We all know we should be eating healthier and making good food choices, but there’s no denying that it’s difficult to do. When there are convenience foods and takeaways on every corner, sometimes making a choice based on ease and taste is going to happen. However living healthily doesn’t mean you have to give up everything that you like, and the small changes you can make do all add up in a big way. Here are some swaps you could consider making for better health.
Switch To Whole Grains
Instead of using regular pasta or white rice, switch to whole grain instead. Brown pasta and rice, for example, is more nutritious and has higher levels of vitamins and fiber than it’s stripped white counterpart. Once they’re included in recipes, there’s not a great deal of different taste-wise. But it’s a good way to get in some added goodness into your family’s diet. Whole grains are good for heart health, lower cholesterol and don’t give a ‘spike’ in blood sugar levels making them a much better choice.
Use Sugar Alternatives at Breakfast
Instead of buying sugary breakfast cereal, buy healthier alternatives and sweeten it yourself. But instead of sugar, choose honey, maple syrup, cinnamon and chopped fruit. While it’s not great to go overboard on honey or maple syrup since it is still sugary, they break down differently in the body meaning that you accumulate fewer calories from them. Bananas and berries are an excellent way to add sweetness to breakfast, rather than simply spooning on the granulated white stuff.
Bake Your Own Bread
Making the switch from white to wholemeal bread is, of course, a good one. but to go one better, why not bake it yourself? A good breadmaker takes all of the hassle out of it for you as it mixes, kneads, proves and bakes all in the machine. Even branded versions such as Panasonic bread makers aren’t too expensive, but will save you a whole host of cash over time. Bread requires very few ingredients, all which are cheap to buy. This way you know exactly what’s gone into it too. And if you’re feeling creative you could add all kinds of extras such as herbs, caramelized onions, seeds and even dried fruit to improve the taste and nutritional value.
Switch Potatoes To Sweet Potatoes
Regular potatoes aren’t especially bad on their own, especially if cooked healthily and eaten in moderation. However, a much more nutritional option is sweet potatoes. Unlike regular potatoes these count towards your five a day. They’re just as versatile, and taste delicious too! Use them just as you would a regular potato- for jackets, mash, wedges and fries.
Swap Full-Fat Dairy For Reduced Fat
Sometimes you have to be careful when buying ‘diet’ or reduced fat varieties of things. This is because the fat can be replaced with chemicals which are equally bad for you. But in the case of milk, yogurt (providing it’s not a sugary flavored variety) cheese and other types of dairy it can be beneficial buying the lower fat versions. This will cut your saturated fat levels right down. In recipes, making good substitutes is also a good idea. For example, you can often use yogurt in place of heavy cream for a lighter alternative.