We may not be able to gather in ballparks or big groups yet, but summer is coming. Whether your area is still on lockdown or starting to loosen restrictions, you can always enjoy a healthy cookout in the comfort of your own home. Memorial Day isn’t canceled and warm weather has arrived. Take your social distancing to the backyard and whip up some nutritious and delicious food that fits into your Nutrisystem plan.
In many places, smaller gatherings are going to be allowed with proper social distancing. Depending on the regulations where you live, these small, at-home gatherings are going to be more important than ever–;reconnecting, in person, with loved ones for Memorial Day or weekends beyond. With the right recipes and meal idea ideas, it can also be a satisfying, delicious way to boost your immunity and keep pushing towards your weight loss goals. We put together these 10 tips for making your at-home cookout a healthy reunion.
10 BBQ Survival Tips from a Weight Loss Expert
Here are 10 easy tips for a healthy backyard barbecue:
1. Don”;t starve yourself before the cookout.
We”;ve all done it–;skipping meals before a big event to “;save up”; calories for the party spread. But when you”;re trying to lose weight, this can backfire. You can get so hungry that you wind up eating even more than your planned “;splurge.”;
Keep yourself from going so far overboard–;and from showing up hangry–;by keeping your blood sugar stable. Eat your prescribed Nutrisystem foods and snacks before the party and save any SmartCarbs or PowerFuels to go with your cookout meal. The fiber, protein and healthy fats in your normal meals will keep you from being too hungry, so you can measure portions of your cookout favorites and stay on track.
2. Start by filling half of your plate with veggies.
Less than 10 percent of Americans get their recommended daily servings of vegetables, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They explain that eating two to three cups per day can reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and yes, obesity.
By eating an abundance of vegetables, you”;re getting a lot of water with your food. Eating water-rich foods means that you can have more volume for less calories. This can ultimately help you lose weight. According to Science Daily, Penn State research discovered that “women who added water-rich foods to their diets lost more weight during the first six months of the study than those who only reduced fat in their diets.”
So, start with the veggies and use the grill to make them even more delicious! Get some Leaf-approved tips for grilling tomatoes, mushrooms and greens for even more flavor by clicking here! >
3. Find tasty, low-calorie side dish recipes on the Leaf.
A “;healthy”; cookout doesn”;t mean the food is boring–;it should be just the opposite! The Leaf Weight Loss Blog is your source for keeping things deliciously diet-friendly. Spice up your coleslaw game with sweet options like this Broccoli Slaw with Cranberries and Lime or a fiery, crunchy bowl of this Spicy Peanut Slaw. Or go cucumber crazy: Whip up some of this five-star rated Cucumber Dill Dip or a bowl of this Zesty Cucumber and Dill Salad.
Find more recipes like these healthy cookout sides right here! >
5 Low Calorie Condiments to Use at the BBQ
4. Tackle your cravings head-on.
Now that your plate features some veggies, get down to business. Identify the cookout food you”;re craving most and dish out a healthy, measured portion. That”;s advice straight from our Nutrisystem registered dietitians: If you”;re really craving a food, you should eat it. Denying yourself a small piece of a favorite pie or a slice of cheese on your burger won”;t make the craving go away–;it will more likely lead you to graze on other fare, unsatisfied. It”;s better to have a portion you can measure and enjoy, so you can calm your cravings and stay on track.
5. Keep the calories on your plate, not in your glass.
Sugary beverages are thought to be a big part of the obesity epidemic in America: From 1977 to the year 2001, Americans increased their daily consumption of sweetened beverages “from 50 to 144 calories per day, says The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Over the course of a year, that could add up to over 50,000 extra calories!
Keep your calories down and the flavor up with something summery and fun that features fruit: Try one of these refreshing summer mocktails! > If you”;re a beer drinker, choose one that satisfies for fewer calories–;like one of these 10 low-calorie beers that actually taste good. >
6. No grill? No problem! Pan sear your meat for a crisp crust worthy of the grill.
If your go-to grill move typically involves heading to a local park, you may not have a grill in your backyard. However, you can get the same flavors you love inside by pan searing your meat to perfection.
