Food swaps that will make your diet instantly healthier
1. Swap white pasta, bread and rice for whole grain – There is no need to ditch the carbs all together, you just have to learn which are the correct carbs to be eating. Whole grain carbs help reduce blood cholesterol and lower risk of heart disease. Furthermore, they provide more potassium, magnesium and other nutrients.
2. Swap plain jacket potatoes for sweet potatoes – While jacket potatoes are tasty, they are starchy and so swapping to sweet potatoes means you are eating a healthier potato and getting one of your five a day.
3. Make your own porridge instead of the pre-packed version – when you are in a rush, it is tempting to eat the pre-packaged porridge, however, when you make your own porridge you are in control of what goes in it. You can buy plain oats and decide whether you want added sugar or nuts and fruit on top. There are higher levels of salt, sugar and flavours in pre-packages porridge which is what you want to avoid.
4. Swap fruit juice for fruit itself – You may want to re-think going for a fruit juice next time, as they are very high in natural sugar and is missing the fibre that fruit provides.
5. Swap shop-bought salad dressing for homemade – It may sound like a faff having to make your own dressing, but it really only takes a few minutes. A base, such as olive oil and vinegar is a tasty mix, or vinegar and lemon dressing. They are lower in fat and calories with more nutritional value. For a French dressing, olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic and salt and pepper.
6. Swap crisps for popcorn – It may sound like an unhealthy option, but popcorn is lower in fat that crisps.
7. Swap full-fat yoghurt for low-fat or no-fat yoghurt – Plain yoghurt has less sugars and fat than the normal full-fat yoghurt. There is no risk of eating too much yoghurt and having too much sugar, as you can decide if you want to sweeten the low-fat yoghurt yourself with a tea spoon of honey or fruit.
8. Swap a chocolate bar for dark chocolate dipped strawberries – unfortunately, almost all chocolate is rich in fat and sugar, which is why you have to think about portion control. Dipping strawberries in melted dark chocolate means that you are eating less chocolate, therefore, there is less sugar and fat than a chocolate bar. Dark chocolate is also known to have nutritional value.
9. Swap chocolate biscuit for muesli bar – Commercially made biscuits contain large amounts of butter and salt which is why they have such a long shelf life. Along with the amount of fat and sugars in them. Baking your own muesli treats means that you can control what goes into them. Experts recommend, oats, raw nuts, raisins, chia or pumpkin seeds, honey, dates, olive oil and margarine. They are still sweet treats but using portion control you can cut them into mini squares.
10. Swap sugar for cinnamon – Cinnamon is not as sweet or bad for you as sugar. Alongside this, it has benefits that sugar doesn’t. It can help control insulin, help reduce cholesterol, speed up metabolism, burns belly fat and can help suppress your appetite.