It’s sometimes hard to resist those tasty treats that tempt you off a healthy diet. But swapping certain foods can make a significant difference to your overall health, and it’s easier than you think.
Here are five simple food swaps which should appeal to your taste buds as well as the rest of your body:
Porridge instead of cereal
A bowl of breakfast cereal is, more often than not, like reaching for a calorie-rich sugar rush which leaves you hungry again within a couple of hours. Swap it for nutrient-rich porridge offering slow-release energy to keep you full for longer. Instead of sugar, add your favourite fresh fruits and perhaps a teaspoon of honey – a great way to have one of your five a day, as well as fibre, vitamins and phytonutrients.
English breakfast grilled not fried
If you’re partial to a cooked breakfast, simply swap the fried eggs, sausages, bacon and beans for healthier, equally delicious choices. Poached eggs, lean, grilled bacon, mushrooms and reduced sugar baked beans will reduce your saturated fat, calorie, sugar and salt intake, saving you over 300 calories per average serving, plus around 10g of saturated fat.
Nuts instead of croutons
Soup and salads are often healthy options but can offer unnecessary extra fat, carbohydrates and calories when scattered with croutons. Ditch them for seeds and nuts which are packed with omega-3 – peanuts and seeds are perfect on Asian-inspired salads, whilst walnuts and almonds are great on soups. A handful of nuts adds an extra 4-5g protein to your diet.
Quinoa instead of couscous
They look alike and are often mistaken for each other, but nutritionally quinoa and couscous are quite different. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and studies have shown it’s safe for people with celiac disease. Couscous contains gluten from durum wheat, so it’s best avoided if you are gluten intolerant. Don’t be blinded by the lower fat and calorie content of couscous. It is also lower in protein, iron, and magnesium than quinoa – elements that are vital to your general health and wellbeing.
Mashed root vegetables instead of potatoes
Unfortunately, lovely comfort-food mashed potatoes don’t count as part of your five a day. But other root vegetables do, so it’s time to get creative: celeriac mash makes a lovely, smooth topping for fish pie while meat is delicious with either parsnip or sweet potato mash.
For snacks, seek out low calories and nutrients all in one. The NHS offers 10 surprising 100-calorie snacks.