Healthy Foods…?

These days we are told, it seems, every few minutes that, as Australians, we are the fattest in the world, that we are eating too much, and not of the right things. It can all get confusing and sometimes just too darn hard!

Here are some easy swaps for you to think about, whether your goal is to lose weight or just generally improve your eating habits.

Breakfast cereals VS Porridge

The TV ad says that they are healthy, so they must be…right? Sadly no. Most cereals are packed with lots of sugar, often causing a mid-morning carving melt down. Porridge is a great swap. I can hear you groan, but try porridge with some fresh fruit and honey and I promise it isn’t as bland and boring as you remember from childhood! Porridge will make you feel fuller for longer, is packed with fibre, plus you have had a piece of fruit in the day already!

Jams VS Fruit Spreads

Sometimes there is nothing better than some fresh toast in the mornings with lashing of strawberry jam! What can ruin this visualisation is the tonne of sugars, artificial sweeteners and preservatives packed into many jams. If you want to keep your toast in the mornings, go for it, just swap the jam with pure fruit spread. These spreads are sweet only from the fruits that they are made of – easy swap without missing out!

Chips VS Popcorn

I think we all know that packet chips are not great for us. It can be difficult to know if things are changing though with some chip companies bringing out “healthier chips”, generally with less saturated fat. Although this is a good start, it still doesn’t make the chips good for us. An easy swap to try is with lightly (key word: Lightly!) seasoned air popped popcorn. You will be increasing the antioxidants and fiber as well as saving yourself about 8g fat and 200kj.

Snack Bars VS Fruit

Just like many breakfast cereals, many muesli/fruit and nut snack bars are marketed as being a healthy option. Despite being marketed as a “healthy snack” many of these bars actually have just as much sugar, fat and calories as a chocolate bar. The best thing to do? Pick the snack that doesn’t need a nutritional label – a piece of fruit. By reaching over the bar to take the apple, you will be saving yourself lots of nasties as well as over 400kj.

Potato VS Sweet Potato

Potatoes are great, but sweet potatoes are even better! Sweet Potato can be a great substitution because they have a lower GI to help you feel fuller for longer and avoid the sweet cravings. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals, plus you can still bake them and make chips too!

Ice cream VS Frozen Dessert

Some nights you just feel like something sweet. Especially in summer, the ice cream seems to scream out to you from the freezer. You do have a few options though. Try a low fat frozen yoghurt or sugar free fruit sorbet. Experiment with a few different brands though – like anything some can be a hit and miss, but I promise there are some good ones out there!

Another option is fresh fruit and yoghurt. Just like with the snack bars, be careful of your choice of yoghurt, but this can be a great (and often cheaper alternative). Not only are these alternatives easier for your body to digest, lower in saturated (“bad”) fats and sugar too.

Now I am certainly not saying that you can never have Ice cream again or chips or potato! These can be great every day alternatives but of course if you want to bring in “Ice cream Sundays” where you go for the real thing…go for it – all about Moderation!