Meal Plans

10 Secrets For Healthier Cooking

We’re showing you how healthy cooking can be totally delish.

By: Rebecca Jacobs

Whether you’re a pro in the kitchen or are just experimenting with more home-cooked meals, we all could benefit from healthy cooking tips that actually make our meals taste good! 

We’re dishing all the deets on our top ten favorite ways to make your meals healthier (and tastier) without adding to your prep time. 

10 Ways to Make Healthy Cooking Easy 

#1 Prep Veggies Ahead of Time 

One of the easiest healthy cooking hacks is getting all those fresh veggies prepped before you start cooking. Better yet, wash them right after your grocery run and have them ready to toss into your favorite recipes for a nutritional boost. 

#2 Be Smart With Cooking Oils 

Not all oils are created equal — you want to choose one that has a high smoke point, as certain oils can break down and oxidize in the pan — these can cause free radicals, which can wreak havoc on our health.  

You’ll also want to stay away from those spray oils. While they are super convenient, many of these sprays contain trans fat (yes, even if they say trans fat free). Why? Because companies are allowed to market their products as trans-free so long as they contain less than half a gram in one serving. 

Be on the safe side and just say no to spray oils as trans fats have been linked to a plethora of health issues, including increasing your risk of heart disease. 

Here are our top three picks for healthier cooking oils: 

  • Avocado oil 
  • Coconut oil 
  • Ghee 

#3 Use Fresh Herbs 

Not only do herbs pack in a flavorful punch, but they are also highly nutritious, and a little goes a long way. And, this is one of those healthy cooking tips that can also make adding healthier meals into your diet easy since it’s such a simple way to boost flavor. 

Consider adding some of the following herbs to your favorite recipes for an added boost:

  • Basil 
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary 
  • Cilantro 
  • Parsley 

#4 Double or Triple Your Recipes 

While you’re meal prepping, make your life easier by doubling or tripling your recipes. You can store your leftovers in the freezer and have plenty of healthy meals to quickly reheat during the busy week. 

This healthy cooking hack will make saying no to take-out so much easier as you know you have a healthy meal waiting for you when you get home.  

#5 Kick up the Flavor 

It’s all about flavor when it comes to making healthy eating easy, so kick up the flavor with some simple cooking tips. 

Toasting things like almonds is a great way to add a boost of flavor and caramelizing your onions and adding them to salads, veggie stir-frys, or even to your morning scrambled eggs is such an easy way to pack in some added flavor. 

#6 Get Savvy With Delicious Dairy-Free Swaps

Gone are the days where dairy-free alternatives were limited. We now have access to so many different delicious and healthy options, making this one of the healthy cooking tips that’s super simple. 

If you’re trying to lay low on the dairy, here are some easy swaps:

  • Use canned coconut milk in place of cream. 
  • Try making banana “nice cream” with frozen bananas and a sprinkle of raw cacao nibs. 
  • Sprinkle nutritional yeast over stir-fries and zucchini noodles for a cheesy flavor. 
  • Try macadamia butter in place of regular butter. 

#7 Get Smart About Sugar

Sugar is literally everywhere — it’s hard to escape it completely. But, when you cook more from home, you have the power to decide what you put in your recipes. 

So, try cutting back how much sugar you use in your recipe by cutting the usual amount in half and then eventually swap with natural sweeteners like raw honey, pure maple syrup, or even a low-carb sweetener like monk fruit. Just be sure to use even the natural sweeteners in moderation as too much is not a good thing.

#8 Use Delicious Low-Carb Swaps 

Looking to cut back on the carbs but don’t want to give up that favorite pasta dish? Turns out, you don’t have to! Try using low-carb swaps for pasta like spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash. 

If you aren’t counting carbs, you can also try chickpea or lentil pasta for some added fiber and plant-based protein. 

#9 Mix Up Your Protein 

Protein is a super important part of a balanced diet, but you want to mix things up a bit so you don’t get bored of eating the same thing. Try mixing in plenty of plant-based protein-rich options along with your animal protein intake. 

Some great options include:

  • Lentils 
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas 
  • Quinoa
  • Tempeh 

Need some additional high-protein food inspo? FitOn Pro offers delicious recipes for any diet, many of which are protein-rich, like these nutritionist developed recipes:

#10 Get Smart About Fats

And lastly, let’s talk about fats. Fats have made a big comeback since the keto diet craze, but not all fats are created equal. 

You’ll want to avoid trans and hydrogenated fats (commonly found in margarine, fried foods, pastries, and even certain crackers) and as many processed foods as possible. 

Instead, choose healthier fats to enjoy as a regular part of your diet. 

Here are some of our fav healthy fat picks: 

  • Avocados
  • Coconut (shredded unsweetened coconut, coconut butter, coconut oil) 
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Full-fat unsweetened Greek yogurt 
  • Olives 
  • Olive oil 
  • Wild-caught salmon
  • 70% or darker unsweetened dark chocolate

Become a Healthy Cooking Pro 

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard, and it certainly doesn’t have to be stressful or overly time-consuming. So, if you’ve been looking to get back into healthy eating, here’s your invite to get back in the game! 

Use these ten healthy cooking tips, roll up those sleeves, and get cookin’. You got this!