(BlackDoctor.org) — Kitchens are equipped with basic appliances and utensils; however, a dieter’s needs may involve a little more hardware. Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows that the proper gear can greatly aid in their weight loss. Here are five everyday cooking essentials we can use to eat healthier—and lose weight.
1. Panini Press/Griddle
This versatile machine cooks everything from hot sandwiches to grilled veggies, chicken, and fish. Its non-stick plates—which are designed to drain grease for healthier cooking—make lubing with high-fat butter or margarine unnecessary, not to mention give food that great grilled look and taste. And because food doesn’t simmer and soak in oils and grease (like in a conventional frying pan), by cooking with it you can easily shave a hundred calories off your meal!
Your conventional or hand-held blender could be your biggest weight-loss ally. Use it to whip up fruit smoothies in the morning and puree cooked vegetables for delicious soups and bisques at night. Not only will you drastically reduce the amount of processed foods (which can contain high levels of trans fat, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar) you consume, but also you will get your daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables (which, according to the Department of Health and Human Services is two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables per day for adults consuming 2,000 calories a day) without even thinking about it.
3. Food Steamer
Although many consider a raw food diet as healthiest type, it’s not always optimal (or palatable). Cooking food via steaming is universally regarded as the next-best thing. Steaming, unlike boiling, ensures that foods’ vital nutrients are retained while allowing you to cook food without adding calorie-laden ingredients. Plus, steam is so gentle that it keeps food’s natural aroma intact.
4. Kabob Skewers
Yet another tool that helps avoid loading up your meal with unnecessary oils and fats, the skewer is a stylish partner for grilling or broiling beef, shrimp, chicken, and veggies. Since each one can only hold so many bite-size ingredients, it also helps with portion control. Cook your kabobs on a grill and you’ll score extra calorie-saving points, as fat will drips away in the process.
5. Food Scale
Food scales take the guesswork out of calorie counting because they precisely measure individual ingredients or entire meals, making portion control a cinch! Don’t already have one? Not to worry! You can purchase a solid digital food scale for as low as $20.