Brush a cast iron skillet with oil and turn the burner on high. Make sure to turn on the exhaust fan so your smoke alarm doesn”;t go off! Brush a small amount of olive oil on each side of the steak and season liberally with salt and pepper. Once the pan is hot, cook the steak for 90 seconds to two minutes on each side. Then transfer the steak–;in the pan–;to the oven to bake at 325 degrees for five to seven minutes until medium-rare.
7. Marinate meat to fight cancer.
When you grill meat, compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are created, according to Natural Medicine Journal. HCAs are considered carcinogens and are said to increase the risk of a cancer. However, marinating your meat in herb-infused mixtures, especially ones including rosemary, can decrease the formation of HCAs on your grill by up to 70 percent.
Try this simple, rosemary marinade for beef: Mix a half-cup of red wine vinegar, two tablespoons olive oil, a quarter-cup of chopped rosemary, two crushed garlic cloves and salt and pepper to taste. Marinate the meat for at least an hour, then drain and cook.
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8. Grill some fruit for a sweet, surprising dessert.
Grilled watermelon, pineapple, peaches and plums are bursting with flavor: The grilling caramelizes their natural sugar, so the foods taste even sweeter. These delicious and refreshing fruits are packed with fiber and immunity-boosting vitamins. Plus, they are much lower in calories than the sad, melting fare you”;ll usually find at a cookout”;s dessert table.
Get grilling tips for a variety of different fruits right here on The Leaf! Check out this guide for 10 fruits that taste even better grilled. >
9. Don”;t focus just on the food!
Sure, it”;s a “;cookout,”; and burgers and dogs are delicious. However, it”;s not the reason everyone”;s together. We”;re finally able to get together. So, have a plate and make sure it satisfies. Sit down, take your time and concentrate on the flavors and textures of these delicious cookout foods. In a recent study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers looked at the eating habits of 60,000 people. They found that eating slowly can decrease the risk of obesity.
When you”;re finished eating your healthy barbecue meal, put your focus on those around you. We”;ve all been apart so long that this could be easier than ever. But make a point of remembering: This event is about food, yes, but it”;s really about being together. So be present and be together (even if it”;s six feet apart)!
10. Have a plan for the food and the leftovers.
In most places, the number of people who can gather will be limited in the coming months. Keep this in mind as you shop and cook: You only need enough food for 10 or less people, not for the normal 20 or 30!
But if spreading out a smorgasbord is in your cultural DNA, have a plan in place for the aftermath. Before guests arrive, figure out how many portions of each type of dish you can plan to add to your eating schedule in the following days. If there”;s a favorite dessert, salad or entree you”;re making, think about when it can fit into your plan. Keep the correct number of pre-measured portions for yourself and your family when guests leave. Then have containers ready for others to take the rest of the leftovers home with them. You”;ll have pre-measured treats that fit your lifestyle, and less temptation to pull you off your plan in the days following the fete.
12 Nutrisystem Foods That Are Healthier Than the BBQ
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
When it comes to eating fresh and healthy for summer weight loss, nothing beats a simple-to-assemble salad. But simple doesn”;t have to mean boring. After all, you can only eat so many plain jane lettuce salads before they start to lose their luster.
That”;s why we”;ve rounded up 20 of our best summer salad recipes that can boost your weight loss success. These delicious summer salads are an easy meal prep option that can be whipped up in no time. They are sure to keep you nourished and living life to the fullest this beach season!
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Here are 20 summer salad recipes that are perfect for your weight loss menu:
1. Green Goddess Summer Salad >
Calories per Serving: 235
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 Vegetable and 2 Extras
This bright green salad is as beautiful as it is delicious. Its name comes from its lovely green veggies like shredded Brussel sprouts, kale and edamame. It also features quinoa, almonds and parmesan cheese, all mixed with a tangy Dijon dressing. Thanks to all of these healthy ingredients, this salad packs in fiber, protein and antioxidant power.
