These simple diet tips, tweaks and swaps will boost your health quickly, easily and without a total life overhaul.
Alkalise your plate
Alkaline eating is the celebrity trend of the moment. The theory is that an acidic body state promotes disease and that your body functions better when it’s alkaline.
This means focusing meals on fruit, vegetables and wholegrains, and limiting animal products.
“A very simple rule is to divide your plate into four – make half of it veg, mostly green.
Then fill a quarter with lean meat, fish or poultry. The other quarter should be pulses or wholegrain carbohydrates,” says nutritional therapist Nina Omotoso.
Revisit your veg-emies
Make a list of every vegetable you feel is an enemy. Now, cook each of them in different ways.
“It can completely change the way they taste,” says nutritionist Ian Marber. Suggestions include grilling, roasting, poaching in stock, adding grated apple and cooking slowly in a little water, or stir-frying with additions like chilli, lemon or flaked almonds. Broccoli cooked with almonds tastes great. Or try carrots roasted with cumin and paprika, or cabbage poached in chicken stock.
Mix up your mash
Try mashing cauliflower, sweet potato, butternut squash or carrot, or a mix of two. For example, carrot, garlic and sweet potato taste really good together. “It satisfies comfort cravings just as well as traditional mashed potato,” says author and healthy food expert Jennifer Irvine.
Use less oil when stir- frying
“This is an easy way to cut back on kilojoules,” says Jennifer. Use a non-stick pan, stir-fry ingredients in just a teaspoon of oil, then add a good splash of water.
Cut baking fat in half
Experiment – replace half the butter in sweet recipes with mashed banana, puréed apple or pear.
Throw in extra veggies
By adding puréed or finely chopped vegetables to soups, stews and sauces, you can double your daily veggie intake.
Blend in a handful of vegetables to increase nutrients. “Stick to the same colour family,” says Jennifer. So, if you are going to make an apple and lime smoothie, green veg, such as spinach or celery, will work. Orange or peach-based smoothies can have a carrot or roasted squash added.
Eat canned salmon instead of tuna
Dietitian Nichola Whitehead says this is one of the easiest but most effective diet swaps. Salmon is richer in omega-3 fatty acids, plus the little edible bones help increase your calcium intake.
It’s a great way to add a few extra nutrients. Parsley is packed with vitamin C, while nori sheets – edible seaweed that’s used in sushi, which can be crushed and sprinkled on soups, stews or salads – are rich in iodine and selenium.
Serve alcohol in a straight-sided glass, such as a tumbler
We drink from this at half the speed as a curved glass (like a wine glass), cutting kilojoules, sugar and units in your diet, according to a study by Bristol University.
Cut down on meat
Eat only-veggie dishes one day a week and you could reduce your saturated fat intake by 15%. Even cutting out one serving of meat a day is thought to reduce your risk of diabetes by a fifth.
Switch from normal yoghurt to low-fat Greek kinds. They’re higher in protein, so keep you fuller for longer.
Easy carb swaps
Modern carbohydrates are often very refined, lowering the levels of nutrients and fibre they provide, and increasing their glycaemic index, says nichola. try these easy switches…
Cous-cous for quinoa
The Incas used this protein-heavy grain for thousands of years.
White for spelt flour
It contains more protein.
White for red rice
It’s higher in fibre, this ancient Chinese rice also has cholesterol-fighting ingredients.
DISCLAIMER: Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor. You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.