Just because you want to enjoy a healthy and nutritious diet, it does not mean that you have to stop eating your favourite dishes. You can still enjoy most of them regularly by adapting recipes to better suit your needs. Here are some tips and ideas to help you through this process. These are based on university health studies and what we find works in practice.
- Instead of frying eggs and bacon, use olive oil cooking spray on a non-stick frypan and choose leaner cuts of bacon.
- Invest in a good cooking grill that allows the fat to drip off meat and poultry. For example, the George Foreman Cooking Grill.
- If you enjoy Sunday roasts, do not place your vegies in the same baking dish as the meat. Instead, place them in a separate baking dish and coat with cooking spray and your favourite herbs and spices.
- Instead of battering and frying fish fillets, try coating them in your favourite spices and herbs and baking them.
- When it comes to cooking, avoid frying, deep frying or baking with oil. Choose grilling, poaching and steaming.
- Replace the cream and full-cream milk in scrambled eggs with low-fat choices, such as cottage cheese.
- Instead of whole eggs, reduce the amount of yolks and increase the number of whites when you make scrambled eggs.
- Ask for dressing on the side when you order a salad. Also try swapping a creamy dressing for a balsamic one.
- Skip the butter on your toast and opt for something with less saturated fat and calories, such as Vegemite or diet jam.
- Try making your favourite cake recipes with natural or vanilla yoghurt or cooked apple puree rather than butter. This works well for heavier cakes, but not always for light baked goods.
- Opt for tomato-based sauces, rather than creamy ones, on meat and pasta dishes.
- Check the carbohydrate level of your low-fat yoghurt and ice cream. These products are often full of sugar to make them taste good without the fat. As a result you may actually end up with a product containing the same or more calories than the ‘regular’ version’.
- Reduce the amount of refined products in your diet. The less refined it is, the more energy your body will require to break it down. So choose oats rather than processed cereals.
- Reduce the amount of sugar in your tea and coffee, or replace with a sweetener such as Equal.
- If you have a sweet tooth, try a cup of Swiss Miss Diet Hot Chocolate. It mixes with hot water and satisfies cravings for chocolate.
- Replace heavy desserts with diet jelly and strawberries – not only is this filling and low in calories, but it also tastes great.
- Swap your soft drinks for the calorie-reduced variety, or even better, plain water. Soft drinks are full of sugar, so it’s easy to consume hundreds of calories without realising it.
- If you enjoy a beer or wine after work or with your meal, try to reduce your intake by half by having a glass of water before a glass of alcohol.