Healthy-cooking techniques: Strengthen flavor and slash calories

Healthy-cooking techniques capture the flavor and nutrition of meals devoid of excess fats or salt.

By Mayo Clinic Staff


Healthy cooking will not imply that you have to turn out to be a gourmet chef or make investments in costly cookware. You can use simple cooking techniques to get ready meals in healthy strategies.

By making use of healthy-cooking techniques, you can slash saturated fats. Contemplate, for occasion, that a lot of of the fats applied for frying — this sort of as butter and lard — are large in saturated fats.

Adults must restrict calories from saturated fats to no additional than ten p.c of full each day calories. For a 2,000-calorie eating plan, that usually means no additional than two hundred calories from saturated fats — about 22 grams of saturated fats — a working day. By switching to roasting, you not only eradicate additional fats but also let any fats in the meals to drip absent.

The healthy-cooking procedures explained listed here ideal capture the flavor and keep the nutrition in food items devoid of adding too much amounts of fats or salt. Use them normally to get ready your preferred dishes.


Other than breads and desserts, you can bake seafood, poultry, lean meat, vegetables and fruits. For baking, put meals in a pan or dish, lined or uncovered. Baking usually will not have to have that you add fats to the meals.


Braising consists of browning the ingredient initially in a pan on prime of the stove, and then little by little cooking it partly lined with a tiny amount of liquid, this sort of as water or broth. In some recipes, the cooking liquid is applied afterward to form a flavorful, nutrient-prosperous sauce.

Broiling and grilling

Broiling and grilling expose meals to direct warmth. Both equally procedures let fats to drip absent from the meals.

To grill outside, put the meals on a grill rack higher than a mattress of charcoal embers or fuel-heated rocks. If you have an indoor grill, comply with the manufacturer’s directions. For smaller sized goods, this sort of as chopped vegetables, use foil or a prolonged-taken care of grill basket to stop pieces from slipping by means of the rack.

To broil, put meals on a broiler rack below a warmth component.


To poach food items, carefully simmer ingredients in water or a flavorful liquid, this sort of as broth or wine, until they are cooked by means of and tender. The meals retains its form all through cooking. For stove-prime poaching, choose a lined pan that ideal suits the dimensions and form of the meals so that you can use a minimum volume of liquid.


Like baking, but generally at bigger temperatures, roasting takes advantage of an oven’s dry warmth to cook dinner the meals. You can roast food items on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan.

For poultry, seafood and meat, put a rack inside of the roasting pan so that the fats in the meals can drip absent all through cooking. To sustain humidity, cook dinner food items until they reach a safe internal temperature but do not overcook them.


Sauteing swiftly cooks fairly tiny or slender pieces of meals. If you choose a superior-excellent nonstick pan, you can cook dinner meals devoid of making use of fats. Relying on the recipe, use low-sodium broth, cooking spray or water in put of oil.


Searing swiftly browns the surface of meals at a large temperature, locking in flavor and adding a crusty texture to meats and other proteins. Warmth a pan on large warmth and use a tiny volume of oil for a golden crust. End cooking with another cooking system this sort of as braising or roasting.


Just one of the easiest cooking techniques is steaming meals in a perforated basket suspended higher than simmering liquid. If you use a flavorful liquid or add seasonings to the water, you will flavor the meals as it cooks.


A conventional Asian system, stir-frying swiftly cooks tiny, uniform-sized pieces of meals whilst they are fast stirred in a wok or massive nonstick frying pan. You need to have only a tiny volume of oil or cooking spray for this cooking system.

New strategies to flavor food items

Creating foods with herbs, spices and other purely natural flavorings is one particular of the ideal strategies to add color, flavor and aroma to food items devoid of adding salt or fats. Healthy flavor boosts include things like:

  • Fresh herbs. Pick out herbs that look shiny and usually are not wilted, and add them toward the conclude of cooking.
  • Dried herbs. Add pinches of dried herbs in the earlier levels of cooking. But stay clear of prepackaged seasoning mixes because they normally have a whole lot of salt.
  • Dried mustard. Employed sparingly, dried mustard adds a zesty flavor whilst cooking.
  • Vinegar or citrus juices. Add them at the last instant. Vinegar is great on vegetables, and citrus performs nicely on fruit this sort of as melons.
  • Marinades. Check out a low-fats marinade for food items that you broil, grill or roast. To make your own marinade, use one element oil to 2 components vinegar or citrus juice, and add herbs and spices as sought after.
  • Fresh very hot peppers. Remove the membranes and seeds initially, and then finely chop the peppers. A tiny volume goes a prolonged way.
  • Dried vegetables and fruits. Some vegetables and fruits — this sort of as mushrooms, tomatoes, chilies, cherries, cranberries and currants — have a additional intense flavor when dried than when clean. Add them when you want a burst of flavor.