When you think of a heart-healthy diet, you probably think of bland, boiled food. On the other hand, a heart-healthy diet should include a lot of deep-colored vegetables and fruits, coarse grains like millets, legumes of all kinds (soy, nuts, and seeds), low-fat dairy, and fish or poultry in small amounts.
Vegetables and fruit are the only foods that are needed to keep the heart healthy, but they are eaten much less than recommended.
This is a concern that has been brought to light in a number of reports, such as “What India Eats” by ICMR-NIN, 2020. This food group must be consumed in at least five servings per day in a diet that is good for the heart.
The cooking process influences the dish’s flavor, texture, color, digestibility, absorption, and nutritive value in addition to the various ingredients that are consumed.
“Favored cooking strategies like stewing (cooking in a covered dish utilizing a little amount of fluid that is stewing) and steaming (encompassing the food with steam created by bubbling water) score well. According to Neelanjana Singh, a dietitian and wellness consultant, stir-frying or sauteing (tossing food in a small amount of fat in a frying pan) are acceptable and healthy methods of frying.
Neelanjana tells IANSlife, “Even though each cooking method has its own set of advantages and limitations, it’s useful to remember these overarching guidelines for optimal heart health:”
. Short preparation time: Overcooking ought to constantly be kept away from, regardless of what the cooking technique. Food’s nutrients, colors, and textures are destroyed when it is overcooked. The preferred cooking techniques are those that use a shorter cooking time, such as pressure cooking and microwaving.
. Using less water: Use as little water as you need when cooking. Water-soluble nutrients will be less likely to be lost as a result of this. Try making gravy or sauce with the water that was left over. Additionally, avoid cooking vegetables with baking soda. Although they retain their color, their vitamin C content decreases.
. Avoid extremely hot temperatures: This is especially crucial when using dry heat techniques like frying, grilling, baking, broiling, and baking. Acrylamide, a substance linked to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, can be produced when food is cooked at temperatures above 180 degrees Celsius. At high temperatures, the fat that drips onto the meats, paneer, and potatoes creates these chemicals.
. Cooking oil from multiple sources: Concerning cooking oils and which one is best for our health, this is one of the most frequently asked questions about diet. Multi-source cooking oils enjoy the additional benefit of low-absorbance innovation and better intensity solidness, which is attractive for high-temperature cooking techniques like baking and searing. Fried foods are an integral part of our celebratory menus, which we can occasionally consume in moderation without increasing our disease risk.
This brings us back to the fact that diet can significantly aid in the prevention of disease. It cannot be overstated how important it is to use nutrient-dense, minimally processed ingredients.
A heart-friendly diet focuses on what we should do, but it’s also important to know what not to do. The “watch out for” list should include saturated fat, sugar, and too much salt. Foods that should be avoided include trans fats, foods that have been highly processed, and processed meats.
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