It can be difficult to eat right when you’re eating out, ordering in, or eating processed foods. The portions are usually too large and the foods contain too much salt, sugar, and hydrogenated fats. Cooking at home will give you full control over the nutritional content of your meals and can also help you to save money and lose weight, if needed.
Making a quick, heart healthy meal is easier and less time-consuming than you may think. Here are a few suggestions:
- Create a library of heart-healthy recipes: Collect heart healthy cookbooks, or find cookbooks and cooking magazines at your local library, bookmark recipes online, or use healthy eating apps on your smartphone.
- Make cooking fun: If you hate the idea of spending time in the kitchen, you need to embrace the idea of making it fun. Try making it a date night with friends or family or listen to your favorite music, TV show, podcast or a book on tape.
- Host a heart healthy super club: Rather than going out, invite your friends over for a heart healthy potluck diner to swap recipes and expand your library of heart healthy recipe favorites!
- Get fitlicious with your family: Kids are more likely to find it fun to eat what they’ve helped to make. Cooking together is a great way to educate and expand the pallets of picky eaters.
- Make ready-to-eat raw snacks: You’re more likely to stay heart-healthy during your busy week if you make healthy foods easily accessible. Having fresh prepped vegetables ready in the fridge will decrease the chance you’ll grab an unhealthy snack or overindulge at mealtime.
- Use heart healthy cooking methods: Choosing healthy cooking methods is just as important as the ingredients you choose to cook. Always opt to bake, broil, roast, steam, poach, lightly stir fry, or sauté ingredients, with a small amount of coconut, avocado or olive oil, reduced sodium broth, and spices instead of salt and large amounts of saturated or hydrogenated fats.
- Cook once or twice a week to make meals for the whole week: Cook a large batch of heart healthy dishes and store proper-portioned servings in the fridge and freezer for easy grab and go meals during the week or on days when you don’t have time to cook.