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Whoever said a meal needs to be deeply friend and with tones of extras in order to be tasty – lied, and lied big time!

For anyone who is looking to start eating healthy, the start is to ditch the dryer. But, that’s not all – making a healthy meals a lot depends on the way you prepare it as it directly affects the nutritional make-up of your dish.

Most people aren’t familiar with the fact that cooking (i.e. heat) destroys approximately 20 percent of some vitamins in vegetables — especially potassium, vitamin C and folate. And while the healthiest way to eat is to eat raw, uncooked food since it maintains all of its nutritional value, it’s highly unlikely that plenty people have a stomach for that.

Here are the best methods of preparing food and keeping it as healthy as possible.

Microwaving

Microwaving results in minimal nutrient destruction. The food is cooked by heating from the inside out, it lasts short periods and is really effective, both time and nutrition-wise. Microwaved food may sometimes get a bit dry; to prevent this from happening, just splash on a bit of water before heating. You may also place a wet paper towel over your dish.

Microwaves are great for preparing almost any meal – from eggs and meat to veggies and rice. Nutritionists say microwaving helps preserve nutrients in veggies.

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Grilling

If you are looking to get maximum nutrition without sacrificing flavor, embrace grilling as your new favorite cooking method. Both meats and veggies will stay tender and juicy with a smoky flavor with just a minimal addition of fats.

But! Some studies indicate that consuming well-done meat often increases risk of breast cancer and pancreatic cancer. “Cooking at high heat can also produce a chemical reaction between the fat and protein in meat, creating toxins that are linked to the imbalance of antioxidants in the body and inflammation, which can lead to an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease”, explains the study.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean you have to give up barbecue. It should be a call for caution, warning you to keep your meat cuts lean as they require less cooking time. Also, keep dark meats on the rarer side.

Boiling

Boiling is a cooking method as old as day but so healthy like you wouldn’t believe! All you need is a pot, some water and a pinch of salt. The food you prepare by boiling will be done quickly, granted; however, a slight “problem” with boiling is that the large volume of water and high temperatures can dissolve and wash away 60 to 70 percent of minerals in certain foods and water-soluble vitamins, too. However, research suggests boiling may as well be the best way to preserve nutrients in zucchini, carrots, zucchini and broccoli (when compared to frying, steaming or eating raw).

Steaming

Steaming will keep your food super tasty! When steamed, the food stews in its own juices which helps it retain all its natural goodness. Also, you won’t need to add any fat-laden additions to up the moisture.

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Steaming is great for any type of food – fish, meat, veggies – you name it!

When you are preparing foods in a steamer, it’s always good to add a little seasoning first, whether that’s a a squeeze of lemon juice or a sprinkle of salt.

Stir-frying

Stir-frying is, indeed, a cooking method that requires some oil in the pan, with proper cookware, all can be done amazingly well. Granted, you are not to add more than a moderate amount of oil, just enough for the veggies and meat to get a nice sear.

Stir-frying is awesome for grains like quinoa and rice, bite-sized pieces of meat and thin-cut veggies like julienned carrots, bell peppers and snow peas.

Staying healthy isn’t a simple task, especially if you are used to not watching what you eat. With a proper exercise plan and embracing a proper cooking method that’s best fitted for your needs and lifestyle, you can get healthier, happier and ultimately – fitter.