New Year, Fresh Habits

09 Dec 2019

The symbolism of the new year offers a clean slate for new beginnings and healthy resolutions. Despite the majority of those with new year resolutions wanted to lose weight or ‘get healthy’, not many achieve their targets.

Poorly defined goals with a strategy that is too strict and inflexible is setting you up for failure. Not to worry though, if you want to improve your health and wellness in 2020, evidence tells us slow and steady wins the race. The smallest changes can have the biggest impact on your long-term health because you can maintain them long term.

Smart swaps are easy and achievable, replacing one food with something similar that packs a nutritious punch.

Here are my top 10 food swaps that will not only cut kilojoules, but, more importantly, will look after your long-term health:

 

Swap Potato Chips for Popcorn
Even adding salt to your homemade popcorn will reduce your sodium intake on this savoury snack. Plus, you’ll be slashing the kilojoules and fat while boosting your fibre intake for the day.

Swap Croutons for Nuts
Adding crunch to your salads is important, but no one needs the empty kilojoules from croutons. Adding nuts instead gives a boost of minerals, good fats, fibre and protein. Plus, they may even reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Swap Fried Seaford for Grilled Seafood
While the batter may be your favourite bit, it really is just a sponge for fat. Bonus points for getting some veggies on the side too.

Swap Sour Cream for Plain Greek Yoghurt
Not only is Greek yoghurt much lower in kilojoules and saturated fat, it’s also higher in protein and calcium too.

Swap Salt for Dried Herbs and Spices
While it’s true we need sodium in our diet, we get more than enough (literally) from the foods we eat and don’t need to be adding more. Reduce fluid retention (hello bloating) and your risk of high blood pressure by looking for flavour elsewhere.

Swap Ice-Cream for Homemade ‘nice cream’
Save your favourite ice-cream for a special treat and switch to ‘nice cream’ made by blending frozen banana or mango for your daily dessert instead.

Swap Coconut oil for Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Despite the health craze, EVOO wins the prize for proven health benefits. All the good fats and antioxidants protects against heart disease

Swap Regular Sausages for Extra Lean Sausages
Sausages are an Aussie staple, but unfortunately are very high in kilojoules and saturated fats. Switching to an extra lean version will save you some energy plus the tend to contain more meat and less fat and fillers – which means more protein and minerals for the family.

Swap Granola for Muesli
Despite being made from oats, granolas are too high in added fat and added sugar to be a healthy breakfast option. Switch to a muesli (that’s low in added sugars) instead. You’ll get the sweetness from the dried fruit plus the benefits of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre.

Swap Fizzy Drinks for Kombucha
While Kombucha possibly isn’t as helpful for your gut as wellness gurus would like you to think, it is a low sugar and a natural fizzy drink (with no added nasties). There are now a lot of brands and flavours to chose from, so you’re bound to find one you like.

 

Sarah Moore (RNutr, MPH).