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The Benefits of Cooking: Healthy Meals are Good for You!

From Yann, published on 12/04/2018 We Love Prof > Arts and Hobbies > Cooking > The Health Benefits of Learning to Cook Healthy Recipes

The BBSR (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) spends about £10-15M per year on research directly related to human nutrition and health.

They fund and support a research institute dedicated to understanding food and health (the Quadram Institute). Together they are developing plans for a new, national research centre to meet the pressing challenge of maintaining good health through a good diet.

Cooking has become a hobby for so many people. 

And here are the strongest reasons for why we put on the apron:

  • Healthy eating

  • learning how to cook to impress our friends

  • enjoying a balanced diet

  • cooking organic food

  • vegetarian or vegan eating

  • becoming a Chef

  • improving cooking technique (mince, stuff, chop, deglaze, know the season’s menus, etc.)

Are you part of the 48% surveyed to whom cooking is, above all, a motivation to eat healthy?

Eating is pleasurable, but cooking is an abstract art that only Chefs can master?

Here Superprof shows you all the beneficial effects of cooking on your body and your health.

Cooking Can Reduce Calorie Intake

Learning how to cook enables you to eat healthy, to control what food you pair and to know how to perfectly cook meals with the correct proportions.

We often hear that reducing caloric intake means privation, especially when it comes to UK gastronomy, which is not known for being healthy.

start eating healthy to benefit your health A waist size of 90 cm? That’s ok, but after the holidays, better start being vegetarian! (Source: Pixabay.com)

This is a distorted truth: all you have to do is change the way you cook and start eating healthy.

Here are a few tips on how to eat healthy without cutting down on any food you like for less calories:

  • limit the use of fat (flour, butter, cream, oil, animal fat, dairy in general)

  • cook with spices: curry, cumin, paprika, ras el hanout, curcuma, coriander, thyme, parsley. They will all spice up your dish and add some flavours without adding any fat or salt (sodium increases water retention, cardio vascular diseases, and cellulite)

  • steam your veggies

  • use proper utensils: measuring cup, scale, brush…

  • replace caloric food with healthy ones: sugar with honey, flour with maizena, cream with cottage cheese

  • use enriched food: wholemeal rice, wholegrain, leguminous plants (chickpeas, split peas, lentils, dry beans…).

  • prefer spaghetti squash rather than pasta: squash has four times less calories than pasta!

  • have mashed oil seeds like almonds or hazelnuts and limit calories in desserts

  • prefer fish and low fat meat: limit tuna, salmon, pork, lamp and choose turkey, chicken, veal, rabbit, beef, cod, whiting, pollock.

  • substitute animal protein for vegetable protein. For 100 grams of lentils, there is 25% of proteins and 20% of proteins in 100 grams of minced beef. Did you know that?

  • eat on a small plate: a scientific study lead in the USA showed that the size of the plate influences the appetite. The smaller the plate is, the smaller the portions will be. You’ll feel full more quickly.

Knowing how to cook healthy is a nutritional bonus to your body without cutting down on anything. Being on a strict diet can be counterproductive because at one point we take on bad habits.

Not convinced?

Here are 35 other tips to lose weight and reduce your daily caloric intake.

Through your gourmet cooking classes you’ll learn to know your food better and what your stomach like.

Cooking Can Teach you about the Food on Your Plate

Going through your cook book, you got the urge to know more about the benefits of food and how to pair them.

There are countless studies and rankings discriminating nutritious food from the bad ones.

garlic is a superfood Garlic, that “superfood” that thins your blood and reduces diseases: watch for the bad breath! (Source: pixabay.com)

Miracle Food for Healthy Recipes:

  • garlic: considered as “superfood”, it is a strong antiseptic, antioxidant, and holds back the effects of aging. Incorporating vegetables from the alliaceae family (garlic, onion, shallot, chive, leak) reduces the risk of cardio vascular diseases, some cancers and other chronic diseases.
  • onion: it is said to have protective effects against stomach cancers and the alimentary canal. It is rich in potassium, phosphorus, iodine, fluorine, iron and vitamins. This is an ally against cancer, it is good for the blood flow, anti-diabetes, and a remedy for a balanced, healthy meal.
  • leek: rich in fibers, vitamins and minerals. The leek is from the Middle-East. It has diuretic and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • avocado: cook with lemon, salmon, shrimps or make it into guacamole. It is good for its non saturated fat, lipids and acts on the sight, healing, stretch marks and hydrates the skin.
  • spinach: rich in magnesium, vitamin, iron, calcium, potassium. They can protect from osteoroposis, heart diseases, colon cancer, or arthritis.
  • cabbages: cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli help purify the liver from toxins, regulate the level of sugar in blood and fight prostate cancer. It has more Vitamins C than oranges!
  • citrus fruits: oranges, grape fruit, lemons, clementines help reduce the arterial blood pressure and cholesterol and speed up the process of healing.
  • beetroots, carrots: they improve the immune system

