Simple Swaps for a Healthier Diet

Simple Swaps for a Healthier Diet

I’m a big fan of ‘simple swaps’.. Those little changes that you can easily make which mean that overall your diet isn’t that much different, but actually you are a lot healthier in the long run!

Here are a few of my top Simple Swaps..

Fruits & Vegetables

  • Choose fruit canned in natural juice instead of syrup (less added sugar/calories)
  • Buy frozen fruits/vegetables if you find that you waste the fresh varieties (longer shelf-life & more nutrients!)
  • Swap half of your plate for vegetables, fruit or salad (plus 1/4 protein, 1/4 carbs = less calories, more vitamins & minerals and more fibre keeping you fuller longer)

Carbohydrates

  • Choose wholemeal, granary or ‘best of both’/’50:50’ breads instead of white (wholegrain breads have more fibre & goodness than white breads and seeded/granary breads have a lower GI*)
  • Try home-made baked sweet potato wedges instead of chips (less fat, lower GI* & more nutritious)
  • Choose basmati rice instead of regular white rice (lower GI*)

*GI = Glycaemic Index (the rate at which food releases its energy – the lower the GI the longer you will feel full and energised for after eating)

Dairy

  • Choose semi-skimmed, 1% or skimmed milk instead of full cream (less saturated fat)
  • Choose light/diet/fat-free yoghurts (Greek yoghurt is great!) instead of full fat yoghurts (less fat/calories)
  • Choose reduced fat cheeses/Edam/ricotta/cottage cheese instead of regular cheese (less saturated fat)

Protein

  • Choose meats advertised as ‘lean’ or cut off/drain the fat from other meats (less saturated fat)
  • Choose lean white meats such as chicken and turkey as well as fish instead of red meat which should only be eaten 1-2 times a week (less saturated fat)
  • Choose plain/smoked fish with herbs or a sweet-chili or parsley sauce instead of those that are battered or covered in butter/breadcrumbs (less fat/calories)
  • Choose healthy cooking methods such as grilling instead of frying in oil, or use 1 calorie spray oils (less fat)

Higher Fat or Sugar Foods

  • Choose low-calorie hot chocolates or dark chocolate instead of milk or white chocolate (there is less added fat and sugar as well as more anti-oxidants in dark chocolate)
  • Instead of buying medium/large chocolate bars buy the ‘100 calorie’ mini ranges – a perfect portion! (less fat, sugar and calories)
  • Choose ‘1 calorie spray oils’ instead of pouring oil (or use 1 teaspoon per person per meal only)
  • Replace butter with spreads high in ‘mono-unsaturated fatty acids’ and choose the lighter versions e.g. ‘Lighter’ Olive-oil based spreads (less saturated fat)
  • Swap ice-cream for sorbet or low fat frozen yoghurt (less fat and calories)
  • Have ‘diet’ fizzy drinks instead of regular ones (zero sugar and calories)
  • Use calorie-free sweeteners such as stevia or dried fruit instead of sugar to boost sweetness (less sugar and calories)
  • Choose dried fruit, nuts or cereal bars instead of biscuits as mid-meal snacks (more nutritious and filling)

 So there you have it.. a few simple swaps to have a think about and maybe try sometime!

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4 Comments

  1. Oliver
    April 15, 2013 / 9:53 pm

    Great post, I will definitely give these tips a try, many thanks.

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