Louise Keats reveals healthier options.
Unlike white rice, brown rice is a whole grain with the bran layer and cereal germ still intact. Boiled brown rice tends to have marginally fewer calories and more protein than white, as well as 1.5 times the fibre, over 15 times the vitamin B3 and B6, nine times the vitamin B1 and four times the magnesium. But it also has less calcium and more phytates, which can inhibit nutrient absorption.
winner: brown rice Jerusalem artichoke has 2.5 times the calories of swede and a quarter of the vitamin C. But it has unusually high amounts of inulin and raffinose, two natural prebiotics that feed the good bacteria in our digestive system and can improve gut health (however, they can cause havoc for those with IBS). Jerusalem artichoke wins for your gut microflora, but eating a variety of vegies is always best.
winner: jerusalem artichoke Brands vary, but fried pork sausages typically have about one-third more calories than fried pork mince, plus about twice the fat and close to 40 per cent less protein. Moreover, the sausages typically have over 10 times the salt and less potassium, in addition to preservatives and other additives. Choose mince, or opt for sausages with minimal salt and additives.
winner: pork mince Coconut shortening (such as Copha) is made from hydrogenated coconut oil but contains low levels of trans fats (<1g/100g) because of its high saturated fat content (damaging industrial trans fats are made from partially hydrogenated unsaturated fats). Grab a virgin, unrefined coconut oil. While also high in saturated fats, it’s far less processed so retains more of its natural goodness.
winner: coconut oil Eclairs, made from choux pastry filled with custard or cream and topped with chocolate icing, typically have over 50 per cent more calories than custard tarts. They also have more than twice the sugar and fat, and almost three times the saturated fat. However, éclairs usually have more vitamin A (due to their higher fat content) and less salt. Whichever you choose, go for a small serving.
winner: custard tart Chilli sauce is the winner out of these two Asian sauces. Brands vary, but plum sauce typically has 2.5 times the calories and four times the sugar of chilli sauce. Plus, chilli sauce has over four times the fibre. Store-bought versions of both tend to be very high in salt and often have additives. Your best bet is homemade chilli sauce, made using fresh chillies with minimal sugar and salt.
winner: chilli sauce