Adopting healthy eating habits can seem like a huge undertaking, but choosing healthier foods is not as difficult as you may think. By making small simple changes to your eating habits, you can make a big difference to your diet.
Try the following swaps next time you have your meal:
Eating too much salt leads to high blood pressure which increases your risk of heart disease and strokes. To help reduce your salt intake, swap salt for herbs and spices to add flavour to your dish. When buying pre-packed foods, remember to check the label to choose lower salt options.
When buying pre-packed foods, remember to check the label to choose lower salt options.
By making a simple swap to your milk, you could significantly decrease your fat intake. If you are already drinking semi skimmed milk try swapping to 1% or skimmed milk. If the full swap seems daunting, start with swapping the milk in your tea or coffee.
If you are already drinking semi skimmed milk try swapping to 1% or skimmed milk. If the full swap seems daunting, start with swapping the milk in your tea or coffee.
Sugary drinks are loaded with sugar, with some fizzy drinks containing as much as 12 teaspoons of sugar in a can. A simple way to cut down on your sugar intake is by swapping your sugary drinks for sugar-free versions, or by switching to water. You could also try adding fruits such as strawberries and mint or sliced orange to your water for infused fruit water.
Remember hot drinks such as caramel lattes can also be high in sugar – if you are accustomed to having a daily chai latte ask your barista to add sugar-free syrup to your drink.
When making a sandwich or pizza, why not try swapping from full-fat cheese to reduced fat cheese?
Although granolas and breakfast cereals may appear healthy, they can be loaded with sugar.
Try swapping your sugary breakfast cereals to plain cereals such as porridge, shredded whole grain, whole-wheat biscuits or no added sugar muesli. Why not top with fresh or dried fruit to sweeten your cereal instead of adding sugar?
If you are used to frying your meats or fish, try using the grill or oven instead. If you are a fan of frying your chips, next time try baking sweet potato wedges as alternative – kids will also love them.
When choosing carbohydrates such as pasta, rice or bread, swap from white versions to whole grain varieties, they contain more fibers and help you feel fuller for longer.
Flavored yogurts can be high in sugar so why not try making your own flavored yogurt? Buy low-fat plain yogurt or low-fat Greek yogurt, and add fresh or dried fruits and nuts or seeds for some extra flavor.
If you find yourself craving a savory snack, try swapping crisps for a packet of plain popcorn… or try making your own popcorn and season it with pepper, vinegar or dried herbs.
If you can’t resist a sweet fix why not try swapping sweets for dried fruit such as dried apricots, mangos or dates? They count as 1 of your 5 a day.
These are 10 simple food swaps that can boost your health up to brilliant!
By Saadia Noorani, registered nutritionist.