Fighting high blood pressure and high cholesterol is a constant battle. Here are some cooking tips to help.
1. Cook veggies quickly by steaming of stir-frying them to preserve the nutrients and colors.
If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, use herbs, vinegar, tomatoes, onions and fat-free or low-fat sauces and salad dressings for flavoring foods.
2. Make the most of your cooking time and freezer space by making preparing enough for several other meals. Freeze your leftovers so when it comes time for the next meal and you’re too tired to cook, all you have to do is microwave some leftovers.
3. Cool, refreshing and healthy, what’s not to love about smoothies? Freeze bananas, berries, kiwi, and oranges, and when you’re ready throw your fruit, fat-free or low-fat yogurt into a blender and you’ll have a yummy shake with 4-5 servings of fruit in one glass.
4. Avoid prepared seasonings which often have high salt content, increasing your risk for high blood pressure, and opt for salt with herbs, spices and salt-free seasoning mixes. Lemon juice, hot chilies and citrus zest are great alternatives to add flavors to foods.
5. Go for “low-sodium” canned or frozen veggies, comparing nutrition labels and opting for the one with less sodium. Rinsing veggies under cold water reduces the level of sodium.
6. Three ripe, well-mashed bananas are a fantastic, healthy substitution for ½ cup of butter, lard, shortening or oil. Consider substituting well-mashed bananas or 1 cup of applesauce per one cup of these fats when it comes to baking muffins and quick breads.
7. For better nutritional values, use whole-wheat flour, oatmeal or whole cornmeal instead of all-purpose flour.
8. Another healthy substitute when it comes to baking is plain fat-free, low-fat or fat-free yogurt as well as low-fat sour cream.
9. If you like reduced-fat (2%) milk but want to decrease the amount of fat and calories in your recipes, try fat-free half-and-half or evaporated skim milk.