These Cooking Methods Can Help You Lead A Healthy Life
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"Health is wealth!" It's healthy food for a fit, fine, and fun life. Let's be healthy, inside and out.

Life is not measured in the number of years lived, but rather in the number of experiences and memories gathered on this journey.

A not-so-long-but-still-healthy life used to be the norm in the olden days. In the 1960s, India‘s average life expectancy was approximately 45 years; in 1990, it was 58 years; in 2010, it was 66 years; and as of 2020, it was 70 years (World Bank Census). It has been claimed that by the year 2100, India's average life expectancy will be 81.96 years!

We now live longer, but even though our grandparents' lives were shorter, they were probably just as fulfilling or even more so than most of our lives today. The measure of a well-lived life is more than just its age.

Scientific evidence attributes longevity mostly to two factors: genetics and lifestyle. To talk about the one of them that we can somewhat control, it means that a significant determinant of a long life comes from our mode of living, environment, diet, physical activity, mental health, and habits.

Diet, including its composition and proportions as well as how people eat, has been shown to play a major role in aging and disease.

The places in the world with the most centenarians are called Blue Zones. These are places that are very far away from the rest of the modern world. When digging deeper into the lives of exemplary populations, a common finding is the lack of modernized diets and instead, the following of traditional, natural diets. These communities were found to be free from diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes. Some of these blue zones include Ikaria in Greece, Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia in Italy, Loma Linda in California, and the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.

After a long, posthumous search for what seemed to be a "secret formula" to stop aging, it became clear that a simple, healthy, and well-balanced diet is the only way to be sure.

Focusing on eating a lot of legumes, whole grains, and vegetables; a moderate amount of white meat and fish; very little red or processed meat; and a balanced amount of healthy fats like nuts and olive oil will keep the body in its best shape.

Another key point that came to light was the general absence of any processed, packaged, or refined food items. To skim the surface of the vast topic of fast food, most of these food items are high in either unhealthy saturated fats or sugars or (/and) high levels of salt, additives, added flavoring, or coloring agents—all designed to make consumers crave for more.

According to a PLOS Medicine article by Fadnes et al. in 2022, scientific research has even shown that a healthy diet can add about ten years to your life expectancy.

What most of us lose track of while focusing on picking the right foods is the ‘meal prep’ that goes hand-in-hand with good eating habits. Planning ahead with both health and the palate, especially for those who "live to eat," can be easily overlooked as a crucial factor in a sustainable approach. Cooking at home is a reasonable way to figure in an economically feasible plan. Cooking healthy is just as important as eating healthy. 

"Rome was not built in a day" and "abs are made first in the kitchen" are popular slogans with far-reaching implications. Learning to combine healthy ingredients in a tasty, craving-cancelling style takes time. So today, we present to you a few ideas to assist you on that path to self-discovery about healthy cooking for healthy eating.

Today, healthy cooking can mean choosing to steam, bake, braise, roast, boil, grill, air fry, or microwave in preference to an indulgent deep-fry style. As a general rule, you should try to keep the minerals and vitamins that come naturally in whole foods. These nutrients are lost when foods are fried or put in packages.

When dealing with cooking using oil, consume healthy fats.

Using oil substitutes or oil ‘cutters' is another way to limit the amount of fat consumed. And rather than using oil, by cooking in stock, water, or lemon juice and using non-toxic non-stick cookware to demand less oil, we steer towards the healthier side.

Replacing butter with nut-based spreads like avocado and hummus leads to a better nutrition profile for the same number of calories. Canola, sunflower, or olive oil with a higher concentration of PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids).

When choosing meat for consumption,

It has been said that people who don't eat meat live longer, but there isn't enough scientific evidence to back this up. Most people agree that processed meat (like bacon, hot dogs, bologna, and sausage) and red meat cause health problems like heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes to a greater extent.

Fish and other seafood, low-fat dairy products, and small amounts of white and lean meat are all healthy alternatives to red meat.

Smart eating can be beneficial to health: salmon, trout, and seafood are high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and calcium, which lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and inflammation; eggs are an excellent source of protein and low in saturated fats.

Overall, eating a moderate amount of high-quality meat and animal products with low-calorie protein sources is good for your health.

When dealing with preserving nutrients in fresh produce,

Fruits and vegetables have been known to be rich in nutrients, especially close to the outer skin. Retaining the skin rather than peeling is a great source of nutrients. Rather than peeling the skin, a thorough scrub is another way. Overcooking and boiling have been shown to destroy the delicate vitamins; instead, choosing to grill, steam, or stir-fry are alternatives to consider.

Cruciferous vegetables can also be consumed as juiced, blended, shredded, or chopped preparations, which preserves the nutrient dense content and health benefits.

Mushrooms have been linked to a lower risk of breast cancer, but they should only be eaten after they have been cooked.

Onion, leek, chives, and garlic have been associated with anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and gastric health with antioxidant and detoxifying effects.

Fruits and berries with high antioxidant properties are beneficial for overall health: heart health, blood pressure, cholesterol, and even as anti-cancer promoters.

Legumes (beans, peas, or lentils) are a great source of complex carbs, fiber, and protein. They are known to make people feel fuller, control blood sugar levels, and protect against colon cancer.

When choosing carbs such as rice and roti

A carb-heavy serving of either rice or roti makes up the majority of India's staple diet. The United States is a big producer of whole grains, and it's time to switch to a carb source that is good for you in many ways.

In terms of roti, cutting out ghee, adding grains such as bajra, jowar, ragi, besan, or soy flour, as well as dry roasting are all healthier choices we can make. Other choices include pita bread, oatmeal, cornmeal, and quinoa roti.

Preferring brown rice and rice bran to white rice gives better fiber content and nutrition per serving. Today we have a multitude of alternatives to choose from, including quinoa, riced cauliflower or broccoli, whole wheat couscous, and other whole-grain options such as barley, farro, freekeh, and bulgur.

When dealing with reducing salt and maintaining flavor

A high salt intake can inadvertently lead to the onset of health problems such as high blood pressure. Limiting salt and substituting with a blend of herbs, spices, apple cider, and lemon can easily cover up or even enhance the overall flavors.

Life gives us no guarantees. So, living in a guilt-free, stress-free, and healthy environment is a luxury that we should all learn to embrace. Let us eat healthy and sustainably to live wealthy and happy lives!