Calories per Serving: 325
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb, 3 Extras and 3 Vegetables
This crunchy salad features kale, arugula and quinoa. However, it is the salad”;s namesake, figs, that are at the heart of this recipe. Dried figs are chewy, sweet and add something special to this tasty assembly. Figs also happen to be a great source of fiber, antioxidants, calcium and a variety of other vitamins and minerals. Figs pair well with goat cheese, which also makes an appearance in this yummy dish that’s perfect for your Nutrisystem plan.
Calories per Serving: 128
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 2 Extras
This citrus-based fruit salad brings together the unique flavor combination of grapefruits, oranges and pomegranate seeds. We top it all off with some chopped pistachios, cacao nibs, maple syrup, vanilla extract and cinnamon. The tangy sourness of the grapefruit is offset by plenty of sweetness. It”;s like a dessert treat but it”;s packed with antioxidants, fiber and other nutritional benefits that you”;ll love this summer! In fact, some research even indicates grapefruits have weight loss benefits and can even help reduce heart disease.
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Calories per Serving: 259
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra
If you”;re looking for something beyond a leafy green salad, you”;ll want to give this edamame, cabbage and carrot-based salad a whirl. It also features green onions, cucumbers, farro, cashews and sesame seeds. Dressed with an Asian-inspired vinaigrette, this summer salad idea has plenty of tang to make your lunch or dinner enjoyable while providing you with a nutritionally balanced and diet-friendly meal.
Calories per Serving: 148
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras
You wouldn”;t think that the ingredients in this summer salad recipe could possibly work together. But they just do. This Watermelon Chicken Salad combines a refreshing cup of cubed watermelon, chicken, celery and red onion. Dressed in a yogurt- and mayonnaise-based dressing–;with just the right amount of chili powder and cayenne pepper–;this salad is packed full of flavor and protein. It”;s a refreshing summer salad recipe you”;ll want to make again and again this beach season! Plus, a serving is just 148 calories and counts as 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras.
Calories per Serving: 210
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras
While corn might show up in your meals most often as a side dish, it is the star of this delicious and nutritious summer corn salad that also features tomatoes, onions and avocado. It”;s all dressed with a lime and olive oil dressing and then sprinkled with feta cheese for a showstopper dish.
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Calories per Serving: 138
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra
This unique and yummy twist on a traditional Caprese salad gives asparagus the spotlight while also featuring cherry tomatoes, red onions, some basil and mozzarella cheese. Like the original, it”;s all blended with a tasty vinaigrette, making it one of the best summer salad recipes you and your family will love!
Calories per Serving: 92
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 1 PowerFuel
This salad is another great way to get more watermelon into your day–;a juicy fruit known for being soaked with nutrients. In this summer fruit salad, cubed watermelon is combined with blackberries, feta cheese and some mint for a truly refreshing dish. Feel free to get creative and swap in another berry like blueberries. You could even throw in a non-starchy veggie like sliced cucumbers to help you get in your four required servings!
Calories per Serving: 151
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, ½ Vegetable and 2 Extras
Here”;s a fun way to switch up a classic Caesar salad! Let grilled asparagus take the centerstage. Asparagus is a nutrient-packed vegetable known to be a good source of fiber, folate and vitamins A, C, E and K. In this easy summer salad recipe, grilled asparagus is dressed in a healthy Caesar dressing that features nonfat yogurt at its base. Mix in some croutons and parmesan cheese for that true Caesar flavor.
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Calories per Serving: 143
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 2 Extras
The yum factor in this refreshing summer salad recipe is off the charts. Fresh blueberries, yellow corn, quinoa and goat cheese are added atop a bed of arugula and drizzled with a simple-but-delicious lemon vinaigrette. It”;s the type of summer quinoa salad you”;ll want to make again and again. With only 143 calories per serving, it”;s also the type of salad that will keep your healthy eating regimen on track this summer season.
