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
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