Why eating healthy has become important and how healthy food is anything but tasteless
Obesity, especially childhood obesity, has become somewhat of a global crisis. Consider this – obesity danger among kids in the UAE is almost double than that of the worldwide average! Kicking out the junk and ringing in a healthy food regime has now become the order of the day. Think GMO free, anti-biotics free, gluten-free, preservatives free food with no colourings and artificial flavourings. That pretty much eliminates every kind of junk food and encourages eating healthy food. But can healthy food be tasty?
Anything healthy has acquired the bad repute of being bland and sometimes downright unpalatable, which is rather unfortunate because with the help of a few hacks, any food can be healthy as well as delicious. For instance, foods that are packed with protein can be cooked in delicious ways and yet be healthy. Think about a juicy steak – it is nutritious, it is a direct source for proteins. Choosing leaner and lighter cuts of beef such as the sirloin, tenderloin, T-bone, and filet mignon and grilling them allows for a lot of fat to be cut from the dish. Try grilled steak with a papaya or barley salad or a marinated one with peppers and onions for a healthy yet yummy dish. Salmon fillet, which is something of a nutritional marvel, can be paired up with sautéed tomatoes, pesto vegetables, or even rice or pasta to create a lip-smacking yet healthy dish. Some of the most versatile healthy yet yummy eats can be made with eggs – whether it’s a classic French omelette or scrambled eggs with toast or a hard-boiled one. For those keeping a watch over their cholesterol, try using egg whites.
Many feel that roast chicken breast has nothing new to offer – it’s the same weeknight staple tasteless boring bird dish! However, marinating the chicken breast adds lots of flavour to the dish. It can be paired up with salads, sauces, stuffed basil and herbs, chopped vegetables such as onions and peppers, or even Kalamata olives gives roast chicken a completely different and fresh spin. Another so-called tasteless healthy food is soy protein, rich in omega-3, is an excellent source of fibre, minerals and contains isoflavones which reduce the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer. Combining soy protein with zucchini and cabbage, or making soya kebabs and pancakes is a great tasty yet healthy addition to one’s diet.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which help lower cholesterol, and contains no transfats. Olive oil is also said to contain oleocanthal, which is said to reduce the recurrence of breast cancer. Using just a little olive oil in cooking or roasting vegetables will do the trick.
If you really want to eat healthy, then an alcohol free diet is a must – alcohol is nutrient-poor and causes weight gain. Try incorporating green tea in your diet. While a nut-free diet is recommended for weight loss, nuts are nutrition powerhouses. Watching portion sizes of the ‘good nuts’ such as almonds, cashews and pistachios can help you feel full and help supress mid-meals cravings. Apples, strawberries, goji berries and blueberries are excellent dietary additions, which contain disease-fighting antioxidants. Try avoiding the regular pasta and go whole grain instead. If you’re new to whole grain, try the thin noodles such as angel hair. Another nifty addition to the healthy diet is chickpeas – they can be used to make a hummus dip or even a sandwich spread, if you don’t want to consume them directly.
Going healthy, thus, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll find yourself eating tasteless food. Instead, try newer ways of preparing healthy foods which suits your taste and you’ll find yourself mean, lean and raring to go