Top 7 Healthy Food Choices
Are you looking to lose weight, get fit or just improve your diet? Quit opting for the fast options and filling up on unhealthy grub and check out these simple healthy swaps!
1. Skip the sugary cereals
Whether you’re on your way to college or about to start work, no matter how much your strapped for time do not give in to those lucky charms! There’s nothing lucky about a bowl of pure sugar and if you’re looking to get the day off to a good start… this is not the way.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day right? Yada yada yada…. The idea of breakfast is in the name- to break the overnight fast. When we wake up in the morning our insulin and blood sugar levels are at their lowest and most sensitive- this means by filling up on sinfully sugary bowls of cereal first thing ,you’ll be greeted with a huge spike in blood sugar and insulin levels. Great right? Just the energy kick you need to start the day.
Wrong! This peak in blood sugar will temporarily give you energy but after a few hours the consequential blood sugar crash will leave you feeling tired and lousy. What’s more, within the body’s metabolism large peaks in insulin can encourage the storage of fat and so should be avoided by those looking to lose weight or decrease body fat levels.
If you’re a sucker for cereal, try choosing an option with less than ten grams of sugar per bowl- an ideal breakfast solution is porridge, oat bran or even a breakfast version of quinoa. These healthy alternatives are not only full of fibre but they will provide you with a good source of protein and slow releasing complex carbohydrates- so you’ll feel energised for longer.
If you’re a lover of both sweet and savoury dish try an egg white omelette or scrambled eggs for a good strong breakfast. In a hurry? Swap that sugary cereal bar for a quick and easy protein shake! It really is so important to fuel the body properly in the morning- after all it sets you up for the rest of the day!
We’re all a sucker for a succulent, mouth watering greasy cheeseburger- but have you any idea what’s actually in these bad boys? There’s a reason we’re being told to stay away from the fast food guys! Instead of that big greasy cheese burger why not swap it for a char grilled chicken breast, ground turkey burger or even a tuna burger!
Instead of a big thick bread bun- slice two round pieces of sweet potato and bake for 45 minutes- trust me this bun is way more delicious! Top with homemade guacamole or salsa and you’ve got yourself one tasty stack with a lot less calories and fat!
3. Chinese Take Out
Unless you want to be the size of a panda- don’t make panda express the most staple component of your diet. Chinese food is one of my favourite cuisines but can also be the unhealthiest. Take out Chinese is packed full of salt and sugar- a lethal combination when you’re trying to get fit or lose weight. Sure, take out is fine every now and then- but if your verging on more than one take out a week you should consider the nutritional consequences.
Instead of opting for take out, try making your own Chinese! Chicken pan fried in low calorie oil chopped up vegetables, bean sprouts, a small portion of whole grain rice or rice noodles and some light soya sauce… get them in a wok and there you have it! EASY and super healthy.
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that’s…. unhealthy!
Well not necessarily! Swap that big thick greasy pizza for a homemade version! There are so many recipes out there that use whole grain flours, cauliflower and even zucchini’s for a base! Sounds weird I know but trust me it’s so good- don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
5. Soda Swaps
Sugar sweetened beverages like sodas are causing a massive expansion in US waistlines and in tons of recent studies have been linked to obesity and disease such as type 2 diabetes. But it’s just a drink right?
Well what may seem as just a quick hydration solution on a hot day could be setting you back on your health and fitness goals. And before you pick up a diet soda- think again! Diet sodas contain high levels of the sweetener aspartame and have also been associated to weight gain and causing you to actually eat more! Swap the soda with water or seltzer with lemon!
6. French Fries
French fries, sweet French fries! There’s nothing better than that perfect side of fries- but when this becomes a regular habit the weight and health consequences are not something you’ll be thanking Ronald Mc Donald for!
Instead of a quick portion of fries chose a healthy option- vegetables of course are best- after all we never actually get enough- but why not make some sweet potato or butternut squash fries? These healthy swaps are made by roasting chopped up sweet potato/butternut squash with a low calorie oil spray or a tablespoon of olive oil! Delicious!
7. Kentucky Fried Chicken
Yes fried chicken is delicious and the smell… well, mouth watering doesn’t really cut it! These tasty sides seem to go with anything whether it be a pizza or a stacked sub but instead of chowing down on this fatty fried food, why not swap it for baked or grilled chicken tenders.
You could even make your own version of healthy fried chicken using sliced chicken breast coated in whole grain breadcrumbs and egg white, pan fried in a teaspoon of coconut oil!
Take Home Message
A unhealthy treat is allowed from time to time- especially if you’ve been working hard in the gym. But on a daily basis think before you impulse buy. Many people chose to go to the grocery store or for lunch when their most hungry.
But did you know when we’re hungry we make the worst food decisions? Studies have shown that shopping hungry can increase the likelihood of purchasing unhealthy high sugar, salt and fattening foods! I’m not saying you need to be full as a gun on your next Meijer or Walmart trip- but be aware!
Write a list before you go shopping- always be prepared…failing to prepare is preparing to fail!
Keep fuelling your ambition!