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Healthy Shopping and Healthy Cooking

The supermarket is the perfect place to begin making healthy decisions. Before you shop, remember: 1. Always prepare your list in advance, and stick to the items listed. This will keep impluse buying to a minimum, and invest a few minutes in meal planning. 2. Head for the produce section rst. Stocking up on fresh fruits and vegetables is always a good policy. 3. Try not to shop when you are hungry. Your willpower is lowest at this time. 4. Buy only the amount of food you need and can store properly. 5. Get into the habit of reading the nutrition information on food labels, and look for the fat content in particular, when its avaliable in addition to paying attention to the serving size. When available, compare saturated fat levels as well. 6. Build your shopping awareness, and make smart substitutions.


When shopping, purchase:

Skimmed milk or 1% low-fat milk or milk powders. Skimmed or low-fat evapoarated milk. Skimmed or low-fat buttermilk (laben) and sour cream. Instead of buying cheese spreads and full cream cheeses (such as Cheddar, American, Swiss) buy low-fat cottage cheese or part-skimmed cheeses (such as part-skimmed mozzarella). Low-fat or skimmed yoghurt, instead of whole-fat.

When preparing and cooking:

Use skimmed or low-fat dairy products in soups, puddings, baked products, or sauces for casseroles. Use cheeses lower in salt (sodium) and fat. When cooking with cheese, you can usually reduce or omit salt in recipes. Substitute, low fat or skimmed yoghurt for salad dressing or mayonnaise in some recipes.


When shopping, purchase:

Lean cuts of meat. Cuts of beef from the rib area contain a lot of fat and calories. Choose those from the ank, chuck round or loin. Extra lean ground meat or choose your lean meat and have the butcher grind it for you. Limit sausages and salamis, which are usually high in fat and salt. Limit tinned meats, which are usually high in salt.

When preparing and cooking:

Trim all excess fat before and after cooking. Reduce the number and portion size of red meat meals you serve. A good serving size for an adult is three ounces of cooked, boneless meat, which is about the size that ts in the palm of a hand. Cook with little or no added fat. If fat is necessary, use vegetable oil, instead of butter, ghee, solid fat, palm oil, or coconut oil. Baste with broth or tomato juice, instead of fatty drippings. Place meat on a rack when roasting, broiling, or braising, so that fat can drain away from the meat. Brown the meat without added fat, and drain off the fat before adding other ingredients. If you are using fattier meat in stews, cook it the day before, refrigerate, and then skim off the fat layer. Season meat with herbs and spices, rather than with commercially prepared sauces, such as barbecue sauce, etc., as these are often high in sugar and salt (sodium). Limit frying meats, especially battered and breaded.


When shopping, purchase:

All types, fresh or frozen, especially chicken breast and chicken without skin.

When preparing and cooking:

Defrost poultry in the refrigerator, in a bowl of cold water, or in the microwave. Do not defrost at room temperature, since harmful bacteria may multiply. Never refreeze raw chicken after thawing. Remove the skin before cooking. When preparing chicken broth, it is preferred to cook the chicken rst, refrigerate the broth, and then skim off the fat layer. Avoid breading and deep-frying. If cooking a whole chicken, use a rack so the fat drips away and isnt reabsorbed into the chicken.


When shopping, purchase:

Fresh or frozen sh when fresh, it should have a bright color, a rm texture, and a sweet smell. Whole sh should look plump and have shiny, clear, protruding eyes. Canned sh in water (not oil). Limit smoked sh, which is a high in salt. Limit sh ngers and cakes, which are higher in fat and salt.

When preparing and cooking:

Store sh in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Wrap frozen sh very tightly, so that no air can penetrate. Avoid sh with ice crystals or discoloration, as these are signs of freezer burn and result in dry sh. Defrost sh in the refrigerator on a plate, pouring off excess liquid as necessary, or in the microwave, following the microwave manufacturers instructions. Avoid deep-frying. Use an alternative method, such as stir-frying, baking, grilling, steaming or using a microwave oven.


When shopping, purchase:
A variety of different colored fruits and vegetables, each color signies a different nutrient. Fresh fruit and vegetables, which have no or minimal bruising, because the chemical reactions that occurs in bruised fruit and vegetables mass lead to the loss of some nutrients and allow the entry of bacteria. Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables are equivalently healthy. Low-salt canned vegetables when needed. Canned fruits in juice (not syrup), when needed. Fruit juice and not fruit drink, which usually contains about 10% fruit juice with water, sugar and articial avors.

When preparing and cooking:

Always keep vegetables and fruit in the designated section of the refrigerator. Wash and dry vegetables carefully before adding to salad. For more ber, where possible, do not remove the peel from fruit and vegetables.

Steam in a minimum amount of water, just to the tender-crisp stage. They look and taste best and retain more nutrients. When stir-frying vegetables, use only one or two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Sprinkle lemon juice avored vinegar and herbs on steamed vegetables. They add taste without extra calories. Calories mount up quickly when vegetables are fried or when fatty sauces are added. Use leftover vegetables for soup and leftover fruit for juices.

Use pureed, cooked vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, or cauliower, to thicken soups and sauces, instead of cream, egg yolks, or butter. Stir chopped, dried fruit into your cookies, mufns, and breads before baking. Serve cut-up fruit immediately after preparing to minimize vitamin loss.

When shopping, purchase:
Choose whole-grain products, such as brown rice, whole-wheat our, and whole-grain oat, barley and lye breads, cereals and crackers. Be sure to check labels for the term whole-wheat to ensure you are getting a whole-grain product. The term wheat by itself is no guarantee that you are getting a whole-grain product. Buy cereals with a minimum of 5 grams of ber per serving. When purchasing non-fat or low-fat baked goods, be aware that it doesnt always mean fewer calories. Read the label and pay attention to the serving size, sugar and calorie content. In addition Sugar free doesnt necessary mean low calorie. Check the label for serving size, fat content and calorie content.

