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Makeover your food habits

Posted May 14 2009 4:33pm

A food makeover can easily lead to a 'you'-makeover. It is astonishing as to how many calories we can cut out from our food by simple subtitutions or reducing the quantity of some ingredients. Christmas and the new year are fast approaching. It is as much a time for celebration (read that as loads of good food) as much as it is for introspection. A conscious thinking about are we doing good to our bodies. Do we need that much sugar in our morning coffee? Do we need that carton of whole cream in our soup? If we absolutely need it there, can we vow to eat a little less of the good stuff?

A few tips to remember

1. Substitute refined products with wholesome products. Our ancestors used to eat raw, the least we can do is to eat 'whole'.

Example: Refined all purpose flour to part whole wheat flour
Advantage: More fibre, stable blood sugar levels, protection from cancers.

Example: White bleached sugar with jaggery or any other unrefined sugar source
Advantage: Refined sugar is a zero nutrition food. Jaggery has loads of iron and minerals.

2. Reduce the fats, sugar and salt. We're not asking you to give up, just to reduce.

Example: Don't keep salt shakers on the table. I'm sure you wont get up in the middle of the meal to get salt. Out of sight is really out of mind.
Advantage: Excess salt is one of the main causes in developing high blood pressure. And it is no secret that a normal blood pressure is one of the key indicators of of your heart health.

Example: Instead of smothering your toast with butter or margarine, try a chutney or a vegetable spread. It's tastier, believe me.
Advantage: Lower in calories and richer in anti-oxidants

Example: We don't need to DRIZZLE loads of olive oil on everything like the chefs on food network do it. Olive oil is good. But remember everything in excess is bad. A tbsp or so per recipe is good enough.
Advantage: Each tbsp of olive oil saved is 120 calories lost. Like they say, a penny saved is a penny earned. I'd say, a calorie saved is a calorie burnt.


3. Use healthy methods of cooking.

Example: Potatoes are one of the greatest vegetables and they get bashed most often. Compare a boiled potato with French fries. While a boiled potato would approximately be 100 calories, a handful of fries would be atleast 3 times as much. It's all in the technique. Baking, roasting, steaming, poaching, grilling, pressure cooking, sauteeing are wonderful methods of cooking. Use them.
Advantage: Nutrients are preserved without adding excess calories from deep frying.

4. Share the good stuff.

Example: Can't resist that chocolate avalanche at your coffee shop? Go along with 4 friends and share it. In short, eat smaller portions of good stuff. Who can survive not eating their favourite chocolate brownie or mom's teratti paal? Eat, but eat consciously. Savour that one small piece slowly and lovingly.
Advantage: You wont crave for the goodie by abstaining. Sharing will cut down your intake by large.

Recommended reads

~ I came across this eye-opener of an article in the Daily Mail about child-nutrition. The article was written by Jane Clarke- Britain's leading nutritionists and was called - Let them eat white bread - It really IS healthy! This makes an excellent read for all parents who are concerned about what is the best food for their children.

~The Happiness Project blog by Gretchen Rubin is a part of my everyday reading. Every Wednesday is tips days at her blog and her Tips to eat better is a great way to end this post. Read it here.

This Post was written by Nandita from Saffron Trail

Tags:Holiday eating,healthy eating,child nutrition,eating better

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