Other Healthy Foods to Try

  • green tea: tea drinkers are 16% less likely to have cardio vascular accidents than others.
  • fish: omegas 3 are known to limit the risk of coronary diseases.
  • dark chocolate: it contains polyphenols. Cacao paste improves the blood flow (dark chocolate 70% or more)
  • salmon: rich in vitamins D, salmon’s fat is beneficial for the skin, it replaces potential lack of sun exposure.
  • tomatoes: prevent prostate cancer thanks to lycopene, a strong antioxidant.
  • oysters: rich in zinc, they help reduce infertility in men

This list of healthy food is far from exhaustive. But learning how to cook with those food will encourage you to modify your diet habits.

Give up on mimosa eggs, brownies, cakes, mayo and prefer asparagus, soup, garlic and vegetables.

Facing that fast food industry, having cooking classes would become surely a public health tool!

Note that knowing your food and especially knowing how to pair them can allow you to impress the opposite sex!

Learn to Avoid Bad Food Habits

According to a report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2013, 1 in 4 British adults are obese, leading to the nickname the “fat man of Europe”.

munchies much? Resist! Do you have the munchies? For once you have to resist, don’t give in to “junk food”! (Source: pixabay.com)

When we don’t have time to cook for lunch or after a day at work, fast food temptation is easy: burgers, kebab, tacos, tapas, pizzas, fries, sodas, frozen meals…

Nonetheless, know that doing everything yourself is faster than ordering fast foods.

Packed with chemicals, too much fat, and too few vitamins and nutriments, fast food is often called “junk food” and is rather expensive and dangerous from a healthy point of view.

The harmful effects of fast foods on health, the budget (find out how to cook while on a budget) but also the repercussions on the ecosystem are now proven: obesity, heart diseases, Alzheimer, cancers, soil, rivers and oceans pollution..

Many analysis and studies are unanimous on that matter: it is better for your health to cook at home than buying industrial meals or eat junk food.

Here are a few arguments brought out to value homemade cooking:

  • fast food menus have too many lipids and too many added sugar

  • the more a person eats fast food, the lower their micro nutriments intake

  • fast food menus are full of saturated fat and calories

  • they are also rich in solidum (salt) which is dangerous for your health

To avoid bad habits, check out those online recipe websites:

Cook for Fun

Cooking skills are essential to daily life. But that’s not the only reason to learn.

Cooking is a pleasure, it’s fun, it’s a way of sharing with your family and friends and it’s a great social link.

tasting party with friends Having a bachelorette party tonight? Share your love of cooking and have a tasting party with your friends. (Source: pixabay.com)

Who doesn’t know that quote “men at work, women in the kitchen”? Until the 60’s-70’s, women couldn’t work and their social duty was cooking for their husband.

As free thinkers now, men and women both cook after work, and learning the basis of cooking has become a relaxing and fun activity.

Nonetheless, according to a study in 2008, cooking is rather liked by people from the high society contrary to the working class where it is seen as a chore.

The higher the degrees or pay are, the more people want to cook:

  • 31% of the most qualified or wealthiest people wish to spend more time in the kitchen against 50% for poor or less qualified people. Why? Because the wealthiest social categories (manager, high intellectual professions) can offer themselves private cooking classes and have a better food education than the working class.

  • 29% of the people asked feel like having cooking skills enables them to reduce one’s budget and 20 % see cooking as a moment of sharing and conviviality.

  • Last but not least: by throwing your body and soul into cooking, the cook frees their mind from stress, negative thoughts, tensions and is more relaxed.

Learning how to cook and doing it with vigour is said to be a skill with great benefits: be healthy, be good at it, relaxing and enjoying a gratifying and altruist expertise.

If you’re wondering how to learn easy cooking to make healthy, varied and easy meals, there are many Youtube videos online where you can learn for free.

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