If you love Indian food but hate feeling weighed down by the grease left behind in most takeout containers, cook Indian food at home with fresh, healthy ingredients that won’t derail your diet.
While Indian cuisine in America is characterized by dense, fried food and oil-rich curries, traditional Indian cuisine incorporates a lot of fresh vegetables, legumes and some of the world’s healthiest spices. Indian cuisine is highly influenced by Hindu beliefs and culture, including the popular practice of vegetarianism in Indian society.
“Vegetables are the life and soul of Indian cuisine,” said Indian chef Suvir Saran in an article on CookingLight.com. “Indian food is best known for heady spices, bold seasonings, and hot dishes, yet ingredients work together to offer contrasts.”
As with any cuisine, you can prepare lighter dishes at home than you would receive in a restaurant because you have complete control over how much salt, butter, cream or oil you add to your dish.
When most people think of Italian food they think of heaping piles of pizza, pasta and chicken Parmigiana drenched in tomato sauce and greasy cheese. While it’s true that this is a picture of the food served at many Italian restaurants in America, authentic Italian cuisine is entirely different. Even though Italy is known for its spaghetti Bolognese and eggplant Parmigiana, there are 20 regions in Italy, each with its own unique cuisine. When you’re dining out at an Italian restaurant, you can start your meal with a fresh salad, keep your portions small and opt for red sauces over heavy cream-based options. When you’re cooking at home, it’s important to dismiss the traditional notion of Italian food to keep your meal delicious and satisfying without taking a break from your healthy diet. (more…)
If you feel like your diet is stuck in a summer rut, don’t wait until after Labor Day to detox. Similar to Memorial Day parties and the Fourth of July cookouts, Labor Day often means an indulgent outdoor gathering featuring rich grilled meats and high-fat side dishes.
This year, to keep things on the lighter side, think beyond the barbecue when you’re planning your menu. Since Labor Day typically marks the unofficial end to summer and the beginning of the school year, it’s a great time to celebrate the season with some of your favorite fresh summer fruits and vegetables.
If you’re tired of turning on the grill to entertain, spend this Labor Day with five delicious healthy recipes for your Labor Day party from food bloggers across the country who plan to get in touch with their patriotic side using plenty of seasonal produce.
Spices have always been an easy, low-calorie way to add flavor to your food without extra fat. According to the Daily Mail, a research team from Penn State University has found that a diet rich in spices, including turmeric and cinnamon, can reduce the stress that high-fat foods can place on the heart.
Scientists report that turmeric and cinnamon, two of the healthiest spices, may protect you from the physical damage caused by high-fat meals.
“Normally, when you eat a high-fat meal, you end up with high levels of triglycerides, a type of fat, in your blood,” study leader, Sheila West told the Daily Mail. “If this happens too frequently, or if triglyceride levels are raised too much, your risk of heart disease is increased.”
By adding healthy spices to a high-fat meal, researchers found that the triglyceride response reduced by about 30% when compared to a similar meal with no spices added.
While some doctors have suggested that consuming hot dogs might raise your risk of developing colorectal cancer, Harvard researchers recently reported processed red meat like bacon and hot dogs raises the risk of Type 2 diabetes. According to an article in the New York Times, replacing just one serving per day of processed red meat with nuts or low-fat dairy can lower the risk of disease.
The study analyzed 300,000 people ages 25 to 75, including three groups of male and female health professionals and looked at their eating and health habits dating to 1976.
Overall, researchers discovered that eating just 50 grams a day of processed meat — one hot dog or sausage, for example, or a little more than two strips of bacon — increased the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 51 percent.
Instead of chowing down on bacon, sausage, bologna or ham, medical professionals recommend limiting consumption of processed red meats and instead selecting a low-fat dairy product, a serving of whole grains or a serving of fish or poultry.
Do you ever wish you could invite a registered dietitian into your kitchen during mealtimes to peer over your shoulder and help you modify your favorite meals into healthier options for your family?
If you do, then Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RD and Liz Weiss, MS, RD, of the award-winning website Meal Makeover Moms, have the perfect solution with their latest cookbook, No Whine with Dinner (M3 Press, 2011).
The book contains 150 recipes that were tested by their own families and offers advice on choosing “healthy basics” from the grocery store – from fresh fruits and vegetables to convenience foods like jarred pasta sauce and salsa.
“We don’t believe in ‘kid food,'” said Bissex and Weiss in the book’s forward. “All of our recipes are made with color and flavor in mind and incorporate nutritious ingredients into their essence.
Though National Ice Cream Day is in July, sky-high August temperatures might have you craving cool, sweet treats. Whether you eat a vegan diet, a dairy free diet or are simply trying to incorporate more fresh fruit into your diet, frozen bananas are a simple, healthy and unpretentious way to get your summer dessert fix.
At the Smorgasburg Market in Brooklyn NY, Rob & Anna’s (raw bananas- get it?) provides an organic, vegan, unprocessed frozen banana dessert that boasts the same consistency and flavor of ice cream, but with no dairy or added sugar. While New Yorkers are lucky to have this option at their fingertips, the rest of us don’t have access to frozen banana “ice cream.”
For those who are craving a homemade banana-based treat, there are a few ways you can enjoy frozen bananas as a dessert, whether it’s dipped in yogurt and granola or coated in your favorite cereal.
Frozen bananas are great in smoothies and milkshakes, but if you have a blender or food processor you can make one-ingredient ice cream that tastes rich, creamy and sweet, like decadent ice cream.
When you envision a grilled steak, you typically imagine a huge, marbled cut of meat full of saturated fat and cholesterol. With the summer grilling season in full swing, it’s important to be able to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation.
Kari Underly of Range Partners is a third generation meat cutter and offered us some of her top tips on choosing and preparing the proper cuts of steak for your summer cookouts.
“It’s so important for grocery stores and chefs to know how to sell various cuts of steak,” said Underly. “The proper portion of steak is 3-4 ounces and a lot of cuts have multiple portions in one steak. The average consumer has know way of knowing any better.”
High in zinc, iron and protein, a moderately sized steak is nutritionally dense and can be very good for you if you choose the right cut and cook it well.
We’ve all been there: Kid #1 has a soccer game in one part of the town, kid #2 has a lacrosse match two cities over at the same time, and somehow, you’ve got to get everyone fed a quick, nutritious meal to fuel them right.
Sure, you could hit a fast food drive thru – if you want a meal full of fat, calories and goodness knows what else. It’s a great idea to have a few tried and true meals that are easy on the wallet and high in both taste and nutrition in your rotation.
Here are some of our favorites here at DietsInReview:
- Brandi Koskie, Director of Publishing, loves to make a Pulled Pork BBQ. Place a pork tenderloin – one of the best cuts of pork, as it’s low in fat – in a crock pot for several hours. When it’s finished cooking, shred it, mix in some BBQ sauce and serve on a whole wheat bun. Served with cut up veggies and fruit, this is a meal that can be on the table literally in minutes.
Sandwiches are great for lunch and perfect when you need a quick dinner to tide you over when you don’t have time to make a traditional meal. To make that quick dinner a little more exciting, opt for panini – sandwiches that are grilled so that the ingredients meld together to create a delicious combination of flavors.
Panini are easy to make if you have a panini press, but if you don’t have the space or resources to procure fancy kitchen equipment and appliances…
Tip #1: Use What You Have. If you don’t have the budget or counter space to afford a panini press, you can still whip up a delicious grilled sandwich. Kathy Strahs, author of the popular sandwich blog Panini Happy recommends using the appliances you already have on hand, like a pan or appliance in your kitchen, to make the perfect sandwich.