Healthy foods shouldn’t be bland and boring. Try these tips to make healthy foods taste great!
When someone complains to me that healthy foods don’t taste good, it’s often because they simply don’t know how to prepare them. I think healthy foods taste great, but that’s only because I’ve learned—admittedly, over many years—how to cook and season them to enhance their naturally delicious flavors. You can make vegetables, fish, poultry, whole grains and fruits taste great. Here’s how.
If you’re not used to eating healthy fruits, veggies, lean proteins and whole grains, you may feel that you simply don’t like them. If your diet consists of a lot of processed foods that are overloaded with salt, fat and sugar, it could be that your taste buds are simply accustomed to these tastes. These, by the way, are often needed to pump up the flavor of these highly processed foods that would otherwise be pretty bland.
You may be so unaccustomed to the natural flavors in foods (and so used to the salty, fatty, sweet flavors in your daily diet) that the only way you can choke down the healthy foods is to douse them with more salt, fat and sugar.
It could also be that you haven’t learned how to select and prepare healthy foods in order to get the most flavor. Perhaps like many people you equate “healthy” eating with “plain,” so your meals consist of plain broiled chicken or plain steamed vegetables without seasoning. I don’t know if this is some form of dietary self-sabotage—or a form of punishment! But I can certainly see how a plain, bland diet could turn people off. On the other hand, I truly believe that healthy foods properly prepared are incredibly flavorful and delicious.
There are two keys to making healthy foods taste good. The first is to start with the best possible ingredients. When foods are as fresh as can be, they’re at their peak of quality, which means they’re also at their peak of flavor.
The second key to making healthy foods taste good is to learn how to cook and season them. It helps if you’re willing to be a little fearless in the kitchen. If you’re not much of a cook, you might not trust your instincts and worry that you’ll make a mistake. But that’s part of the fun. It’s also how you learn to enhance flavors, not simply cover them up.
How to Make Vegetables Taste Great
How to Make Fish, Poultry or Tofu Taste Great
How to Make Whole Grains Taste Great
How to Make Fruits Taste Great
Susan is the Sr. Director of Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife, where she is responsible for the development of nutrition education and training materials, and is one of the primary authors of the Herbalife-sponsored blog, www.discovergoodnutrition.com. She is a Registered Dietitian and holds two Board Certifications from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, and a Certified Specialist in Obesity and Weight Management. Susan is also a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Susan graduated with distinction in biology from the University of Colorado, and received her master’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Colorado State University. She then completed her dietetic internship at the University of Kansas. Susan has taught extensively and developed educational programs targeted to individuals, groups and industry in her areas of expertise, including health promotion, weight management and sports nutrition.
Prior to her role at Herbalife, she was the assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, and has held appointments as adjunct professor in nutrition at Pepperdine University and as lecturer in nutrition in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Susan was a consultant to the (then) Los Angeles Raiders for six seasons, and was a contributing columnist for the Los Angeles Times Health Section for two years. She is a co-author of 23 research papers, 14 book chapters, and was a co-author of two books for the public: “What Color is Your Diet?” and “The L.A. Shape Diet” by Dr. David Heber, published by Harper Collins in 2001 and 2004, respectively.