replacement or additional parts to buy. Slide them into place, and you can separate the raw meat from everything else in your fridge. 

Get an oil spray

You will need to use oil when cooking certain things, but it's crazy how calorific the stuff can be. A lot of vegetable oils are good for you in moderation. The key phrase there is 'in moderation' which a lot of us seem to forget about. Certainly, it's very easy to overload your food with oil without even realizing it - especially when you're cooking with it.

Instead, invest in an oil spray for more control over how much oil you use. Sprays will squirt a set dose of oil at a time, meaning you can use far less but still get the benefits of the oil. As it's in spray form, it means a little goes a lot longer. It's a simple hack that makes your meals healthier by cutting down on oil.

Seal food in airtight packaging

Once food has been opened, it is going to be at the mercy of the air. There are all sorts of things in the air that react with food and can change it. More specifically, your food can start growing bacteria and going moldy. Mold isn't always bad - just ask the blue cheese fan club - but it doesn't tend to be healthy when it's grown of its own accord. The texture of your food can change as well, and it's just not healthy or good for you to eat something that's gone off or has turned bad.

Consequently, always put food in airtight packaging once it's been opened. This can mean bags or containers - anything that seals it off from the air. Now, your food will last for longer without turning bad, preventing you from eating something moldy.

There are so many different food hacks out there that can help us live a healthier life. The four above are all so simple to implement and won't mean you have to make drastic changes to our lives. We can start with these, and work our way up towards making better and healthier choices.

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