Every change in life starts with baby steps so if you’re looking to lose weight or just get healthier, start by making a few small adjustments to your food intake. It really is a lot easier than you’d think! Here are 10 food swap suggestions.
Instead of: Salt
Try: Herbs and spices
Salt is the biggest culprit that increases our sodium intake and the possibility of developing high blood pressure and then heart issues in the future. While cutting down on processed foods is one way of getting less sodium, it’s also good not to add salt when you’re cooking (or on your food when dining at a restaurant). If you find food too bland without salt, add fresh or dried herbs and spices instead, which will give your food healthy flavours.
Instead of: Ice-cream
Try: Frozen yoghurt
Craving for something cold in our sweltering heat? Get the same cooling satisfaction, with less sugar and fat with a scoop of frozen yoghurt instead. For an extra health kick, top it off with some fresh or frozen fruit – berries or banana are ideal choices.
Instead of: Salad dressing
Try: Vinegar and lemon juice
Salads are generally healthy but it’s the dressing that increases your calorie count. Most pack or bottle salad dressings are high in fat so make your meal healthier by drizzling some balsamic vinegar and lemon juice instead. They’ll also give your salad a fresh flavour.
Instead of: Sushi
They’re delicious rolls that most of us can’t get enough of but we could sure do without the white rice in it. So why not have sashimi instead? The fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your heart and is also rich in lean protein. Add some wasabi for a dose of anti-inflammatory benefits too.
Instead of: Protein bars
Try: A handful of nuts
It might be easy to reach for a snack/protein/granola bar when you’re feeling peckish in the middle of the day and while they do cure your hunger pangs, they are also high in sugar (which is why you feel more energetic after eating them). Snacking on a handful of nuts such as almonds or cashews – the unsalted varieties, of course – will not only increase protein levels, they’re also good for heart health.
Instead of: Egg sandwiches
Try: Scrambled eggs filled with vegetables
If you tend to whip up a quick egg sandwich for breakfast, ditch the bread and try this instead. Cook scrambled eggs filled with veggies such as tomato, spinach and even mushrooms – it’ll boost your energy for longer and you’ll already have a healthy serve of veggies before you even start work.
Instead of: A latte or cappuccino
Try: Black coffee
Whether it’s a Long Black or an Americano that you choose (they are both black coffees but prepared in different ways) try to skip the milk during your coffee break. Not only will this drink give you a more concentrated dose of coffee and thus its beneficial antioxidants, it’s also lower in calories thanks to the lack of milk and sugar, like in a latte or cappuccino. If you find it hard to swallow coffee without any sugar, use cinnamon or honey instead.
Instead of: Steak
Red meat is rich in iron and protein but it’s also high in saturated fat, which will lead to higher cholesterol levels. Swap your portion of steak for salmon sometimes (you don’t have to give up red meat altogether) as the same serving of salmon is lower in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fats, which will give your heart health a boost.
Instead of: Chips or crackers
Don’t head to the cinema to stock up on popcorn just yet, that’s not the kind of stuff we’re referring to. You’ll want to get your hands on plain, natural popcorn as that’s lower in fat and calories. Plus, it’s rich in fibre too and will keep you full for longer.
Instead of: Mayonnaise
So you like your sandwiches slathered in mayonnaise? It’s time to skip the mayo and squirt some mustard instead. Not only is it delicious, mustard is also naturally fat-free. For better results, say goodbye to white bread and choose whole-grain versions instead.