5 cooking methods to keep your heart (and tummy!) happy

A whole golden brown roast chicken with assorted roast vegetables.

When it comes to a heart healthy diet, how you cook your food can be just as important as the sorts of ingredients you choose. From steaming to poaching to stewing, these five cooking methods will give you nutritional bang for your home cooking buck.

The benefits of home cooking

Cooking at home is an important part of a healthy eating plan. You can choose high-quality ingredients, opt for recipes packed with fresh produce, and substitute unhealthy ingredients like salt and butter with heart-healthy alternatives like herbs, spices and olive oil.

But it’s also worth remembering that how you cook is just as important as what you cook. A piece of fresh fish is a great choice, but the choice between deep frying and steaming will make a huge difference to the nutritional value of your meal. That’s because unhealthy cooking techniques (like frying) can add unnecessary kilojoules, while the type of fat or oil you choose (like butter, ghee, lard, palm or coconut oil) can result in unhealthy fats on your plate.

The good news? There are lots of cooking techniques out there that can do wonders for your heart health – and your tastebuds! What’s more, you don’t need to be a master chef to give them a go.

Here are some of our favourites.

Five heart-healthy cooking techniques (that anyone can try!)


Steam fresh or frozen veggies by placing a steam basket over a saucepan of boiling water. Cover with a lid and cook until tender. You can also steam vegetables in the microwave for a few minutes – just use a microwave safe container and lid, leaving one corner open to vent.


Poach delicate foods like eggs, fish or fruit by submerging them into a gentle simmering liquid. Unlike boiling, poaching is done over a low heat and can be used for sweet or savoury ingredients.

Stir-fry or sauté

Stir-fry or sauté vegetables for quick and tasty results. Throw your veggies in a frying pan or wok on high heat using a small portion of olive, canola, sunflower, soybean or peanut oil. Top it up with a splash of water as you cook.    


Roast meats by placing them in a baking dish in the oven. Add 1 to 2 cm water and some herbs to the bottom of the pan for extra flavour. You can also use a lined tray or grill tray as a healthy substitute for deep frying.

Casserole or stew

Casserole or stew meat at low temperatures for longer periods for delectable, falling-off-the-bone consistency. Trim any fat from the meat before you start cooking and pair with veggies and legumes (like lentils or beans) for an extra nutritional kick.


Logo of Coles and Heart Foundation

Coles has partnered with the Heart Foundation to provide this content to you and help Australians live healthier and happier lives.

For personalised heart health information and support, contact the Heart Foundation Helpline 13 11 12.


Healthier living starts here

Whether you’re looking for tasty and nutritious midweek dinner ideas or are catering for a range of dietary requirements, we have you covered with our healthy recipe collections

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