Calories per Serving: 144.5
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, ½ Vegetable and 1 Extra
Veggie noodles are all the rage and this recipe makes good use of sweet potato spirals made from a spiralizer. This colorful salad brings the rainbow to your plate with veggies like corn, tomatoes, bell peppers and onion, all tossed in a zesty, homemade southwestern dressing.
Calories per Serving: 314
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 ½ Vegetables and 2 Extras
Mason jars are a fun and easy way to meal prep for the week ahead. This delicious mason jar salad is definitely a healthy summer recipe you”;re going to want to try. Although a traditional cobb salad has bacon and blue cheese, this healthier version features grilled chicken, chickpeas, avocado and more. A fat-free ranch dressing keeps the calorie count low on this mason jar salad recipe.
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Calories per Serving: 207
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb and ½ Vegetable
Summer chicken salad is such a versatile dish that can be created in so many delicious ways. This version features pomegranate seeds and a chopped apple for a sweet addition. Served in a lettuce wrap instead of bread, you can have three whole wraps for a single serving that clocks in at just 207 calories.
Calories per Serving: 128
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 Vegetable, 1 SmartCarb and 1 Extra
If you love pomegranates, you”;re going to love this simple, cold summer salad. It uses pomegranate juice as a key ingredient in its delicious pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette. The salad itself features a bag of arugula, a Bartlett pear, pomegranate seeds, chopped pistachios and goat cheese for a flavorful blend of ingredients. It”;s a lot of flavor for a mere 128 calories per serving.
Calories per Serving: 315
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb, 2 Vegetables and 2 Extras
This light-but-filling Mediterranean-inspired salad features nutritious ingredients like chopped cucumber, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts and chicken, all tossed in a delicious vinaigrette. A serving of this delicious and easy salad is the perfect lunch for those hot summer days.
How to Make Your Own Healthy Salad Dressing
Calories per Serving: 187
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 2 PowerFuels
Here”;s another great way to get creative with your summer chicken salad in a recipe that is still healthy and flavorful. Plus, it doesn”;t get easier than using a rotisserie chicken for your shredded meat! Instead of mayo, this healthy chicken salad uses nonfat plain Greek yogurt. We also add some curry for a unique flavor addition.
Calories per Serving: 243
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 2 Vegetables and 2 Extras
If you”;re into mason jar recipes, this meal prep recipe is for you! This easy-to-make mason jar salad recipe has all the Greek salad favorites like cucumbers, black olives and feta cheese tossed in a homemade Greek dressing that couldn”;t be simpler to whip up. Make a bunch ahead of time and grab-and-go for convenient mason jar lunches.
Calories per Serving: 228
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 1 Vegetable
Healthy summer pasta salad can be hard to come by, as most use full-fat dressings or mayonnaise as their base. However, this lightened-up version packs in plenty of fresh veggies and uses a dressing with light mayo and Greek yogurt. It will fulfill your pasta salad craving without sending your diet on a detour.
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Calories per Serving: 49
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra
Turn an ordinary cucumber into a spiraled noodle for the base of this refreshing summer cucumber salad. It also contains other refreshing and flavorful non-starchy veggies like red bell pepper and green onion. It”;s all tossed in a homemade dressing with soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil.
Calories per Serving: 107.8
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel and 2 Vegetables
Get your summer potato salad fix with this healthy alternative that packs serious diet food benefits! This healthy summer salad recipe uses lightly steamed cauliflower instead of potatoes. It tastes so much like the “;real deal”; that you”;ll trick your taste buds while consuming only 108 calories per serving!
Lose weight this summer with delicious meals delivered directly to your door! Learn more about Nutrisystem programs >
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
Around this time of year, your local magazine stand starts to look like a scolding personal trainer. “;Lose Weight for Summer!”; “;There”;s Still Time To Fit Into That Bikini!”; “;Drop 10, 20, 30 Pounds Before Hitting the Beach!”; the covers shout.
