We all know we should be eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains; but most of us don’t do so because of taste, cost or convenience. Here are some of my favorite ways to improve on the food you are eating without a major overhaul of your diet.
Substitutions – You can make healthy substitutions that will impact the quality and caloric intake of your food. You probably would never see me switch from 2% milk to a low-fat or skim milk for drinking. If I wanted to drink something with the consistency of water, I would grab a glass of water. But it is possible to substitute lower fat milk in some recipes and dishes to cut your calories from fat. There are many other possible substitutions you can make. You can learn more from my article, “Healthy Ingredient Substitutions for Cooking Recipes“.
Alternate Vegetable Sources – We all know that fresh vegetables are the best for you. They are higher in nutritive value than their canned counterparts, but they don’t last as long. Canned vegetables are more affordable and they won’t go bad before you can use them usually. Instead of missing your vegetables all together, I would recommend using the more convenient packaging. I myself prefer to use frozen vegetables. They cook up quick and are more like fresh produce once cooked. They retain their crispness and texture and still give the benefit of lasting longer in your home. They probably also have better nutrition value than canned. This also allows you to have vegetables that aren’t in season or that you can’t find fresh locally.
Alternate Fruit Sources – Fruits are another food item that is better fresh, but can go bad before you can use them. They also tend to be higher priced during certain times of the year or are completely unavailable. I keep frozen fruit in my freezer for making smoothies year-round. This allows me to have quite a variety without worrying about spoilage and in the winter, when fruit is scarce, I can still get my fruit fix without paying the extremely high prices for fresh fruit.
Make It At Home – Speaking of smoothies, if you love them and want to keep them in your diet; I would recommend you mix them up at home instead of buying them out. For one, you are going to save money over buying them made for you. And two, you get to decide exactly what is in them. No worrying about extra sugar, sweeteners, honey or other ingredients that can sneak in and add extra calories. As for other foods, anything you make at home allows you to have complete control of what is in it. You control the seasonings, salt, sugar content and quality of ingredients.
Take charge of your diet and stop handing over your control to whoever is serving up convenience food.
Associated Content – “Healthy Ingredient Substitutions for Cooking Recipes“
eHow – “How To Lose Weight With Fruit Smoothies“