Bad food habits you should stop now
You probably have a number of daily routines around meals and snacking, including what, how, and when you eat different types of foods. These food habits can make you feel in control of your health, after all, if all you know how to cook is vegetable stir fry, that’s not a bad thing, right? Not exactly. Nutritionists say there are some food habits that can actually affect your gut health and not in the best of ways.
We spoke to registered dietitians and nutritionists who shared some of the common food preparation, cooking, and eating habits you should probably try to avoid.
Always barbecuing or cooking meat until it’s well done could do more harm than good, which is why this cooking habit is something nutritionist Lisa Richards wishes people would quit. “Overcooking your meat can form compounds that increase oxidative stress and inflammation, and may even increase the risk of certain cancers,” Richards says. “The most common culprit is [barbecuing] at high temperatures.”
These high temperatures that char meat are OK in small amounts. For the most part, Richards recommends stewing, roasting, or slow cooking meat as healthier alternatives.
Cooking with too much or too little fat
Too much oil or healthy fat adds kilojoules without extra nutrients – but too little means you’re missing out on some health benefits. That’s why dietitian Kris Sollid says to go easy on oils.
“A little is good for flavour, but more isn’t ‘better’ for your health,” he says. “Cooking oils like olive, canola and soybean are great sources of healthy fats but are high in calories, as well.”
Don’t go to the other extreme and avoid all oils. In fact, nutritionist Hillary Cecere notes that fat is an essential nutrient that helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins. The goal should be cooking with a healthy balance of fats.