Food therapy

Are You Cooking With These Harmful Ingredients?

You try your best to cook healthy. You’ve made the switch from refined flours to whole grains, you’ve ditched the ghee and butter, and you ensure you eat enough fruits and vegetables. You also like to prepare your own meals and give up on processed foods as far as possible.

But here’s the catch —- even if you are trying to limit eating out and are cooking at home regularly, there are a few harmful ingredients still lurking in most kitchens.

So, here we have a list of the 4 most harmful ingredients that you’re cooking with, especially if you’re trying to focus more on home-cooked meals.

Salt

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Most of you know that excess salt causes hypertension, fluid retention and cardiovascular diseases. But did you know that a majority of us are constantly using more salt while cooking than we should? An average adult needs no more than 1,500 milligrams of salt per day, and that amounts to no more than 3/4th of a teaspoon. However, we are getting sufficient salt in other forms through a balanced diet as well, as salt occurs naturally in unprocessed edible including fruits, leafy green vegetables, celery, milk and as a trace element in drinking mineral water.

If you are adding a lot of salt to your curries and dry dishes and also using soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, deli meats and fish sauce, you’re probably consuming too much salt.

Use table salt sparingly to only lightly season your food and use more of dried herbs to add flavour to your food.

Vegetable Oil

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Only because these oils have the word ‘vegetable’ in them, it doesn’t make them healthy for you. All processed vegetable oils including sunflower oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, mustard oil and even canola oil – contain a very large amount of biologically active fats that are called Omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can be very harmful when eaten in excess. While in general polyunsaturated fats are healthier than saturated fats, they are harmful when used in excess.

If you want to eat healthy oils, make the switch to olive oil or coconut oil instead. Buy them here

Canned Pasta Sauce

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Most of us with a busy lifestyle have to take a few shortcuts when making a home-cooked meal. And while a can of tomato sauce for your pasta seems harmless, canned tomatoes are actually very bad for your health. Not only do canned or bottled sauces have a lot of preservatives and additives, which are bad enough, they also contain BPA. Bisphenol-A is a toxic chemical used to line cans and plastic bottles, which makes this ready-made sauce very harmful for your health.

Invest your time wisely in your health to make a batch of fresh tomato sauce over the weekend and store it in the freezer to use for upto 3-5 days.

MSG

MonosodiumGlutamate (MSG or E621) on wooden spoon

Monosodium glutamate, also known commonly as Ajinomoto, is a sodium salt used for seasoning in a variety of Chinese and Thai dishes. MSG comes with many side effects and can cause swelling, headaches, nausea, dehydration, and also weakens the bones when eaten regularly. It can also cause fluctuating blood pressure levels and arrhythmia in rare cases. MSG is best avoided when cooking a healthy meal at home.

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