Four sim­ple swaps to a health­ier you

Did you know that by mak­ing small changes to your diet you can achieve big re­sults? Cre­den­tialed di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tor Kate Gu­dorf writes

Owner Driver - - News - Kate Gu­dorf is a cre­den­tialed di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tor with Di­a­betes NSW & ACT. For more in­for­ma­tion see the web­site at www.di­a­

FOR MANY peo­ple, eat­ing healthily can seem just too dif­fi­cult! How­ever, when it comes to im­prov­ing health, you don’t have to make dras­tic changes.

Peo­ple wrongly be­lieve that eat­ing healthily means an over­haul to their cur­rent diet and un­for­tu­nately this mis­con­cep­tion can pre­vent peo­ple from mak­ing any changes.

The good news is that small changes, like a few sim­ple swaps, can lead to big health ben­e­fits.

Why eat healthy? Healthy eat­ing may de­crease your risk of de­vel­op­ing chronic health con­di­tions like type 2 di­a­betes and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease; it can pre­vent cer­tain types of can­cer; and may help you man­age weight, im­prove mood and en­ergy lev­els. Sound good?

What types of changes can you make to im­prove your diet? We’ve listed four sim­ple swaps you can make to­day.


Change your large cap­puc­cino for a small skim cap Did you know the kilo­joules and sat­u­rated fat in milky cof­fees add up? Not only can ex­tra kilo­joules lead to weight gain, but the sat­u­rated fat in full cream milk may raise choles­terol and in­crease your risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

By swap­ping a large full cream cap­puc­cino for a small skim cap you can save 441 kilo­joules and nearly six grams of sat­u­rated fat. If that doesn’t sound like much, con­sider this. In a year, if you were to make no other changes to your diet, you could lose nearly five kilo­grams of body weight and re­duce your sat­u­rated fat in­take by the equiv­a­lent of eight 500-gram tubs of but­ter.

That’s a lot! If you’re drink­ing more than one cup of cof­fee each day, you could save even more.


Swap your bag of crisps for fruit Do you get peck­ish while work­ing? Nib­bling crisps may taste sat­is­fy­ing, but the kilo­joules in crisps quickly add up and the salt can raise blood pres­sure, in­creas­ing your risk of stroke.

By swap­ping out your 50-gram bag of crisps for a piece of fruit like ba­nana, you could save 630 kilo­joules and around 300mg of sodium.

The kilo­joules saved may re­sult in a seven-kilo­gram weight loss over a year and a re­duc­tion of 47 tea­spoons of salt in your diet, help­ing to re­duce your risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and stroke.

Don’t like ba­nanas? Try one serve of any fruit you like. A serve is one medium-sized piece of fruit (one ap­ple, ba­nana or or­ange) or two small pieces (man­darins, plums or kiwi fruit).


Swap a take- away burger and chips for a health­ier meal How of­ten do you eat take-away while on the road? Is pur­chas­ing a burger and chips eas­ier than pack­ing a lunch? The good news is that many take-away restau­rants now of­fer health­ier op­tions; you just need to know which to choose.

Rather than a burger and chips, try a grilled chicken burger or wrap. If you want a burger, choose the plainest one and skip the chips.

These op­tions will save you kilo­joules and sat­u­rated fat, help­ing you main­tain weight and pre­vent chronic dis­eases.

If you’re feel­ing am­bi­tious, pack your lunch. Try a whole­grain sand­wich of chicken, turkey or tuna with let­tuce, to­mato and av­o­cado and a small tub of low-fat yo­ghurt.


Swap your sweet­ened bev­er­age for wa­ter There are plenty of rea­sons to drink wa­ter: it’s nat­u­ral; con­tains no added sugar, sweet­en­ers, ar­ti­fi­cial colours or flavours; has zero kilo­joules; and, when drink­ing from the tap, it’s free.

Our bod­ies are made of mostly wa­ter, so drink­ing wa­ter is the per­fect way to hydrate.

Did you know that your reg­u­lar soft drink, fruit juice or sports drink con­tains kilo­joules and sugar? A can of reg­u­lar soft drink con­tains nearly 10 tea­spoons of sugar, the same as three and a half dough­nuts.

By swap­ping out your sweet­ened drink for wa­ter, you could save your­self heaps of added sugar and kilo­joules, help­ing re­duce your risk of obe­sity and man­age weight.

If you’re bored with reg­u­lar wa­ter, try adding le­mon, lime or berries to wa­ter for an ex­tra zing.

Or try soda or mineral wa­ter for a fizzy re­fresh­ment.

Ditch the fast food and soft drink for a health­ier op­tion

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