Category 12 => The Food Sooq ~~~~ => Topic started by: Ruhi_Rose on July 31, 2007, 02:41:13 am

Title: For the eyes of all enthusiastic cooks
Post by: Ruhi_Rose on July 31, 2007, 02:41:13 am
As-Salaam Alaikum and hi everyone!

Keeping in mind the modern research & analysis in the field of dietary studies, and the long term repercussions (negative or positive) of the choice of diet on health & wellness, please do not to get carried away by your culinary skills into preparing unhealthy foods for the purpose of improving the taste and fishing greater compliments for your cooking expertise! :)

At the end of the day what matters most is the good health of our family and ourselves.  Please don't get me wrong.  I am not encouraging everyone to become a health-food fanatic! :D  But a baasic awaareness of the importance of using healthy ingredients in our diet is vital. 

Here are a few tips:

(1)  Always substitute saturated fat with either corn or canola oil.  Nowadays, diet experts have started preparing even desserts with oil instead of butter or margarine to make sure that every bit of food we take in free of trans fat.  If you're taking cooking instructions from old recipe books, it will most likely and often mention the use of butter, margarine or hydrogenated vegetable oil ('ghee').  It goes without saying that consuming such saturates on a regular basis is not different from having a death wish (LOL!).  I repeat, whether you are preparing a savory or a sweet dish, please try to substitute all such fats with corn or canola oil.  Yes, I know it won't taste as nice.  But believe me, once you get used to it, the difference will be negligible and you won't miss the taste of saturates for long.  Those living in South Asia, the Middle-East and other neighboring countries should try to use corn or canola oil imported from the West.  Though a bit more costly, it's of a more superior quality.  Keep it aside only for the preparation of desserts.  For preparing savories, you can use the local cooking oil of your choice.  You can even make cakes and pastry crusts with oil.  It tastes fine.  If you read the preparation instructions of Betty Croker's cake mixes, you'll find that almost every kind of Betty Croker cake mix mentions the use of oil, not butter or margarine any longer. 

(2)  Try to keep the quantity of processed sugar in desserts to the minimal, particularly if you are preparing desserts using fruits that already contain natural sugar. 

(3)  Try to use minimal of salt.  Instead of making efforts to enhance the taste by using excess salt or fat, use additional and selected condiments for seasoning.

(4)  Make sure your menu for every meal is balanced.  Make wise choices.  Those above 40 should slow down on red meat .. not more than 80 gms a day.  Better still if you consume red meat only twice or thrice a week.  Increase the intake of green, red, orange and purple vegetables that are rich in soluble fiber.  Start liking fruits, cereals and nuts instead of large quantities of desserts containing processed sugar.  Prefer skimmed or partly skimmed milk to whole milk, and whole wheat or whole grain bread to white bread. 

(5)  Please know, in both savory and sweet foods, using oil instead of saturates should not be an excuse for preparing very greasy dishes.  Even the use of oil should not be excessive.

(6)  Do not get deceived by the term "hydrogenated oil."  Hydrogenated 'oil' is not an oil because it's turned into saturated solid fat through the process of hydrogenation at the factory.  Thus, it must be looked upon as any other saturates like butter or margarine. 

(7)  Last but not least, these tips are not just for the elderly and middle-aged, but they're for everyone including children.  The concept that constant intake of rich food and overeating will not affect the health of children adversely is that of the yester years.  Diet experts in modern times say much the opposite.  If we want to maintain a good, problem free health by the time we are middle-aged or senior adults, we must start taking care of ourselves from a very early stage.  Only then will its positive after-affects be felt in later life.  As you would know, problems like obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, arthritis, asthma etc.  are no longer 'just adult' diseases.  Children of all ages get them too. 

Therefore .. eat healthy, be comfortable and lessen your trips to the doctor's clinic  teethsmile

Title: Re: For the eyes of all enthusiastic cooks
Post by: Zainab_M on July 31, 2007, 02:48:22 am
A very important read indeed.  Thanks for putting this up.  I had been meaning to write it since long ..

Title: Re: For the eyes of all enthusiastic cooks
Post by: Heba E. Husseyn on August 02, 2007, 06:21:07 pm
I try to stick to these rules as best as I can.  I have an old aunt who still hasn't realised the vital importance of health foods.  She has been a very good cook all her life no doubt and so cares a lot for her culinary reputation.  She just won't make these concessions required by health food rules.  Somehow, she seems to be healthier than the other elderly people of my extended family who are much more finiky about their diet .. I mean, finiky about choosing healthy stuff.