When preparing and cooking:

Use whole-wheat our whenever possible in your cooking and baking. Sprinkle wheat germ or bran on your favorite hot cereal. Salt and oil are not necessary when cooking pasta, rice, and hot cereals. Try cooking pasta and rice in unsalted broth or unsalted tomato juice. To prevent bread from going stall, you can freeze it in an airtight bag.

Beans and Legumes

When shopping, purchase:
All varieties dried, or fresh. Canned with low salt content.

When preparing and cooking:

Limit adding regular cheese and sour cream to bean dishes. Use small amounts of low fat or skimmed sour cream, yogurt or cheese instead.

Fats and Oils

When shopping:
Choose from the monounsaturated oils like canola, Olive and peanut oils. Choose from the polyunsaturated oils like corn, safower, sunower, soybean and grape seed. Limit saturated and trans fatty acids: animal fat, margarine, butter, coconut oil, milk and cream, palm oil, shortening, cocoa butter, chocolate and cream.

When cooking:
Use monounsaturated fats when cooking as a rst choice. Polyunsaturated fats are also acceptable. Avoid frying with olive oil. In some occasions you may need to limit the amount of fat in your diet. Speak to your dietitian if there is a concern.

Other Shopping Tips

Limit pickled relish, olives and vegetables due to their high salt content. Limit regular soft drinks. If desired, purchase diet soft drinks instead. Limit purchasing ready made meals that contain a high salt and fat content. Read the food label and make your decision wisely. Choose nuts without added salt or savory coatings, or you can have raw nuts, oven baked at home. But be aware that although nuts have healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, they are high in calories. When purchasing salad dressings, choose low fat and low calorie options.

Other Cooking Tips

Soups can be very healthy. Limit instant, or tinned high salt soups. Purchase low fat, low salt products, or prepare home made soups while avoiding heavy cream and regular cheese.

Reading Labels
Pay attention to:
Cholesterol Free Products labeled with this may still have a high fat content, so read the nutrition facts label carefully. Lite or Light Some products may have this on their packaging meaning its light in color or avor, not in fat content. Brown Bread or Wheat Bread These products may contain no, or little wheat. The brown color is usually from caramel color. Purchase products that state whole wheat.

Tips for Home Baking

Sugar and fat affect the tenderness and volume of baked products. Sugars also contribute to the avor. A balance of ingredients is important. However, less sugar and fat can often be used and still result in an excellent result! The following are some suggestions:


Replace solid fats with fruit puree, such as applesauce or mashed ripe bananas or mashed cooked pumpkin or sweet potato. This will add avor, ber and nutritious vitamins and minerals. You may also reduce the fat by replacing a third of the oil with equal parts of a liquid, such as non-fat buttermilk, non-fat yogurt or fruit juice. When using fruit puree or fruits in recipes in place of fat, you may reduce the amount of sugar to about one-third. Substitute heavy cream with evaporated skim milk. Use two egg whites or 2 tablespoons of egg substitute in place of one whole egg. If the recipe calls for more than one egg, we recommend keeping one whole egg for better taste and texture. Instead of using a creamy frosting for your cakes, try dusting with cocoa or confectioners sugar. Use vegetable spray and/or our instead of oil or butter for greasing a baking sheet. Instead of buttery pie crusts, you may use cookie crumbs held together with water and a very small amount of canola (or vegetable) oil. For recipes requesting nuts as a crunchy topping, use quick-cooking oats or a crunchy cereal like Grape-Nuts instead. Nuts are healthy, but contain a lot of calories. You may also just reduce the amount of nuts in some recipes. Replace each ounce of solid unsweetened chocolate the recipes requires with 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Use sugar substitutes in place of sugar. Pay attention to the sugar substitute label for those suitable for baking. Keep in mind: To keep your end product tender, dont over mix. You may need to reduce the cooking temperature to maintain product moisture.

Choose any of the following methods for healthy and tasty food: STEAM: Steaming is a good method of cooking without using fat. Try this method for frozen and fresh vegetables. Place a steamer in a pot with a little boiling water and cover. Cook until the vegetables are just tender to preserve color and vitamins. BRAISE: Braising is mainly for meats that need longer cooking times to become tender. This is also a good method for cooking root vegetables. BARBECUE: Roasting foods on a rack or a spit over coals is fun. Trim the visible fat from


the meat to reduce its caloric content and to prevent a are-up of burning fat which may become carcinogenic. If seasoning food with a sauce, try one with less salt, sugar, and fat. BROIL: Broiling is a quick way of cooking foods under direct heat without added fat. It is an excellent method of cooking poultry, sh, and tender cuts of meat. Use a broiling pan or a rack set in a shallow pan to allow fat to drain away. STIR-FRY: Quick and easy, stir-frying requires relatively little fat and preserves the crise texture and bright color of vegetables. Add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan lightly, add food, and stir constantly while cooking. ROAST OR BAKE: Roasting takes somewhat longer than other methods but requires little work on your part. Poultry and tender cuts of meat may be roasted. Some vegetables may also be baked. BOIL OR STEW: Foods are cooked in hot liquids in these low fat, low salt methods. The liquid left after cooking can become a tasty broth or the base of a sauce. MICROWAVE: Microwaving is a faster method of cooking food than most others. It is not necessary to add fat to meat, poultry, or sh, and little water is required for vegtables. Follow the microwave manufacturers directions for best results.

Healthy eating does not have to be a time-consuming task. It takes just a little thought and planning. Its important to plan your menus. Try to think about what foods to eat together for a meal, a day, or a week.

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