Now summer is truly over, it can be easy to reach for comfort food to distract yourself from the cold weather. It isn’t a crime to indulge in treats and over-eat but with a chocolate bar here and a burger there, time can catch up with you.
Regularly eating unhealthy food can cause a lot of health issues, so ensure you monitor your intake. The NHS advises that the recommended daily calories intake is 2,500 for a man and for a woman, 2,000 a day.
If the idea of salads and broccoli puts you off reaching for healthy alternatives, we have the solution.
Nutritionist at Personalised.co, Donia Hilal, has shared some healthy but fun alternatives to some of your favourite, unhealthy treats.
Swapping one for the other will allow you to give into your cravings without harming your health.
1) Instead of pasta – try edamame spaghetti
Edamame spaghetti has all the qualities of regular spaghetti but it’s green in colour and much healthier. The spaghetti is made up of only two ingredients: organic edamame and water.
One portion of edamame spaghetti has 24 grams of protein, 11 grams of fibre and is 30% of your daily iron. The dish is packed full of other health benefits too and it is gluten-free, organic, vegan and kosher. Pair the pasta with fresh, homemade pesto sauce for an extra special taste.
2) Instead of potato crisps – try kale crisps
Kale crisps are perfect for satisfying your salt cravings. Store brought ones are lovely, but homemade kale crisps deliver a more poignant flavour. Sprinkle your kale with olive oil, salt and pepper and throw them into the oven for a few minutes until they are crisp to perfection. So, you can enjoy all the crispy, salty goodness, whilst being super healthy!
3) Instead of ice cream – try frozen yoghurt
Frozen yoghurt has less calories and fat than ice cream whilst still carrying lots of flavour. Many frozen yoghurt stands have options to add different toppings. To keep it healthy, opt for fruit and steer clear from ‘healthy’ granola which adds on 138 calories. A half-cup serving of frozen yoghurt will average 100 to 140 calories and 0 to 3 grams of fat which is a lovely sweet you don’t have to feel guilty about.
4) Instead of milkshakes – try homemade smoothies
If your sweet tooth is craving a sugar loaded chocolate milkshake, why don’t you make yourself a smoothie instead? Homemade smoothies are a delicious and nutritious, they can also be fun to make with different combinations creating unique flavours. Switch from dairy to almond milk and add in leafy greens for iron, nuts and seeds for your protein and for extra flavour, Greek yogurt, chia seeds and berries.
5) Instead of chips – baked sweet potato chips
Chips are an easy go-to snack, cheap and always filling. But there is a way to make the meal healthy, by switching to home baked sweet potato chips. Eating sweet potatoes means you’re still getting your essential carbs but now you’re also getting your five-a-day. Regular fried potatoes are considered starchy and overindulging, leaving you feeling bloated sometimes. When baking your sweet potatoes, leave the skin on for an extra boost of fibre.
6) Instead of pork sausages – try chicken sausages
If sausages are a favourite treat in your diet and a firm favourite on a Sunday morning, consider changing to chicken sausages. These tend to be lower in saturated fat than pork and the switch is a clever way of lowering your intake of red meat. Research has shown that a higher intake of red meat is linked with certain health risks if consumed regularly.
7) Instead of cheddar – try goat’s cheese
Many of us love cheese, so the thought of ditching it all together might be scary. Fear not, you can still enjoy your cheese consumption by adding in some variation. Softer cheese is a great source of calcium as they aren’t too high in fat. Goat’s cheese, cottage cheese, crème fraiche and quark are some options. Hard cheese, like cheddar, is high in fat and calories, so it’s important to monitor your intake.