The most important thing to consider when preparing healthy recipes is the quality of the ingredients you use. Always look for the freshest produce possible. Fresh fruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutritional value once they’re picked, so the fresher they are, the more vitamins and minerals they contain. One of the best places to purchase ingredients is from a local farmers market. The produce tends to be much fresher than the imported produce in supermarkets and is generally less expensive.
There is much discussion these days about whether it’s better to use organic products than ones produced using chemicals and pesticides. Some claim that all chemicals are harmful and should never be ingested. Others claim the chemicals used are harmless if the food is washed properly before use. To add to the confusion, some chemicals used in growing fruits and vegetables have never been sufficiently tested in independent studies. Those studies that have been conducted have often resulted in conflicting conclusions. If you want to be absolutely certain your produce is free of harmful additives, it’s probably best to stick with organic. However, organic products tend to be significantly more expensive than non-organic and therefore are not an option for everyone. You may want to consider purchasing organic versions of only those fruits and vegetables that are most heavily sprayed with pesticides. Nectarines, peaches, apples and strawberries tend to be the most heavily sprayed fruits, while bell peppers, celery, lettuce, spinach and potatoes are the most heavily sprayed vegetables.
With respect to choosing meat, poultry and fish, it’s important to seek out the leanest and freshest products available. Trimming fat from red meat and removing skin from poultry will significantly reduce the level of fat and cholesterol in your recipes. Try to ensure that the meat and fish you purchase has not been previously frozen since there is a risk of contamination when meat is repeatedly frozen and thawed. It is sometimes possible to purchase organic meat and poultry that has been raised without the use of hormones. Again, there’s much controversy about whether or not hormone-free meat is better for you. If money is not a factor, it’s probably best to buy hormone-free.
Another question you’ll want to consider when preparing healthy recipes is whether to use fresh or frozen ingredients. While it’s generally accepted that fresh produce is healthier than frozen, that is not always the case. In many instances, fruits and vegetables are frozen very shortly after they’re picked, locking in the freshness and vitamins. Fresh produce, on the other hand, may take days to arrive on your supermarket shelves, losing more and more nutritional value the longer it sits.
Once you’ve located some favorite healthy recipes, either in cookbooks or on the internet, you can modify or adapt them to suit your particular tastes. Substituting ingredients or adding additional seasonings can turn an ordinary dish into something special. You may even want to create your own original healthy recipes by using fresh seasonal ingredients and experimenting with various flavor combinations. Once you know how to pick the healthiest and most flavorful ingredients, creating healthy recipes is a snap.
Today, it’s easier than ever to prepare healthy food for you and your family. Recipe websites abound on the internet and it’s possible to find unique, healthy recipes for just about any food on the planet. In addition, many recipe sites include features such as nutritional information for each recipe and special categories for low-fat or low-calorie foods, making it easy for those seeking nutritionally-conscious, healthy recipes to locate them quickly.
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