Healthy Alternatives For Your Worst Food Indulgences
We all try to incorporate healthy foods into our diet. We know that fruit, veg and nuts are good for us. But they just aren’t as tasty as a hamburger, fries and a big bar of chocolate! The real problem with dieting is that it’s very difficult to stick to a big dietary change. There’s very little point making a drastic switch to a diet you don’t enjoy. You might last a few weeks, but pretty soon you’ll be raiding the cookie jar at 1 am looking for a sugar kick!
Instead, you should opt for a sensible, healthier alternative to your current eating habits. It won’t change your existing structure too much and you’ll still enjoy similar tastes. Taking this route means you’re much more likely to stick to a long-term plan. You’re much more likely to get healthier and lose weight.
With that in mind, today we’re highlighting some of the most common ‘bad foods’. But, rather than simply telling you to stop eating them, we’ve provided some healthy alternatives. If you can slowly swap these good foods for the bad, you’ll transform your entire diet and barely notice. You might even appreciate the fresher, healthier tastes! Here goes.
Fries (Healthy swap: boiled potatoes or sweet potato fries)
Fries have become the nation’s go-to side dish. We serve them with chicken, burgers and just about every other main meal possible. They might be quick, easy, and tasty, but they’re packed full of unhealthy fats. Coated in oil and deep-fried, they are dripping with fat which is quickly absorbed by the body. Instead, try boiling some new potatoes. They’re full of good carbohydrates and you’ll unlock more energy. Add a little garlic and they’re tasty and fluffy too. If you’re missing the crunch of french fries, try sweet potato fries instead. They’re a little healthier, especially is you decrease the oil.
Fizzy drinks (Healthy swap: fresh fruit juice, smoothie or coconut water)
Fizzy drinks like Coke and Seven-Up are one of the worst things you can put in your body! They’re bursting with unhealthy sugars that contribute to fat stores. The body finds it very difficult to deal with sugar, so its crucial that you limit your intake. It rots teeth and builds unhealthy fat reserves. Get rid of the fizzy drinks and replace them with healthy fresh fruit juice or smoothies. There are still some natural sugars here so you’ll get that small sugar rush. But, you’ll also get vitamins and fiber too. You can also try coconut water. It has even fewer calories but retains a hint of sweetness.
Condiments (healthy swap: hummus or salsa)
You may not realise this, but condiments like ketchup and mayonnaise are full of calories. They are made of fats and artificial flavourings. Again, the body doesn’t know how to deal with them and so converts them to fat stores. The first step is to look for recipes that don’t require condiments. Anything with fresh tomato sauces and natural flavorings will bring out the taste in your meals. If you’re still craving an extra sauce, try fresh salsa or dip things into a healthy hummus.
Coffee (healthy swap: herbal teas)
Coffee isn’t exactly fattening. In fact, there are antioxidants inside that do bring some health benefits. However, the excess caffeine can cause additional stress and low energy. It also slows down the natural insulin process, so can contribute to higher blood sugar levels. Anyone who relies on coffee will tell you how they get the shakes during the day! Instead, try a healthy Damiana leaf tea or herbal alternative. They are packed full of the same antioxidants, but without all the negatives.
Chocolates, crisps, and snacks (healthy swap: peanuts, raisins, and popcorn)
Snacking is often the downfall in everyone’s diet. You can eat all the healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners possible, but snacking will still get the better of you! Those cravings are difficult to put aside, so it’s vital that you find alternatives. Satisfying those urges is the answer to a healthy life! The trick is to buy nuts and raisins. Anything you can reach for quickly is an excellent option. Nuts and raisins are also full of proteins which helps you feel full for longer. They satisfy urges and provide health benefits. If you need something sweeter, try popcorn instead.
Lastly, switch your white bread for wholemeal and seeded alternatives. You’ll barely notice the difference in taste. But your body will recognise the benefits. You should also switch fatty red meats for healthier white alternatives. You can do the same with full-fat milk and a skimmed option. As you can see, there are lots of ways to make subtle dietary changes. These are healthy and tasty switches. What have you got to lose?