Even if you’re a skilled home cook, you also know that you’re not immune to developing bad habits or falling prey to shortcuts that aren’t as healthy as you may have been led to believe. Even though they do the trick when things get busy, they can dilute the nutritional quality of your favorite fare—and who wants that?
Hence why we went to the experts to learn more about the not-so-great cooking habits they’d love to see put on hiatus. Below, their top picks and super easy ways to fix them:
1. Grilling, baking, and broiling meats regularly
Meats naturally contain compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), and these compounds are also produced when meats are cooked—especially in dry high temperatures, says Jill Weisenberger, RDN, author of Prediabetes: A Complete Guide. In small amounts, AGEs are no biggie because the body’s defense mechanisms show them who’s boss. In large amounts, however, they can cause increased inflammation and insulin resistance. This can lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, not to mention exacerbate symptoms in those who are already there. Reserving grilling, baking, and broiling for special occasions and cooking with moist heat instead (stewing, poaching, steaming) can prevent production of AGEs, says Weisenberger. Marinating your meats in acids like citrus juice, vinegar, tomato juice, and wine can also help keep them in check.