Nutritious-cooking tactics: Enhance flavor and minimize calories

Nutritious-cooking tactics capture the flavor and vitamins of food items with out added extra fat or salt.

By Mayo Clinic Personnel


Nutritious cooking doesn’t suggest that you have to come to be a connoisseur chef or spend in high priced cookware. You can use fundamental cooking tactics to prepare food items in healthful methods.

By using healthful-cooking tactics, you can minimize saturated fat. Consider, for occasion, that many of the fat made use of for frying — these as butter and lard — are substantial in saturated fat.

Older people really should limit calories from saturated extra fat to no extra than 10 % of complete every day calories. For a two,000-calorie diet plan, that means no extra than two hundred calories from saturated extra fat — about 22 grams of saturated extra fat — a working day. By switching to roasting, you not only get rid of added extra fat but also allow any extra fat in the food items to drip away.

The healthful-cooking strategies described in this article finest capture the flavor and retain the vitamins in meals with out including too much quantities of extra fat or salt. Use them often to prepare your favourite dishes.


Besides breads and desserts, you can bake seafood, poultry, lean meat, veggies and fruits. For baking, location food items in a pan or dish, lined or uncovered. Baking commonly doesn’t have to have that you incorporate extra fat to the food items.


Braising involves browning the component to start with in a pan on top of the stove, and then slowly cooking it partially lined with a compact amount of liquid, these as water or broth. In some recipes, the cooking liquid is made use of afterward to variety a flavorful, nutrient-rich sauce.

Broiling and grilling

Broiling and grilling expose food items to immediate heat. Each strategies allow extra fat to drip away from the food items.

To grill outside, location the food items on a grill rack above a bed of charcoal embers or fuel-heated rocks. If you have an indoor grill, comply with the manufacturer’s instructions. For scaled-down items, these as chopped veggies, use foil or a extended-handled grill basket to stop parts from slipping through the rack.

To broil, location food items on a broiler rack down below a heat ingredient.


To poach meals, carefully simmer components in water or a flavorful liquid, these as broth or wine, until eventually they are cooked through and tender. The food items retains its form all through cooking. For stove-top poaching, decide on a lined pan that finest matches the size and form of the food items so that you can use a minimal sum of liquid.


Like baking, but ordinarily at bigger temperatures, roasting utilizes an oven’s dry heat to cook dinner the food items. You can roast meals on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan.

For poultry, seafood and meat, location a rack within the roasting pan so that the extra fat in the food items can drip away all through cooking. To retain humidity, cook dinner meals until eventually they get to a secure inside temperature but really don’t overcook them.


Sauteing swiftly cooks comparatively compact or skinny parts of food items. If you decide on a fantastic-excellent nonstick pan, you can cook dinner food items with out using extra fat. Depending on the recipe, use reduced-sodium broth, cooking spray or water in location of oil.


Searing swiftly browns the floor of food items at a substantial temperature, locking in flavor and including a crusty texture to meats and other proteins. Warmth a pan on substantial heat and use a compact sum of oil for a golden crust. End cooking with another cooking approach these as braising or roasting.


A person of the most straightforward cooking tactics is steaming food items in a perforated basket suspended above simmering liquid. If you use a flavorful liquid or incorporate seasonings to the water, you can flavor the food items as it cooks.


A conventional Asian approach, stir-frying swiftly cooks compact, uniform-sized parts of food items even though they are promptly stirred in a wok or huge nonstick frying pan. You will need only a compact sum of oil or cooking spray for this cooking approach.

New methods to flavor meals

Building meals with herbs, spices and other purely natural flavorings is a person of the finest methods to incorporate shade, flavor and aroma to meals with out including salt or extra fat. Nutritious flavor boosts include:

  • Clean herbs. Select herbs that look dazzling and usually are not wilted, and incorporate them toward the finish of cooking.
  • Dried herbs. Insert pinches of dried herbs in the before phases of cooking. But avoid prepackaged seasoning mixes for the reason that they often consist of a whole lot of salt.
  • Dried mustard. Used sparingly, dried mustard provides a zesty flavor even though cooking.
  • Vinegar or citrus juices. Insert them at the very last instant. Vinegar is good on veggies, and citrus functions well on fruit these as melons.
  • Marinades. Consider a reduced-extra fat marinade for meals that you broil, grill or roast. To make your individual marinade, use one component oil to two parts vinegar or citrus juice, and incorporate herbs and spices as preferred.
  • Clean incredibly hot peppers. Take out the membranes and seeds to start with, and then finely chop the peppers. A compact sum goes a extended way.
  • Dried veggies and fruits. Some veggies and fruits — these as mushrooms, tomatoes, chilies, cherries, cranberries and currants — have a extra intense flavor when dried than when fresh new. Insert them when you want a burst of flavor.