We'd all like to eat healthier and get in shape, but the truth is it's no fun. Nobody wants to spend the rest of their lives eating nothing but kale and chick peas just to stay fit.
Luckily, there are so many little changes to your cooking habits that will make your favorite meals more nutritious. There are lots of things we take for granted about cooking that are really unhealthy, so a few small changes can have a big impact.
See if any of these 10 easy changes would be a good fit for you and then give them a try!
1. Sneak in some more vegetables
It can seem impossible to get all the servings of fruit and vegetables that the food pyramid tells you to eat every day. Try to replace meat in a dish like a casserole or shepherd's pie with veggies instead, this makes all your tasty meals a little healthier.
2. Use as little oil as possible
Oil is one of the most calorie-rich parts of your meal. Start by using a non-stick pan with just a little oil, then if it runs out add in some water instead of more oil.
3. Learn to fry without oil
Yes, you can even make your favorite fried food using less oil. Batter and coat your meat like usual, then spray it or lightly coat it with oil and bake it on a wire rack. You save almost half the calories cooking this way.
4. Switch all your grains to brown
We won't lie, if you're used to eating white bread every day, brown will definitely take some getting used to, but it's worth it. Adding more fiber to your diet is important, and some switches (like using whole grain rice) are pretty painless.
Click the next page for more tips, including healthy baking advice!
5. Watch your portion size
This tip isn't very fun but it's important. If you want to keep eating all your favorite foods but still be healthier, you need to make sure your portions aren't too big. Check the food guide to see how much is in a healthy serving.
Now, cutting down on your portions also means you'll feel more cravings later on, but these won't bother you if you know how to handle them.
6. Never use mayo again
Nothing tastes quite like mayo, but you can get pretty close. Swap out this in your recipes for natural yogurt or fromage frais, and use a lighter sauce like mustard for your sandwiches.
7. Cut out salt
You can still add flavor to your food with everything from herbs to lemons, pepper and even vinegar. Salt is one of the worst foods for your heart and your cholesterol, so getting rid of it will have a big impact.
8. Make your own cream
When a recipe calls for a cup of cream, try this instead: mix a cup of low fat milk with 4 teaspoons of flour, then whisk these ingredients together over heat. A cup of this low fat cream is 700 calories lighter than the real thing.
9. Take sugar out of your baking
This sounds like it won't work, because we're always told that baking is such an exact science, but you can safely cut out half the sugar from any recipe. The only thing that changes is the taste, but you can top with some dried fruit to add sweetness.
10. When it comes to cheese, focus on flavor
If you buy cheese with a sharper, stronger taste you can use less of it in your recipe. For the same reason, you should always shred your cheese instead of slicing it.
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