We all know that sometimes it can be difficult to diet, especially when the food you love so much is the worst food for you. We bring to you some life hacks that will help make any of your favourite meals, that little bit healthier. After all, we believe it’s the small changes you make that help the most.
Make Creamy Dishes Without The Cream
There’s potentially nothing more comforting than a creamy pasta, whether that be carbonara or macaroni and cheese. The sad thing is, they’re traditionally packed full of butter, heavy cream and cheese. Try combining 1 cup of low-fat milk with 4 teaspoons of flour to create a heavy cream substitute that saves calories and fat. Just simply warm it up over the stove until it thickens, and then add it to your favourite dish. We’re sure this is something you could even do in the microwave, as long as you keep an eye on it and stir every 30 seconds until thickened.
Cook With Less Oil
Even though you could opt for a healthier oil such as canola or extra-virgin olive oil, they still contain over 100 calories per tablespoon. Try reducing the amount of oil you add to a dish, or switch it out for a low-calorie spray. If you’re required to fry food, try upgrading to a non-stick frying pan to reduce the chances of your food sticking. We’ve actually tried using a spoonful of water in replacement of oil when frying, and surprisingly, it works well.
Crispy Food Without Frying
Now we all know frying food isn’t good for us, but sometimes it can’t be helped when the cravings come! Rather than frying your food, spray it with a low-calorie cooking spray and pop it in the oven. This gives your food a nice crisp, without all the badness of deep-frying in oil. If you really crave the crunch, but still don’t want to eat fried food – try snacking on raw vegetables with hummus. That’s a firm favourite of ours.
Replace Salt With Alternative Seasoning
It’s recommended that adults eat less than 8.1g of salt a day. It’s actually recommended you eat less than 6g if you want to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. In recipes, try switching out salt for other flavour alternatives such as lemon juice or fresh herbs. Salt tends to sneak its way into any pre-packaged or tinned foods, so try and opt for a low-sodium option if possible. Or better yet, make everything from scratch!
Add Grains Or Vegetables To Meaty Dishes
In many of your meals, most of your calories and fat will come from a meat source. We know it’s not always necessary to remove the meat completely, so why not try halving it and adding something else? Adding whole grains such as brown rice or bulgur wheat is a good option, it helps to bulk up the meal whilst still keeping it healthy. You could also finely dice up vegetables such as carrots or mushrooms to bulk up the portion size. We like this tip because it’s a great way to add more grains and vegetables into your diet, without much change in flavour or texture.
What is your favourite food related life hack? Tweet us and let us know @Mankindcouk!