With warmer weather (supposedly) just around the corner, many of us are stepping up our exercise and diet regimes in anticipation. Of course, exercising more and making healthy food choices is always a good idea, but it’s important to remember that the changes don’t have to be radical! If you adjust your diet too quickly and drastically, you’re unlikely to make it stick.
Instead, it’s a good idea to take a look at some of your favourite dishes, and simply swap out one or two ingredients in favour of a healthier alternative. This way, you’ll still be able to enjoy your favourite foods without feeling deprived.
Take a look at some examples below:
Sweet potatoes are a wonderful replacement for the trusty King Edward. They’re far more nutrient-dense; packed with vitamins A, C and B6. They are also a great source of potassium and manganese, which help your body’s cells, tissues and organs function properly.
Sweet potatoes can be mashed, chipped or baked, making them a healthy, hearty replacement in any potato dish. They’re particularly delicious when cut into chunky wedges, seasoned with sea salt, paprika and garlic, then lightly drizzled in olive oil and baked!
When you’re craving something sweet, it can be difficult to resist reaching for unhealthy snacks like chocolate and sweets. Medjool dates are an ideal alternative. Though they’re high in calories, they boast an excellent nutrition profile and bring many health benefits – they’ve been proven to lower cholesterol and improve bone health. Remove the stones and fill them with peanut butter for a post-workout pick me up!
Many diets demonise carbohydrates, but the truth is that no food group is inherently ‘bad for you’ – it’s all about controlling the amount of food you eat. With that in mind, while there are great, healthy swaps to make for carb-heavy foods (e.g. courgetti for pasta), sometimes nothing else will cut it. If you’re going to indulge in a carb-rich meal, choosing a wholegrain alternative to your usual white carbohydrates will give the dish an instant boost. Wholegrain foods retain their nutrient content, leading to health benefits like a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
Denying yourself the foods you love is hard, but these swaps will help to make it that little bit easier.