Could the right recipe for a healthy heart start in your kitchen?
Estimated reading time: 4-6 minutes
We often hear that our diet has a huge impact on our health. Modern lifestyles mean we are consuming higher calorie foods, often loaded with fat, sugar and salt, which can increase the risk of developing heart disease.
And the latest study on the impact of heart disease from the World Health Organization shows that more people die worldwide from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) than any other condition.
This World Heart Day (WHD), we’ve partnered with the World Heart Federation to raise awareness of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and share tips on how introducing small changes can make a big difference to your overall health.
Small changes can make a powerful difference
From taking up yoga to drinking less alcohol, tweaks to our exercise and diet can lower the risk of developing heart disease and improve heart health.
Home cooked meals could also make a positive impact. A study by John Hopkins University cited by the American Public Health Association concluded that “people who cook at home have a healthier diet”. Why? Because those who cook from scratch are likely to create meals which are generally less processed and less calorific.
In light of this, we sat down with Martin Senders, the Philips Chef, and asked him for some guidance on preparing and eating healthier food at home.
As a chef, what is your advice to people wanting to start preparing and eating healthier food? Where should they begin?
Start today. It doesn’t have to be hard to eat healthy. Try to eat fresh food – fruits and vegetables – every day. And, importantly, go for variety. Eat lots of different colors, which represent different kinds of vitamins and minerals. Meat can be alternated with fish and you can mix things up by eating vegetarian meals a couple of times a week. It’s all about variety.
Some people think if it’s healthy, it can’t be tasty. What would you say to this?
I’m often asked this question via the Philips Chef Facebook page and I can tell you that healthy food can be tasty – it sure can! For starters, look at replacing unhealthy ingredients with healthier options. There are plenty of alternative ingredients that taste great. You can use yoghurt, for example, instead of mayonnaise or cream. When you’re making a seasoning or a sauce, rather than adding extra salt, use herbs and spices. You’ll find that fresh ingredients taste great, too.
Since we’re talking about healthier food that is also tasty, I have to mention the Philips Airfryer, which can help you easily prepare tasty and healthy food at home, but with a minimum amount of fat. I’m talking about perfectly cooked food that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, but with very little fat.
What would your advice be to people who say they’re too busy to prepare healthier food?
I recognize the struggle of people not having the time to prepare and cook meals, but wanting to serve fresh and healthy meals for their family. I can tell you that preparing healthier food doesn’t have to take more time. Keep things simple. Use fresh ingredients. Use appliances that can help you prepare healthier food, faster.
And I’m not just talking about meals on a plate. Think about preparing smoothies using fruits and vegetables, or making fresh juices. Philips has kitchen appliances that help you get all the goodness out of the fresh ingredients you use.
What role can technology play in helping people prepare healthier food?
Technology makes it easier to cook healthy meals at home, even when you have little time or have little experience. Actually, Philips offers a range of kitchen appliances that help you cook fresh, homemade meals easier and faster. I already mentioned the Airfryer, but the SoupMaker is another great example.
How are your fellow chefs using technology in their kitchens to prepare healthier meals and save time?
Working for Philips, I am in contact with lots of chefs, including chefs owning restaurants at the highest level. We exchange recipes, knowledge and inspiration. Some top chefs are traditionalists, so some are a little skeptical when it comes to preparing food with an appliance like the Airfryer, but it’s always so much fun to surprise them with a great result. For example, you can cook fresh-cut vegetables in very little time, without steam. In just 8 minutes you’ve got perfectly-cooked vegetables.
What’s a simple but healthy recipe you cook for friends when they come around for dinner?
I make a lot of wok dishes in my Airfryer. To give an example, I recently made a recipe with chicken, noodles and mushrooms. Another favorite of mine is the low-carb lasagna, where you don’t use lasagna sheets but zucchini slices instead. When I cook for friends, one of my favorite recipes, and my friends love it too, is honey and lemon roasted chicken.
Overall, cooking at home gives you control over the ingredients you are using, helps you build up healthy eating routines and allows for a heart-healthy diet.
Innovation Matters delivers news, opinions and features about healthcare, and is focused on the professionals who work within the industry, as well as Philips as a cutting-edge health technology organization.