4 Healthier Ways to Prepare Thanksgiving Day Meals

Thanksgiving Day Meals

You're probably busy out buying ingredients for Thanksgiving Day. Buying healthy ingredients and cooking them right can boost your family's health. Here are a few tips you should consider.

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When preparing your meals for Thanksgiving Day, make sure to use spices instead of salt to reduce your family's risks of heart problems. But how you cook these meals also influences how healthy they are. Here are a few ways you can prepare healthier meals using the same ingredients:

1. Don't boil potatoes. Potatoes' vitamin Bs and vitamin C are water-soluble – boiling them causes more loss of these nutrients. Steaming and microwaving are better options than boiling because these nutrients aren't washed away with the water.

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2. Cook tomatoes, lightly cook pepper, spinach, squash, and green beans. According to UC Davis, cooking tomatoes boosts their flavonoid content by 44 percent. But cooking pepper, spinach, squash, green beans, leeks, and peas by boiling, steaming, or microwaving lowers their dry weight by 40 percent. Try to eat these raw (remember to sterilize thoroughly) or lightly cooked.

3. Steam broccoli. Researchers found that all cooking methods make broccoli lose a significant amount of vitamin C, proteins, and sugar EXCEPT for steaming. They say steaming is the best way to retain most of broccoli's nutrients.

4. Use the right cooking oils. Heating cooking oils past their limits can be bad for your health. For example, researchers found that palm and soy oils didn't increase blood pressure when fed to rats cold. But after palm and soy oils were heated and fed to the rats, their blood pressures rose. Don't reuse your vegetable oils either, because that's been found to raise your blood pressure since repeated heating causes vegetable oils to oxidize and produce byproducts that harm your cardiovascular system. Also, exposing your family to cooking oil smoke can cause lung cancer. You can help prevent inhalation of cooking oil smoke by choosing the right oils for the right cooking. If you're cooking with low to medium heat, choose coconut oil or olive oil. But if you're cooking with high heat, choose peanut oil, soybean oil, corn oil, or sunflower oil because they don't produce smoke until about 440 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also avoid cooking oils altogether by choosing oilless fryers, like air fryers that fry your food with a hot air circulation system.

Try these tips for healthier Thanksgiving meals. They'll give your family more nutrients, enriching their bodies.

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