Do you have a favorite food that you have to give up when you go on a diet? Well think again, you don’t have to cut out the foods you love, here is a guide on how to make your recipes healthier and slim down the calories instead:
Use a non-stick pan
Cut down on oil and butter when frying and even grilling by using a non-stick pan that allows you to ‘dry fry’ without any oil. This saves you 135 calories per tablespoon in your meal. For flavor, drizzle a small quantity of olive oil that is rich in healthy mono-unsaturated fat (but remember it still contains calories). Other healthy cooking methods include grilling, boiling, sautéing, or steaming.
Don’t be afraid to half the amount of butter that is needed in the recipe. Similarly with sugar reduce the amount of sugar to at least half. Most of the time extra butter and oil are needed to enhance flavor and texture, the flavor will still be there with half the amount and you can substitute the other half with other ingredients to keep the texture. Check out the next tip for ingredient swaps.
- Use rolled oats instead of bread crumbs
- Use mashed avocado instead of butter
- Use apple or banana puree instead of oil or butter in baked goods
- Use whole wheat flour instead of white flour
- Use low fat yogurt instead of buttermilk or mayonnaise
- Use skimmed milk+ flour instead of heavy cream
- Use herbs and spices- thyme, oregano, paprika, pepper instead of salt for flavor
- Use egg whites instead of whole eggs
Other healthy alternatives
Whole grains: Always go for whole grains such as whole-wheat pasta instead of white, refined grains when possible, this adds you triple the amount of fiber.
Healthy Fat: When in doubt, use healthy fats such as oils instead of butter. This makes it more heart healthy.
Sweetener: Try using natural sweetener that you can bake with instead of sugar (such as stevia).
Low fat: Prepare your meal or dessert with low fat milk or yogurt instead of whole milk, which saves you about 60 calories per cup and cuts down on the saturated fat that increase your risk of heart disease.
Ask yourself: "Do you need that?"
Ask yourself this question; do you need to fry the vegetables before adding them to the dish? They’ll probably still taste good without the extra oil. Add herbs and spices instead to enhance flavor. Similarly, you don’t need to add the extra cheese to make a cheese crust on to or boil the rice with any oil. Look where you can cut off the extra calories that are just there out of habit, but you don’t really need. For example, frosting, whipped cream or sauces. The extra toppings, sides, or sauces can all accumulate calories without even noticing.