How to cook healthily

From sautéing to steaming, our guide will help you get the best out of your food
A sizzling pan full of stir-fried vegetables

The way we prepare and cook food can make a big difference to our health!

Steaming

This is a healthy and simple option. The nutrients, colour and texture of fresh vegetables are better preserved as the food is not in contact with the water.

Stir-frying and sautéing

Quick, easy and healthy, these methods mean that food is only cooked for a short time in a small amount of oil, which helps maintains the texture and nutrients of food.

We have lots of stir-fry recipes to get you started. Why not try mango chicken, prawn and ginger or turkey with broccoli and pak choi?  

Microwaving

An excellent way to cook food quickly and efficiently, as long as you use microwave-safe containers. Only a limited amount of nutrients are lost, as the cooking time is short and little water is needed.

Baking

A slow but simple way to cook food in the hot, dry air of the oven. Baking is a healthy option, as you generally need little or no oil – for example, chicken, fish and vegetables can be baked in greaseproof paper or foil parcels with a little water or reduced-salt stock. However, sometimes large amounts of oil or fat are used, such as when roasting potatoes. Try making healthier roast potatoes with parboiled new potatoes, baked in a small amount of spray oil.

For healthier home baking ideas, from fruit clafoutis to almond and coffee biscotti, buy our cookbook

Boiling

Although this is a fat-free cooking method, nutrients, such as vitamin C and folate, are lost in the water. Using less water will help preserve the vitamins and minerals in your vegetables.

Grilling and barbecuing

Healthier than frying, although these methods do cause nutrients to be lost as food is exposed to high temperatures. Try marinating food with ingredients such as lemon juice, herbs and spices to boost the flavour without adding fat. Our soy and onion marinade is a great choice. Chicken, chops, steaks, fish and some vegetables can be grilled. Grilling also allows fat to run off the food.

Frying

Fried foods are unhealthy because adding fat increases the calories and the high heat destroys a lot of the nutrients. It's best to limit foods cooked in this way.

Learn which foods are best for a healthy lifestyle