A few simple food swaps can be all it takes to turn your diet around. Here are dietitians, Alex and Anna’s top 6 recommendations for everyday food swaps.
Swap sour cream for low fat natural yoghurt
Swapping sour cream to low fat natural yoghurt can save you extra kilojoules and saturated fat. It will also provide you with a healthy dose of lean protein and calcium for improved recovery after workouts. Get creative and add a dash of herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice for a healthy dip for snacks. Alternatively, you could add a dollop to your tacos and baked potatoes for the same creamy, tangy goodness but with more protein and less fat, keeping you fuller for longer. Now that’s more bang for your buck! Look for yoghurts that have no added sugar, more than 5-10g protein and are low in fat (usually less than 3g fat per 100g).
Swap mayonnaise for avocado
Avo is not only a brunch food for the ladies. Did you know by spreading one tablespoons of mayo on your chicken sandwich you could be adding almost one chocolate paddle pop ice creams’ worth of kilojoules?! Mayonnaise is also loaded with saturated fat, a type of fat with strong evidence to increased risk of heart disease. On the other hand, avocado is packed with healthy monounsaturated fats that decrease your risk of heart disease. It’s also a great source of fibre, folate, potassium and vitamin C and K. Adding avo to your meal has also been shown to boost satisfaction by 25%! So why not opt for a quarter of an avo instead of that squirt of mayo? You’ll save on overall energy and eliminate the saturated fat! Avocado is also incredibly versatile. It can replace butter in cakes and desserts, on toast or a sandwich and it even goes well with Vegemite. Need I say more?
Swap creamy salad dressing for balsamic vinegar
Think you’ve made the ‘healthier choice’ by going for the salad at lunch? The humble salad dressing could be a complete game changer and can jeopardize your attempts to stay healthy. While salad dressings can make salads more appetising and help increase your vegie intake, some salad dressings are full of extra kilojoules and fat. Especially the creamy ones! We recommend steering clear of cream-based salad dressings and opting for olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice or garlic. Try adding wholegrain mustard if you feel like something with a creamier mouth feel.
Swap coconut milk swap for light evaporated milk with coconut essence
Despite the recent nutrition trends bombarding social media, you may be surprised to hear that coconut milk really isn’t as healthy as it’s hyped up to be. For the same creamy goodness and coconut flavour use light evaporated milk with coconut essence. You’ll slash the saturated fat out altogether and almost half the kilojoules!
Swap cheddar cheese for cottage cheese
Cheese is one of those foods that is often over consumed – 2 slices, or 40g of regular, hard cheese comes with 10-12g of fat! For a lower fat option that’s just as delicious, try a swap to half a cup of cottage cheese. Like plain yoghurt, cottage cheese packs in more protein while keeping a lid on the fat content, leaving you more satisfied without adding to your waistline. Cottage cheese makes a great snack with wholegrain crackers. You could also try using it as a spread on your next sandwich or morning toast.
Swap potato chips for popcorn
Crunchy, salty potato chips are a common go-to snack but unfortunately when it comes to saturated fat and kilojoules, they don’t stack up. A small packet of chips can contain 800-1000 kilojoules (or 200-250 calories). This is almost double the energy content of a recommended snack (600 kJ), and up to 20g of total fat – even if they claim to be cooked in ‘’good fats’’. That salty goodness of the small packet will also cost you 30% of your daily salt allowance! On the other hand, plain air-popped popcorn is a delicious and healthier alternative that still provides you with that satisfying crunch without the fat! Popcorn is high in fibre and low GI, meaning it will help to keep you fuller for longer – and with a sensible portion size, they’re the perfect snack to keep those munchies at bay. And being around only 55 calories per packet, plain popcorn is the clear winner! Try jazzing up your popcorn by mixing some smoked paprika or mixed spices for a flavour hit.