These headlines can start to feel a bit intimidating (not to mention judgemental… sheesh!). But luckily, warm weather is conducive to melting extra pounds. So with a few tweaks to your regular routine, you can drop a few inches without much work. And, of course, if you haven’t signed up for Nutrisystem, you should think about doing it now! With Nutrisystem, you can lose up to 13 pounds and seven inches overall in your first month!*… just enough time to drop those pounds by summer. Sign up here >
Here are seven easy ways to lose weight for summer:
1. Get out in the glorious weather
Turns out there”;s a big advantage to exercising in the open air instead of the gym. A British research team analyzed data from studies involving 833 people. Their study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, found that those who exercised outside were less stressed and depressed and enjoyed exercising so much they were far more likely to keep it up than those who did their workouts inside. Of course, the more you exercise, the more calories you burn. The boost in mental health also offers a weight loss bonus: You”;re less prone to emotional eating.
2. Don”;t try to beat the heat
When you”;re trying to lose weight, heat can be your best friend. Why? Eating makes you hot. Really. Eating contributes to helping you maintain your body heat, which is the last thing you want to do in the summer. The result: You”;re more likely to eat less during the summer months to keep your cool, says researcher C. Peter Hermann in the government report, “;Nutritional Needs in Hot Environments,”; which was written for military personnel serving in hot climates. This may be one reason that your appetite crashes after a bout of brisk exercise, which can raise your core body temperature. So don”;t hide in the AC. Get out and sweat a little!
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3. Fill up on summer foods
One of the challenges of hot weather is to stay hydrated. That means you”;re likely to drink more during the summer, which may help curb your appetite. But don”;t overlook the benefits of summer foods such as fresh produce and cold fruit and vegetable soups like gazpacho. Many studies have found putting that this “;edible water”; on the menu regularly will help you lose weight. Research by Penn State nutrition scientist Barbara Rolls, PhD, has found that eating foods that have a high water content–;like fresh summer fruits (think watermelon), light soups and salads–;fills you up fast so you”;re not as hungry. In her studies, those who ate “;juicy”; foods ate less than those who didn”;t eat them. They even worked better than drinking water with meals in curbing appetite.
4. Worship the morning sun
Yes, there is a best time to exercise, even if you”;re only going to take a little stroll. People who were more exposed to light in the early morning had a lower body mass index than those whose light exposure happened later in the day, according to a study by researchers at Chicago”;s Northwestern University. The study participants wore wrist monitors that tracked their light exposure and sleeping patterns and they kept track of everything they ate for a week. The magic: Light exposure early in the day helps set your internal clock which, if it”;s disrupted, can lead to sluggish metabolism and weight gain.
5. Use the sleeveless top motivation
Let”;s face, in the summertime, there”;s really nowhere to hide those extra pounds. It”;s not like winter, when you can disguise your bulges under chunky sweaters and long-sleeved tunics. Don”;t let it get you down. Let the lighter, scantier clothes you wear–;even if they reveal your flaws–;be added motivation to stick with your diet and exercise plan.
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6. Burn calories the fun way
All those good-weather activities, from walking on the beach to swimming to playing golf, can turn your daily workouts into play. If your kids are out shooting hoops in the driveway, join them. If you”;ve got enough game, you can scorch off 440 calories in an hour, according to choosemyplate.gov, the website of the United States Department of Agriculture Go for bike rides. Just a half hour on two wheels at 10 mph can burn 295 calories. Spending just an hour working in the garden can torch 330 calories.
7. Go with your gut
A flood of new research suggests that the type of bacteria you have in your gut may play a role in making you overweight. Diets heavy in fat and processed foods are a likely culprit in populating your intestines with the kinds of bugs that make you fat. Since you”;re eating light in the summer anyway, this might be the time to add more prebiotics and probiotics to your diet to balance your gut flora. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, probiotics are what you find in yogurt, kefir, and other fermented foods–;good bacteria that can help your digestion. Look for “;live and active cultures”; and be wary of those products with too much sugar. Prebiotics are carbohydrates, actually a type of fiber that your body can”;t digest. You”;ll find them in onions and garlic, leeks, asparagus, bananas, soybeans and whole wheat foods.
