Food Swaps for Health
If you’ve seen the blog post on 5 Habits for a Healthy Life you’ll realise the importance of eating a healthy diet if you want a healthy lifespan. Also see the post Pulses not Potatoes for info on how swapping fast releasing carbs for pulses can improve blood sugar control as well as many other aspects of health.
Here are some simple things you can do to improve your diet without needing to feel deprived or at a loss as to what to eat:
Ditch refined vegetable oils such as sunflower oil and corn oil that are sold in plastic bottles in supermarkets.
Replace with cold pressed oils such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, pumpkin seed oil and toasted sesame oil.
Most supermarket bread is made using the Chorleywood process which speeds up the bread making but means the bread is soft and squidgy and full of air. Instead of giving the bread time to prove and rise chemicals such as flour improvers are used to speed up the process. The resulting bread is hard to digest and may well be partly responsible for the rise in people with wheat, gluten or yeast intolerance.
Replace this with traditionally made bread such as sourdough or artisan bread. Ideally make your own using good quality flour and allow plenty of time for the magic to happen.
Most commercial breakfast cereals are high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and salt.
Swap these for porridge or an oat based muesli for a healthier breakfast that will sustain you for longer. Be sure to add nuts and seeds or nut butter to your oats for extra protein and healthy fats.
Instead of table salt switch to rock salt or sea salt, both of which are less refined and contain trace minerals rather than just sodium chloride. For extra flavour try herb salt or add salty condiments such as miso or tamari to savoury dishes.
Instead of sugary or fried snacks go for nuts and seeds or make up a trail mix of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, raw cacao and coconut flakes. You’ll get way more nutrients and fibre and a lot less processed oils, sugar and salt.
Swap processed chocolate that is full of sugar for raw cacao or cacao nibs. Add cacao powder to smoothies or baked goods and add cacao nibs to trail mixes and muesli for a chocolatey treat.
Avoid sugary drinks or those containing artificial sweeteners and replace with coconut water, vegetable juice, water or herbal teas. These will all hydrate and nourish you.