Use These Helpful Kitchen Gadgets To Improve Your Daily Diet
Whether you should – or whether you have to watch what you eat, it’s easier when you can harness technology.
My husband is an insulin dependent diabetic with several associated health issues, making it important to keep an eye on what (and how much of the ‘what’) he eats.
Salt The Silent One
Salt is a silent killer for all of us if we have too much of it, though once you’ve cut down it really is true that food regains a lot of flavor.
We used lemon or lime juice sprayed lightly over meals initially to lessen the shock, surprisingly it does help.
It took about six weeks before the desire to reach for a salt grinder went away – now adding salt is a very considered decision. I just cannot help it with fresh tomatoes from the garden, all warmed by the sun with a tiny touch of sea salt, now that is food heaven. Other than that, cravings have been conquered.
Food Salt Meters
Charts and lists are all very well, but by now my whole kitchen and probably the hall would have become covered in dietary advice sheets and nutrition posters.
Thanks to technology, there is a better way! Salt meters have been available for a long while for pools or fish tanks etc, you can get a similar meter for food.
Obviously because these meters work on liquids, you can’t plunge it into a joint of meat and get an accurate reading, but for casseroles, gravy, stews and soups – anything with a broth, you get a good result.
They Vary In Price – A Lot
What you want to spend does depend on how accurate you need the meter to be. The one I’d recommend for general good health is pictured above left. This is a cheap and cheerful Salt Salinity Meter, there are several others like it in the same $10 – $15 bracket.
Not cheap at $160 but top quality and used by professional dieticians is the Paderno World Cuisine Salt Tester.
I found a great article and resource which lays out the potential harm we do by eating way too much salt in our diets. It makes for sobering reading – but if you want to find out more about how salt impacts on blood pressure and causes heart problems, click the link.
Nutritional Value Kitchen Scales
Kitchen scales which give you the nutritional value of the food you place on it, are another fantastic tool in the fight against fat and illness.
For diabetics, protein quantities can be an issue because diabetes affects kidney function negatively – occasionally very negatively. You can help kidneys by eating a lower protein diet and a nutritional readout of protein has cut his portions size on steaks by about a half! The same goes if you suffer from gout – low protein diets are essential.
Until getting one of these Cuissential measuring scales (aka Kuissential) my lovely husband had absolutely no idea about portion sizes and weights, nor the food values contained in what he was eating, like protein and carbs – but the portion size was a real shocker.
The list of nutrients these scales will break down is not exhaustive, but pretty good, surely good enough to give him a jolt where it did some good!
You’ll get a breakdown of :
Total Fat, Saturated Fat, Cholesterol, Calories, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Protein and Vitamin K.
Since we got one, there has been no build up of Serum Urate and no further attacks of crippling gout, caused by eating too much protein and producing the Serum Urate. He’s lost another 30lbs – not quickly, we got the scales about a year ago now so the weight loss has been steady.
The most popular and best selling is the EatSmart Digital Nutrition Scale pictured right.
Clearly aimed at weight loss, it will give you everything you need in terms of food broken down into component nutritional parts, equivalent to the weight.
There are plenty of other brands and models, some with a very reasonable tag. Just check what they’ll measure for you and make sure it covers what you need.
Spritz Rather Than Glug Your Oil
One major change for minor inconvenience and minimal cost, is to get yourself the best oil spritzer you can find and use it to coat food in a light film of oil before cooking, rather than the tablespoon most recipes call for.
You can add flavored oil to meats and vegetables, whilst cutting out about 100 calories per level tablespoon of olive oil – try adding garlic or rosemary, sage or oregano – it doesn’t drown the food in oil or flavor, just infuses little aroma and spice to meals, without the fat.
Is There Anything Else I Can Do?
We’ve managed to cut the fat in out diets by cooking roast foods in the halogen oven (read more about halogen ovens) – no need to add fat yet you still get really brown crispy roasted potatoes, it makes great fat crispy chips too. We’ve got a Secura Hinged Lid Turbo posh jobbie – but you can get a cheaper version for under $40, or click the link for my review on this high-end fat fighter.
Joints of meat go into the rotisserie oven, again a fat buster as the direct heat renders fat away. But why would you cook a chicken any other way if you’ve got a home rotisserie – they make the best crispy skinned chicken meals ever. If you want to know more, then the link takes you to an earlier post on home rotisseries.
Ours is now a Cuisinart vertical model and we also have a Baby George Foreman, which cooks the best darn chicken ever, as long as it’s under 4.5lb, so we had to upgrade on the size issue.
Frozen Fruit Treats
Because of the sugar problem,ice cream is out for my husband. Instead he has a frozen treat which is made from fresh fruit you froze earlier. You can use virtually any fruit and fruit combination, including frozen yoghurt – I freeze it in cubes the machine can handle. There are really only two main manufacturers – maybe because people make these in their juicers – I think these come out way better and I’ve done both. We’ve got a Yonanas Iced Treat Maker and Nostalgia Electrics make a cute machine on sale more cheaply. You can get more info on frozen treat makers here.
Another favorite in the summer is snow cones – we use the Yonanas and the snow cone machine together to add shaved ice to the fruit treats, great for kids to chill with too.
Don’t Omit The Simple Measures
Helpful kitchen gadgets for healthy eating include gravy and fat separators, in fact these are a must. For a few dollars, there is nothing cheaper or more effective. In goes the liquid, the fat rises to the top, out comes either the fat or fat-free gravy depending on the design. Who likes the taste of fat in gravy anyway!
Have you got a kitchen gadget you use to help keep meals healthy? I’d love to hear about it, I don’t know about you, but in my family we need all the help we can get!