*In a study, avg. weight loss was 11.6 lbs and 8 inches.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
Open-flame cooking brings out the best flavor in just about every food. When you grill vegetables and fruits, their natural sugars caramelize and they taste even sweeter. Many favorite fruits are fast and easy to grill, and they make a deliciously different ingredient, side dish, snack, or treat. Because they are nutrient-rich, filled with fiber, and low to medium on the Glycemic Index, fresh fruits are SmartCarbs you can enjoy without impeding progress toward your weight loss goal. Just be sure to consult your Grocery Guide for proper portion sizes.
Ready to try grilled fruit? Here are a few tips for success with all fruits and hints for enjoying 10 great tastes of the season:
Basket, Pan or Skewers
The grates that came with your grill are shaped for cooking meat, but less substantial ingredients, such as pieces of fruit, are prone to falling through as they heat up. When grilling fruit, put it in a wire basket or on a tray with small holes that allow the flames to touch the food but keep it from falling through. Another fun option: soak wooden skewers (like those used for kebabs) in water for 30 minutes, poke them through the fruit, then put them on the grill.
Fruit cooks quickly on the grill and within minutes small pieces can begin to disintegrate. Cut it it in large chunks, even if you need to slice it down to bite-size before serving.
Spraying cut fruit with zero-calorie cooking spray, or tossing cut fruit with a little olive or coconut oil or butter before grilling helps bring out its flavor and prevents the pieces from sticking to the basket, pan or grates. Avoid drenching the food in fats, which can lead to a grease fire. Just coat it lightly.
Low, Indirect Heat
Cooking over high flames can leave you with burned fruit in a matter of minutes. Better to grill fruit on the outer edges of the grates or over coals that have turned gray.
Fruits contain a lot of water, which becomes extremely hot when grilling. Allow it to cool after removing it from the heat before eating so that scorchingly hot water doesn’t squirt out and burn your mouth when you bite into it.
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So now that you know the HOW of grilling fruit, here’s the WHAT:
Slice in half and remove the pits. For more flavor, brush with honey and sprinkle them with cinnamon. Put peach halves on the grill with the cut side down and cook for eight to 10 minutes, until fruit is hot throughout.
Like peaches, cut in half and remove the pits before cooking. Leave on the grill for four to six minutes, until the flesh is tender but not crumbling.
Peel, cut into quarters and remove the core and seeds. Sprinkle with lemon juice to keep the cut pieces from turning brown. Grill for 20 minutes, turning every five minutes.
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Slice into wedges, cutting away the stem, core, and visible seeds. Brush with coconut oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Cook for 15 minutes, turning every three to five minutes.
Snip the tiny stem end off each fig and cut in half lengthwise. Coat in a light mixture of lemon juice, honey, and cinnamon. Grill for two to three minutes on each side.
Go with seedless varieties, if you can. Cut melon into thick wedges or one-inch-wide rounds. Grill for two to three minutes per side.
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Slice into one inch wide wedges with the rind still attached and discard seeds. Or cut into cubes (with rind removed) and slide them on to skewers. Cook for four to six minutes, turning frequently.
Cut pineapple into wedges with the skin still on the edges or remove the skin and core and slice into rings. Grill for about three minutes per side.
Peel banana and slice in half lengthwise. Grill for two minutes per side.
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Cut the fruit in half, pick out any visible seeds with a fork or your fingertip, and brush the cut sides lightly with oil. Set them cut-side down on the grill and cook for about three minutes, until the fruit is lightly charred. Squeeze onto grilled chicken, fish or vegetables.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
Ghee is a healthy source of saturated fats that can deliver many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to the body. A kind of clarified butter, ghee is made by simmering butter until it reaches a high temperature of around 485°F. At this temperature, milk solids and water get separated leaving behind a light-colored liquid called ghee.
