The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that nine out of ten Americans consume too much salt. Most sodium is found in processed food – what comes in a can, box or a snack bag. What is the easiest solution? Scratch cooking!
Cooking from scratch does not mean sacrifice when maintaining a well-balanced diet. Healthy home-made pizza not overloaded with cheese can be done. It’s all about limiting processed food in our diets that contain high levels of sodium and instead focusing on adding fresh vegetables, fruit, lean meat and whole grains. (Adding flavor to meals with herbs and spices instead of salt also does the trick!).
Add More Whole Grains to Your Diet
Eating more whole grains may be the hardest for some people. For many, using refined semolina pasta and white rice has been, well, habit. Most people find that whole grains offer different flavors to some old favorite meals. Whole grains can taste more filling so you tend to eat less, too.
Breakfast is an easy meal to add whole grain into one’s diet. Breakfast whole-grain cereals such as bran flakes, multi-grain pancakes, shredded wheat or oatmeal, whole wheat toast are good options.
Your Kitchen, Your Ingredients
Have allergies? Do mushrooms gross you out? Want more garlic? Here are a few tips to help you take control of your weekly meals:
Make a plan.
Dedicate time on Sunday to write out your meals for the entire week. Then put it in a place that’s easily seen or accessible, such as on your refrigerator. Knowing your meals ahead of time will help reduce unnecessary grocery store trips.
Prep versatile ingredients for the week.
Prep certain foods that will be used more than once in your meals for the week. Cook enough quinoa for the week. Wash and chop vegetables and put them in tightly-sealed containers in the refrigerator. This will save you time!
How Laureate Group Seniors Benefit from Scratch Cooking
Our 8 communities throughout southeastern Milwaukee focus on scratch cooking to control sodium intake. We start with good quality ingredients: lean meats and poultry, fresh fruit and vegetables, and canola and olive (the “good” oils). All our desserts and dinner rolls are freshly baked on-site, and our sandwiches use meat roasted in-house.
Laureate Group communities offer a variety of whole grain side dishes that include brown or wild rice for some meals, quinoa or wheat berry in salads and we also add barley or other grains to soups and stews.