Use your power to swap! Here are some swap tricks you can use to have less unhealthy food

Here are some simple methods of swaps you can use to have less unhealthy food with healthy foods:

  • Before you pick and drop packaged food in your shopping trolley read nutrition labels and choose healthy swaps per 100g with 3g fat, 5g sugar, 0.3g salt, and 1.5g sat fats or buy sugar free, reduced salt or low fat versions

  • Instead of crisps, chocolate, sweets , cake and sweet biscuits swap by Increasing your fruit and vegetable consumption from fresh or frozen and store tinned vegetables for emergency with less salt and sugar

  • Instead of refined high sugar cereals , white breads, white pitta bread, white pasta, white flour for baking and chapatti and rice buy healthy low sugar whole grain cereals , brown pasta , whole meal pitta bread, wholemeal flour and brown rice with less salt and sugar

  • Instead of full fat cheese have low fat cheese in moderation as part of a balanced diet

  • Instead of fried savoury salty snacks e. g crisps , Bombay mix, savoury cheese biscuits try homemade popcorn, vegetable sticks with homemade low fat humus or yoghurt dips, home-made Bombay mix with rice Krispies, salt free dry roasted nuts, raisins, roasted lentils and spices

  • Instead of red meats every day, have more fresh fish (especially oily fish twice per week tinned without salt or brine or oil) fresh chicken and less red meat. But if you want to eat red meat then have fresh lean and less processed. Try home -made burgers or sausages with less salt and fat. Have a meat free day every week with vegetarian meal with beans, lentils, Quorn or soya.

  • Instead of buying ready meals or packet soups try home-made cooking in advance and freeze. E g home -made casseroles, stews, bolognaise, curries, potato pies and soups. If buying ready meals or soups remember to read labels and choose ones with less salt, sugar and fat.

  • Instead of sweet fizzy drinks or excess tea or coffee have healthy drinks e.g. water, low fat milk, flavoured water with fresh lemon or fruit or mint or herbal teas, low fat milk or one glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice with a meal.

  • Instead of adding salt try using home-made flavourings e.g. lemon juice, ginger and garlic, herbs, and spices instead of soya sauces, seasonings, pickles and mayonnaise. Try home -made sauces e. g home -made low fat white sauce with low fat milk.

  • Instead of sweet and savoury pastry try oat crumble and potato pie

  • Instead of full fat milk try low fat milk

  • Instead of full fat high sugar yoghurts try low fat sugar free yoghurts

  • Instead of high sugar jelly, trifle custard and puddings try sugar free low fat versions.

  • Examples of some great swaps:

  • 1 chocolate chip cookie 366 calorie swap with 1 orange only 30 calories

  • 1 paratha 92g 297 calories swap with 1chapati 90g 182 calories

  • 100ml whole milk 66 calories swap with 100ml semi skimmed milk 46 calories

  • 50g full fat cheese 208 calories swap with grated 25g full fat cheese can go further with104 calories

  • Apple pie 80g 214 calories swap with apple and rhubarb crumble 60g 120 calories

  • Rump steak fried 194g 442 calories swap with smoked mackerel 75g 266 calories

Reference "carbs and Cal s" book for weight loss , diabetes and healthy eating.

Note: by gradually introducing the ideas above, your taste buds will adapt to a healthier way of eating and reduce your risk of gaining weight, developing heart disease and cancer. Taste buds may take more than 2 weeks to adapt so keep trying to introduce the above ideas. Enjoy swapping for you and your family. Why not start today till the end of march for lent. Play the stop, swap and shop game with your children or yourself and see how much fun healthy eating can be.

For specialised Diet and Nutrition advice seek the advice of a Professional Dietitian and Nutritionist Tabby Kabeer

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