Traditional to India and a staple across Indian, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern cuisines, the health benefits of ghee, its aromatic flavor and slightly nutty taste has turned this ingredient into a fan favorite across many households worldwide.
Table of Contents
Is Ghee Good for your Health?
Ghee is a source of saturated fats. And the role, saturated fats have to play when it comes to cardiovascular diseases is a continuing topic of debate among health experts. However, the human body cannot function without any saturated fats either.
While an excessive amount of saturated fats is unhealthy, it is essential in limited quantities. Saturated fats and proper brain functioning are closely related. So while ghee does contain saturated fats, using a limited amount of ghee can both enhance the flavor of the food and deliver essential fats to the body.
What this shows is that most normal people will experience, little to no health problems from consuming ghee. However, this may not hold for people who are already predisposed to certain hereditary diseases like heart diseases. This predisposition can result from genetic factors or other factors.
6 Health Benefits of Ghee You Should Know About
Ghee is not just an ingredient used in cooking, but a part of India’s heritage in traditional medicine – the Ayurvedic tradition of healing. In ancient times, ghee was considered to be food sacred to the Gods. And this was how ghee started finding use in everything from lighting lamps, to being used in religious rituals, to being consumed as a health supplement.
As it turns out, ghee has a lot to offer healthwise:
#1 Positively affects the nervous system
Ghee positively affects not just the central nervous system in the brain, but also the enteric nervous system in the gut. Ghee contains many vitamins and minerals that regulate and repair the gut lining which in turn is important for brain health as well.
#2 Rich source of Butyric acid
Ghee is a rich source of butyric acid. Butyric acid is a kind of short-chain fatty acid that improves and supports probiotic bacteria that is present in the stomach. Ghee also has additional benefits, such as balancing the amount of hydrochloric acid present in the stomach and assisting the production of bile in the liver.
#3 Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids
These are also known as essential fatty acids that the body cannot make and need to be supplied through food. Ghee is rich in DHA, a type of omega 3 fatty acid, which has been linked to brain development, reducing inflammation, slowing down the aging process, and many more functions.
#4 Important source of fat-soluble Vitamins
Ghee is a rich source of important fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, E, K2, and D. The body absorbs fat-soluble vitamins best when a person eats them with higher-fat foods like ghee. These vitamins have many functions like improving immunity, good vision, and good antioxidant effects.
#5 Conjugated linoleic acid
Also known as CLA, this acid is known for its ability to reduce tumors in the body, lower the amount of blood cholesterol, and improve and stabilize blood pressure. Ghee is a good source of CLA.
#6 Powerful antioxidant abilities
The presence of vitamin E provides ghee with powerful antioxidant abilities. Ghee is also known to be good for the skin, as well as the hair. People don’t just consume ghee, but use it to make homemade face masks, hair masks, and more. As ghee retains its structural integrity at very high cooking temperatures, it becomes a great ingredient to be used in dishes that involve frying, sauteing, and other techniques that involve cooking on high heat. Ghee is both a popular source of essential nutrients, as well as an important flavoring ingredient in many contemporary dishes. Popular dieting programs, like the Keto diet, among others, have already led many people towards this delicious ingredient.
How to make ghee at home – Recipe
Ghee can be expensive to buy, but it can be made at home easily by following a few simple steps.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 15 mins approximately
Butter – 250gA saucepanA strainerCheesecloths
Cut the butter into equal cubes. Place them into the saucepan. Heat the butter on medium heat until the butter melts. Bring the pan to a simmer and allow the butter to reduce for fifteen minutes maximum.Watch out for foaming during this time. When the contents of the pan foam for a second time, turn off the heat. Leave to rest for 3 minutes. Strain the contents through a wire mesh lined with cheesecloth.
The golden yellow liquid you get is ghee.
Ghee is an important source of essential nutrients, fat-soluble vitamins, and good saturated fats. Ghee has also been linked to fat loss, so anyone looking to maintain a healthy diet without losing out on important fats should turn to ghee.
Read more: healthifyme.com