While the issue of taste or health in food is widely discussed, experts say that there is no need to choose between these two options. Saying that it is possible to cook delicious and healthy meals by paying attention to some basic rules, Öğr. See. Merve İşeri underlined that with the start of the month of Ramadan, it is important that the meals are prepared in accordance with the healthier at the tables prepared more carefully.
Saying that “Turkish cuisine hosts many delicious dishes in terms of its diversity, but certain mistakes are made in terms of health”, İşeri shared the most common mistakes in cooking in Turkish cuisine and the tips of healthy cooking.
AVOID EXCESSIVE OIL USE
Noting that foods that contain oil, especially meatballs and meat, do not need to be added again when cooked in a non-stick pan, İşeri said, “Pre-heat your pan well and add the food afterwards so that it does not stick and at the same time does not release too much water.”
Suggesting to prefer frying in the oven instead of deep frying, İşeri said, “While frying the food in deep oil, the food thrown into the oil reduces the temperature and causes the food to absorb oil. At the same time, it has been determined that unsaturated fat decreases and trans fats increase in the oil exposed to high temperatures. This causes foods to absorb an unhealthy fatty acid that has lost its properties. If you fry the food you have covered with 1-2 tablespoons of oil in the oven, much less fat absorption occurs and a healthier alternative is achieved without sacrificing taste. Oiling the ovenware is one of the biggest habits for many baked foods. The use of baking paper is a very useful method to reduce the use of oil. “The baking paper you cut and placed in your bowl is suitable for contact with food and prevents the product from sticking to the container.”
BE CAREFUL ON THE USE OF CREAM
Stating that the use of cream should be avoided, İşeri said, “It is observed that the use of cream has increased especially in recent years. Intensive use of cream can invite many diseases and also triggers weight gain. Instead of cream, alternatives such as milk, yoghurt and milk mixture, buttermilk can be used especially in salty dishes. “A small starchy potato can be preferred instead of cream in soups,” he said.
CHOOSE HIGH FIBER FOODS
Reminding that one of the biggest health problems is digestive disorders, Merve İşeri said, “In order to prevent digestive disorders, choose products with high fiber content, especially in the cereal group. Cook with whole wheat flour instead of white flour, along with products like wholemeal bulgur, pasta, and rice. Protein and fiber ratio is higher, calorie and gluten ratio is lower in products obtained from heirloom seeds. “The food you will prepare with these products will be healthier alternatives.”
STAY AWAY FROM SALT AND REFINED SUGAR
Noting that many health problems brought about the use of salt in Turkey, “growing health problem in our country that the use of salt is intense because health professionals are recommending a reduction in the use of salt. However, this does not mean that the meals are tasteless. With various spices that can be used instead of salt, very tasty meals can be prepared with less salt. For example, many spices such as powdered garlic, onion, thyme, cumin and sumac reduce the need for adding salt to the food with their flavoring.
Emphasizing that refined sugar should be reduced and sugar syrup should be avoided, İşeri continued his words as follows:
“Our desserts are among the indispensables of our kitchen. Avoid ready-made mixes while making dessert. These contain more sugar than the body needs and can spike blood sugar spikes. For this reason, turn to natural sugar sources such as fruit and milk. Refined sugar, or sucrose, is extracted from sugar beets. Thanks to fiber and other nutrients found in natural sugar sources, absorption becomes slower in the body, increases blood sugar at a slower rate and gives a feeling of satiety for a longer period of time. At the same time, the need for sugar can be reduced by adding spices that increase the sweet feeling such as cinnamon. “
VEGETABLE AND FRUIT CONSUMPTION IS IMPORTANT
Suggesting that vegetables should be consumed without boiling, İşeri said, “Boiled vegetables leave many vitamins and minerals in the boiling water. A nutritious and ready-to-pour scalding water is of no use to the person consuming the vegetable. Instead, it can be steamed or cooked in a short time using microwave oven bags. Although the result is exactly the same, many nutrient losses are prevented and water consumption is also reduced, ”he said.
Expressing that the consumption of fruits and vegetables in the season is more beneficial in terms of nutritional value and vitamin intake, İşeri said, “In recent years, the freedom to access many vegetables and fruits in every season has attracted people. However, the nutritional values of vegetables and fruits that are grown naturally in their season are much higher. Thus, they become much more nutritious and delicious. He concluded his words by saying that if you pay attention to good agricultural practices and buy safe vegetables and fruits, you can safely consume them with their skins, so that you can consume the most vitamin-rich parts.