Whether you are on a diet or not, it's essential to eat healthy for overall health and well-being. Our diets have been increasingly becoming unhealthier, without us noticing. This might be due to our search for convenience and our tendency to binge on unhealthy snacks and fast foods more often. A recent study has found that fast foods being served in restaurant chains have also got progressively unhealthy over the past three decades. If we continue to follow the same unhealthy dietary habits, then our bodies may pay the price in the coming years. The starting point to cleaning up your plate off unhealthy components is to first become aware of the fact that we have all been eating unhealthy.
Instead of counting how many calories you are eating, focus on what nutrients you are consuming and your calorie count will automatically come within the healthy range. An ideal healthy diet must be rich in macro and micro nutrients, including healthy carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Our daily meals must be comprised these nutrients that sustain our body and its functions and must be rid of some unhealthy and calorie-laden foods that we inadvertently add to our daily meals.
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Here are some easy ways to nix those unwanted calories and unhealthy fats from your meals:
1. Stay Away From Ketchup
Store-bought ketchup is loaded with calories, salt and sugars that you can do without. A lot of us are in a habit of using too much ketchup in our daily meals and by doing so, we may be adding unwanted calories to your daily diet. Instead of ketchup, you can prepare some homemade low-sodium dips.
Store-bought ketchup can sneak in a lot of salt, sugar and unwanted calories
2. Ditch The Soda For A Drink Of Water
A lot of us are in the habit of grabbing sodas or soft drinks with our meals. These drinks are loaded with artificial colours and excessive sugar, as well as dangerous additives like corn syrup. They are linked to weight gain, fatty liver as well as increased risks of metabolic syndrome like high blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Switch your sodas with water or a drink of fruit-infused waters or even homemade fruit juices to quench your thirst.
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3. Skip Store-bought Sandwich Spreads
Store-bought condiments like sandwich spreads, flavoured mayonnaise etc. also contain a lot of sodium. You may be inadvertently sneaking in a lot of calories by using these in your daily meals and snacks. Instead use homemade nut butters or natural spreads to add taste and flavour to your sandwiches.
4. Replace Red Meats With Lean Meats
Red meats like bacon, lamb and beef may be delicious to taste, but they are loaded with cholesterol increasing fats. If you have been eating too much of red meats, it's time you switched them with white meats from poultry and fish.
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Red meats are rich in cholesterol-raising fats
5. Replace Bread With Whole Grains
Breads are usually made from refined grains, which add empty calories and carbohydrates to your diet. Switch to whole grains and foods prepared from whole grains like whole wheat, oats, quinoa and buckwheat etc. Swap your bread with a freshly-prepared roti, or chapati, as it is more nutritious and contains lesser calories.
6. Adopt Healthier Cooking Methods
It's generally healthier to cook your own meals or get them prepared at home, rather than eating outside. This allows you to control the number of calories in your meals and switch to healthier methods of cooking food like roasting, baking, grilling etc. Restaurants also add a number of unhealthy ingredients and excessive salt, butter and artificial flavours to make their food taste flavourful. At home, you can leave these out and prepare simple, yet nutritious food.
These are just some of the many ways of cutting down on sneaky calories and fats from your daily meals. Know of any more such tips? Let us know in the comments section below!