Here are some healthy alternatives to replace your favourite junk foods.
WORDS ANNA FERNANDEZ
It may seem difficult to eat healthy all the time but there are simple changes you can make to your diet which may go a long way. If you’re having trouble finding healthy meals to cook regularly, simply replace unhealthy ingredients with healthier ones, not just in your recipes, but in your pantry. Here’s how.
Start Your Day with Whole Grain
Even cereals touted as healthy have a great deal of added sugar and often, very little fibre. If you need a healthy breakfast alternative, try oatmeal. Oatmeal is a whole grain, and eating whole grains can lower your risk for high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. It also contains lignans, a plant chemical that has been found to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Choose the Right Carbs
Deep-fried French fries may taste great, but they are dangerously packed with sodium, trans fats and calories. Whip up some homemade, oven-roasted sweet potato wedges instead. They are an excellent, antioxidant-rich anti-inflammatory alternative to white potatoes and are able to provide us with the key antioxidant, beta-carotene, which prevents cells from being damaged by oxidation.
Swap Ice Cream with Yoghurt
The probiotic strains of bacteria present in yoghurt help to boost the immune system and reduce the incidence of infections, inflammatory diseases, and allergies. Probiotics also promote digestive health.
Yoghurt is rich in calcium, which is essential for maintaining bone
and dental health, and is easier on the digestive system.
Adequate calcium consumption also lowers the incidence of osteoporosis in menopausal women.
Hydrate with the Right Fluids
While it should not completely replace plain water for hydration, coconut water is definitely superior to energy drinks that are full of sugar, caffeine, and even chemical additives. Coconut water is also high in potassium, which is important for exercise as it prevents muscle cramps. It has fewer calories and less sodium than sports drinks. Most people don’t get sufficient potassium in their diets because they don’t eat enough fruits, vegetables, and dairy, so coconut water can help fill in the nutritional gaps.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with Fruit
Loaded with refined sugar, candy offers you nothing but empty calories. Try switching to dried or frozen fruits. The harmful metabolic effects of fructose do not apply to fruit because most fruits take a while to digest, and so, the fructose in fruit hits the liver slowly and in small quantities. Fruits are rich in fibre and contain minerals like potassium. Vary the fruits you eat as different fruits contain different essential nutrients.