Following an overly strict healthy diet, with limited food in quantity and variety can mean you run the risk of giving up the diet or indulging in unhealthy treats. Maintaining a balanced diet that includes some treats is a much better way to stick to a healthy diet. There are some great ways to make food healthier so you feel you are treating yourself without harming your healthy intentions.
Substitute food and ingredients
Replacing ingredients such as dairy products with low fat alternatives is an easy way to make meals healthier. Full fat milk and full fat cheese in cheese sauce can be replaced by low fat milk and low fat cheese to make a less calorific sauce. Leaner cuts of meat can be bought such as turkey instead of chicken. Supermarkets often sell low fat mince so meals such as spaghetti bolognaise or shepherds pie can still be enjoyed but with less fat content.
Substituting processed foods for whole grain food is also a simple way to improve your diet. Processed white bread can be replaced with wholemeal or granary bread. Similarly sandwiches made using brown bread or granary bread can be bought instead of those using white bread or white rolls. White rice can be replaced with brown rice and pasta can be swapped for wholemeal pasta.
Another easy ingredient substitution is to use herbs and spices and less salt. A low salt diet is good for high blood pressure and herbs and spices are often beneficial to health in other ways.
Changing portion sizes
Unhealthy meals can easily be tweaked to be more healthy by changing portion sizes. By giving larger amounts of vegetables or salad and less of the unhealthy portion you will be improving the nutritional content of a meal and lowering the calorie intake. A substantial serving of salad will complement a slice of pizza perfectly. Larger portions of vegetables will not lessen the flavour of your Sunday roast but they will improve the healthiness of the meal.
Serving raw vegetables, such as chopped up carrots, with pies or stews is a great way to make an indulgent food a little healthier.
Snacking can often lead to eating unhealthy foods. Snacking routines can be adjusted to be healthier by mixing your favourite snack with something healthy. An easy way to fix a chocolate craving is to buy a packet of dried fruit and nut mix and then add a little chocolate. Treating yourself to a biscuit is fine providing that you eat a piece of fruit first.
There are many methods of cooking that can be used to make unhealthy foods more healthy. Using a rack in a roasting tin so that the fat can drip and drain away is a great way to lessen fat intake from a meal.
The way in which meat is prepared before cooking can also reduce fat. By removing the skin from chicken or cutting away the fat on bacon or other cuts of meat you will be enjoying foods you love and in a healthier way.