Top 5 Bad Cooking Habits (and How to Break Them)

Healthy Cooking Tips, Healthy Recipes and Nutrition, Nutrition
on August 19, 2011

You may not realize it, but you could have unhealthy cooking habits. Discover the top five bad cooking habits and how to break them.

Frying is fried. Forget this habit fast. Deep or shallow frying food is one of the surest ways to inject loads of unnecessary fat into your diet. Why bother frying anyway when fish and chicken can be sautéed so beautifully or oven baked to crispy perfection? Try making french fries at home with thinly sliced matchstick potatoes and a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake on a high heat, stirring occasionally. Delicious and healthy!

Salt, sugar or fat need not apply. Many people employ the bad habit of adding too much salt, sugar or grease to their recipes. Break this bad habit by cutting these ingredients in half and tasting everything you create before you cook and serve. Allow the individual to add any extra seasoning he or she may need once your dish is plated.

Ditch the processed for the fresh. In the battle of processed ingredients vs. fresh, fresh wins hands down. Canned food and processed food often contain more sodium, sugar and fat than is considered healthy in a day. Whenever possible, buy and cook with fresh ingredients and do as little to them as possible. Roast veggies in a bit of olive oil, or eat sliced into bites with a splash of vinegar, olive oil and pepper. Visit farmers' markets for local delights and loads of inspiration.

Breading? Bah humbug. Breading meats and veggies is completely unnecessary and a terrible cooking habit. Breading is usually full of simple carbohydrates and provides you little nutrition. If you do bread a cutlet, swap out the white crumbs and flour for whole-wheat bread crumbs or steel-cut oatmeal ground into a finer flour.

Cut down on the meat. Overuse of meat is unnecessary and one of the top five bad cooking habits you can easily get rid of. The Mayo Clinic recommends cutting out a third of the meat you normally use in a recipe. Fill up with high fiber veggies and legumes instead. Reducing your meat intake is a simple way of lowering your daily fat calories, and it's practically painless.

In general, cooking at home is healthier than eating out. You control the ingredients and the preparation method, so the outcome is bound to be better for you. Breaking the top five bad cooking habits will ensure that the food you prepare at home is at its healthiest and most delicious every day.