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Six tips to cooking healthier

One of the easiest ways to cook healthier is to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into every meal.
One of the easiest ways to cook healthier is to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into every meal.Lesley Borger

As nicer weather abounds, the school year wraps up, and constant outdoor activities increase, it can be hard to prioritize healthy cooking for you and your family. While enjoying the beautiful sunny weather, here’s some things to keep in mind.

Six tips to cooking healthier:

1) Use healthy fats when cooking such as olive oil or coconut oil when sautéing, and nuts and avocados in salads and sandwiches.

2) Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into meals. Pick produce in a variety of colors to get a range of vitamins and nutrients.
Examples: Eat fruits and vegetables such as apples and celery with a serving of natural peanut butter or hummus for a snack. When dinner rolls around, roast, grill, or stir-fry assorted veggies as a delicious side dish.

3) Stick to lean meats, and incorporate more fish and poultry in your diet. For more added nutrients, vitamins and taste while being more environmentally friendly, stick with organic and grass fed meats.

4) Use more natural, unrefined sweeteners such as stevia, agave nectar, sucanat, local honey, and raw cane sugar. The less processed, the better for you.

5) Keep sodium to a minimum. The recommended daily intake is no more than 2,300 mg of salt per day. Most store bought and restaurant foods already contain a significant amount, so be aware and use sparingly when cooking and baking.

6) Enhance flavor with healthy yet delicious ingredients such as fresh herbs, spices, and citrus. Certain combinations such as chili powder with cumin or pepper with lemon can really go a long way in adding bursts of flavor.

The best part about summer is the abundance of fruits and vegetables and local farmers markets! To check out a list of some Kansas City local farmers markets, you can visit KC Food Circle’s website.

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For more tips, recipes, and fun from Kansas City Healthy Living Examiner, you can visit her blog at Lesley Lifting Life, or follow her on Twitter.

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