You have to admit that healthy foods seldom taste as good as unhealthy foods. Fortunately, the art of cooking has plenty of ways around this. Doctors suggest eating lots of leafy greens, lean meat, and low-salt foods to be healthy, but if those foods warrant a “blegh!” from you, this is the article you need.
1. Wilt spinach into food to “hide” it.
Spinach is packed with nutrients, but not everyone is a fan of this bitter healthy grin. Interestingly, spinach reduces drastically in size when cooked and suddenly, eating a lot of spinach doesn’t sound so intimidating after all. You can add spinach to a pasta or rice dish and it will wilt to almost nothing in a minute or two. This tricks your mind into thinking you’re not eating that much spinach, and it sure doesn’t feel like it, even though you’re consuming a serving or two of the stuff.
If you’re worried about losing nutrients to cooking vegetables, relax! According to dietitians, some vegetables are better eaten cooked, spinach being one of them. Nutrients are more easily absorbed by our bodies in cooked spinach.
2. Make homemade tomato sauce and substitute potato for the sugar (yes that’s right).
Making tomato sauce at home is a bit of a project, but you can make an enormous batch in an afternoon and eat it throughout the weak. Tomato sauce from the store often has added sugar, and if you’ve made tomato sauce at home, you’ve probably added generous amounts of sugar to it to balance out the acidic taste.
The humble potato is your secret weapon for reducing acidity without adding sugar. Simply place a potato in your sauce, and it will draw out the acidity. Other tips you may come across on the net include using sautéed onions as a base, adding plenty of vegetables and herbs to your sauce, and using a little bit of baking soda.
When made healthfully, tomato sauce is a nutrient-rich, heart-healthier alternative to cream-based sauces like alfredo.
3. Season, season, season.
Too much salt can be bad for your heart, but one way around this is to use flavorful seasonings. Fresh herbs, spices, and lemon or lime juice can make wonderful additions to any dish, bringing bland food items to life. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers a full page of spice recommendations that are heart-friendly.
See? Eating healthy doesn’t mean you’re stuck with bland, boring meals.
4. Go ahead with the frozen vegetables.
Logically, you would think fresh food is better than frozen, but when it comes to vegetables, you can go ahead and help yourself to those convenient bags of mixed frozen vegetables at the grocery store. Not only are they an extremely convenient side on a lazy day meal that needs some greenery, but they’re also perfectly nutritious. Scientists have even found higher quantities of certain nutrients in frozen vegetables than their fresh counterparts.
5. Snack on popcorn.
I’m not talking about the gigantic bags you get at the cinema or the microwave stuff. Pop your own popcorn! It’s entertaining, easy, and you can control the amount of oil you use. You can use a healthier oil or cut oil out altogether, giving yourself a snack that’s roughly 30 calories per cup. Sprinkle some spices and salt on the popcorn to make it tastier.
6. The bottom line: cook food yourself.
According to a study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, cooking at home is perhaps the best ingredient for a better diet. Home cooking allows you to control what goes into your food, and you automatically use fresher, less processed ingredients. You can also add more vegetables to your meal (produce is way, way cheaper than processed foods). No more of those restaurant entrees with just two pieces of asparagus and a stick of carrot!
Of course, cooking at home requires more labor, but there are plenty of folks like you who are looking for cheap, easy, and healthy ways to eat. Check out the r/CheapAndHealthy community on Reddit for tips. Consider investing in a slow cooker or air-fryer, and take a chunk out of your Sunday to meal-prep for the week. The results are worth it.
Need to Lower Your Cholesterol?
If you’re reading this post, you may be looking for ways to lower your LDL cholesterol and boost your heart health. In addition to eating healthy, your doctor may have prescribed you medication to help you along. You can now find affordable and accessible prescription medication from online international and Canadian pharmacies. Visit Rx Connected, a Canada pharmacy referral service, for affordable drugs such as Lipitor. Committed to patient safety, Rx Connected only sources medication from pharmacies and fulfillment centers that have passed high, stringent standards in their local governing bodies.
Taking medication regularly as prescribed, investing time into cooking healthy, and staying active is your three-prong tool towards a healthier heart!