Deciding to try and eat a healthier, more balanced diet is all well and good but saying goodbye to our favourite meals isn’t always so easy. By depriving yourself of all your beloved foods you essentially set yourself up to fail, as this is proven to simply make you crave them more and therefore statistically more likely to quit your diet. The ideal solution is thus to enjoy the same meals you always have but make a few simple substitutions that reduce the calories and fat content; meaning you can finally eat your favourite foods without feeling guilty.
Whole wheat flour: Use this in place of white flour in homemade baked goods and you will benefit from greater levels of nutrients and increased fibre that aids the digestive system and keeps the heart healthy.
Almond flour: Another substitute for white flour that will boost not only the levels of omega3 and protein in a recipe but will enhance the flavour by adding a deep nuttiness to it.
Avocado puree: Given that they are both fats and much the same consistency, avocado puree makes a great substitute for butter in various recipes, as it provides natural, beneficial fats, as opposed to the high levels of the unhealthy saturated type that butter contains.
Banana: A mashed, ripe banana is also the perfect consistency to replace butter and other unwanted fats in your baking. It adds a huge depth of flavour to the recipe and lots of potassium and fibre to keep your system in good working order.
Brown rice: This is rice in its most natural form, as white rice is merely a processed version that has had its bran layer removed, thus making it less nutritious.
Lean meat: Meat in your diet, though often high in fat, can also be very beneficial. You therefore don’t need to cut it out but can instead opt for lean cuts. This way you can still enjoy the likes of your favourite sausage recipes, steaks, burgers or mince, without stressing over the fat content.
Quorn: Not just for vegetarians, Quorn is generally considered the best meat free substitute available on the market. This and other vegetable based alternatives come in all sorts of shapes and flavours to replace meat without anywhere near as much fat.
Turnip: We all love some creamy mashed potatoes but the butter, salt and milk that are added makes it pretty calorific. Mashed turnip has a creamy consistency without the need to add any fats to it and has a more naturally sweet flavour.
Herbs: Too much salt in your diet can raise your cholesterol and damage your heart. Using herbs is a much healthier and safer way to boost the flavour of a dish and with so many types available; you can find something to accompany any meal.
Turkey: Turkey is a highly underused meat as it is actually very low in fat and therefore a great alternative to many other meats. In minced form, it can be used to make much healthier homemade burgers or meatballs for example.
Coconut milk: Milk or cream is often added to soups and stews to give a creamier flavour but this boosts the calories and fat content. Coconut milk is much healthier – and don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like sweetened coconut so won’t ruin the flavour of your dish.