Often making small changes to our food choices can make a BIG difference to our kilojoule, fat, salt and sugar intake. This can therefore make a difference to our overall health in the long term too. I have outlined some extremely simple swaps you might be able to make to assist you in your quest for general good health or weight loss.
Beef sausages for kangaroo sausages
Like sausages? Have you ever seen how much fat goes in to the making of some sausages? Unfortunately they are a heavily processed, high fat, high sodium meat. We are recommended to have them only ‘sometimes and in small amounts’. However, if you want a healthier alternative, swap your regular sausages for kangaroo sausages which are significantly leaner. There are also leaner beef options available at the supermarket but still keep them as an occasional food only.
Sour cream for yoghurt
Swap your sour cream for low fat greek yoghurt. Once again, this will cut out a lot of fat and energy and will taste just as good.
Swap juice for fresh
Swap your fruit juice for fresh fruit. You’ll get much more fibre, it will help fill you up and
it’s a healthier dose of fructose than that from juice. Whole fruit is also better for weight management.
Swap chips for popcorn
Buy popcorn without any added salt or butter. This is great for those times you feel like snacking on something whilst watching a movie or TV and it again cuts out a lot of fat, salt and energy.
Chocolate for chocolate strawberries
Swap chocolate for chocolate coated strawberries. This will dramatically cut down the amount of chocolate you’re consuming and therefore the sugar and fat to go with it. You’re getting some fruit in too! Make it dark chocolate if you want to get some extra antioxidants in there.
Butter, margarine and mayo for avocado
When it comes to butter, margarine and mayo, try using avocado as an alternative. It is full of micronutrients and heart healthy fats and acts just like any other spread.
Takeaway pizza for home-made
Instead of ordering a pizza out, make one at home. This can be a healthy option if you pack it full of vegetables and avoid processed meats. You can also add fat reduced cheese which will cut out a lot of fat and energy. Accompany your pizza with a side salad to cut down on the number of pieces you are having.
Swap products high in sodium for low salt or salt free options, for example, unsalted nuts, salt-reduced tomato paste and salt-reduced soy sauce. Use herbs and spices to add flavour – they often have health benefits of their own!
Processed meat for fresh
When making sandwiches or platters try preparing your own lean meats from home instead of using processed meats. Deli meat is high in saturated fat, sodium and can contain higher amounts of carcinogenic properties that increase a person’s risk of certain types of cancer. This one may take some planning ahead of time but it will be well worth it!
High sugar, high processed cereal for natural
There are a lot of highly processed cereals out there with a lot of added sugar. Unfortunately many people have adjusted to the added sugar and find natural cereal difficult to adjust to. To really give your body a good start, swap to raw oats or a natural wholegrain cereal and flavour with fruit and yoghurt.
Swap cream based sauces for tomato based
Swap cream based sauces for tomato based sauces. Cream based sauce can pack a punch in terms of kilojoules and fat.
A fantastic alternative to coconut milk is combining light evaporated milk with coconut essence. This cuts out a substantial amount of saturated fat and kilojoules.
Slice of cake for slice of raisin toast
Have a hankering for something sweet? Try a piece of raisin toast with a tablespoon of fat reduced ricotta cheese. This is filling and satisfying but a much better option than the cake.
High GI for low GI
High GI foods will cause your blood glucose levels to spike and then drop back off quickly. They won’t leave you as full for as long and generally don’t provide quite as much nutrition. Swapping highly processed foods for wholegrain products can prevent this occurring.
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist. If you have questions about food swaps that will benefit your health, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.