Cooking food at home is a much better alternative than eating out at restaurants or getting food from fast food places. You have complete control over what goes into the food you eat, so you can keep added fat down to a minimum. Restaurant food tends to be high in added fats such as butter and cream to make it more appealing, and although they may make the food taste better it adds loads of unwanted saturated fat to the equation that may make it difficult for you to lose weight if you eat out often. In addition, it’s often hard to find out how many calories are in the items that you order when you are eating out, which makes it hard to order healthy items that fit into your diet.
Frying food at home adds loads of fat to the dishes you eat; try to keep fried food to a minimum. The oil that food is fried in soaks into the food that you are eating, which drastically raises its fat content compared to non-fried alternatives. If you have to fry food, try to get the oil as hot as possible without exceeding its smoking point. The hotter the oil is, the quicker the food will cook and the less oil will be absorbed into the food. Be warned that if you exceed the smoking point of the oil, not only will your food take on a burnt taste but it may also contain carcinogenic compounds formed by the frying oil breaking down at high temperatures. A thermometer that can be submerged in frying oil is a great way to ensure that your oil is as hot as it can get without smoking.
There’s evidence that eating grilled, fried, and broiled meats raises the incidence of colon and rectal cancers. Heterocyclic amines (HCAs), a potential carcinogen, can be formed when meat is exposed to high temperatures such as when it is put on an outdoor grill. To minimize the risk to your body, try to avoid eating meat that has been cooked at high temperatures; the more well-done the meat is, the more heterocyclic amines will be found inside it. Vegetables and veggie burgers made from soy show negligible levels of HCAs, so they are safe to grill. As a bonus, vegetables and soy burgers are often much lower in fat and calories than meats, which will help you lose weight.
The best methods of cooking that promote healthy weight loss are baking, steaming, and braising. These methods cook food without any added fats, which keeps the calories of your food low. Steaming is a particularly good way to cook vegetables, as if you boil them instead many vitamins and minerals will leach into the water you are boiling it in and you will be unable to benefit from the high amount of vitamin and mineral content in vegetables. Braising vegetables is also a good idea, since you can often make a delicious sauce out of the braising liquid which allows you to recover the nutrients lost in the cooking process. Braising meat is a good way to minimize the levels of HCAs found in meat, as it is a cooking method that utilizes low heat over a long period of time which reduces the number of HCAs produced by cooking.