By Gina Obeng (Just Geen)
The thought of healthy eating is quite daunting when its not something you are used to. Some people think its boring, expensive, hard, restricting and the list goes on. However, healthy eating does not have to be that complicated. It’s actually quite simple when you think about it…
When I first started, I decided to ease myself into the process and just made slight changes to my diet. I didn’t want to shock my system too much to the point where I wouldn’t be able to handle it and stick to it. When I say slight changes, I’m referring to picking healthier alternatives to what you would usually eat or cook with. It’s good to note that making small changes to your diet is the healthiest and most sustainable way to lose weight in the long run as small changes do add up and make a big difference overall.
Q: Where do I start?
A. Here is a list of some of the basic healthy swaps I highly recommend to start you off:
- White Rice for Brown Rice
- White Pasta for Brown Pasta
- White Bread for Brown Bread
- White Potatoes for Sweet Potatoes
From the list you can see the products are the same, the only difference is the colour. This is because the wholegrain (brown) options tend to have a higher fiber content and about 50 fewer calories per serving depending on the brand or the product. Brown food tends to provide a more complex, slower releasing carbohydrate which reduces the insulin spike and helping to keep blood sugar levels more consistent. Whole wheat foods provide an extra hit of fibre in comparison to white options, which not only aids in digestion but it can also lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Fats, Oils & Dressings
- Butter and Margarine for Avocado or Peanut butter on bread
- Sunflower and Vegetable Oil for Coconut Oil and Virgin Oil
Avocado as a substitute for margarine and butter is a good swap because although they’re both fats, one is natural whilst the other is saturated. They also nearly have the same consistency when at room temperature.
All things Sweet
- Sugar for Honey/Dates
- Sweets for Fruits
If you have a sweet tooth, swapping your sweets for fruits is the best thing you could do. The natural sugar in the fruit still gives you that sweet taste just without the calories. The same goes for swapping sugar with honey.
- Fizzy drinks for Freshly squeezed juices or infused water.
Water will always be the healthiest beverage you can consume. It does not have any calories. However, it can also be very boring. For those who don’t like drinking water, why not try adding fresh fruit to your water.
- Fatty Meats for Lean Cut Meats
- Ground Turkey for ground beef
Ground turkey (or chicken) is a great substitute for ground beef to cut down on saturated fat and calories. However, please bear in mind that because of the lower fat content the ground option often ends up drier than regular beef.
These are just some of the healthy alternatives available. Why not give these a try for the next 30 days and see what changes you start to notice.
-By Gina Obeng
For more health and wellness tips see Gina’s website Justgeen.com