6 top tips for healthy eating
Want to improve your diet? Check out these top tips for cutting down on all those bad things you shouldn’t be eating…
Eating healthily is easier than you think. By making a few simple changes to the way you shop, cook and think about food, you can transform your everyday diet.
Check out these top tips for maintaining a diet that's healthy and balanced.
1. Grill more often
Fat is not always our friend so why not cook your family meals using a health grill? This simple and versatile way of cooking has some great health and time-saving benefits, including:
- Reduced fat: A health grill is sloped so oil and fat can drain easily. Enjoy a guilt-free meal that's still packed with flavour.
- Keeping it interesting: From sumptuous grilled salmon to a classic grilled chicken salad, there's plenty of healthy options when it comes to grilling.
- Less time in the kitchen: Preparing a healthy meal can sometimes seem time-consuming, especially when you're trying to fit a vigorous exercise regime into an already hectic lifestyle. Cooking with a grill means more time for you.
Top tip: Cook everything from juicy burgers to paninis with the Tefal Optigrill. It has 9 cooking programmes for different foods.
You can also cook up to 10 portions in one go – ideal if you’re entertaining or have a big family. The LED indicator shows you when steaks are rare or well done.
2. Eat less saturated fat
Fat isn't bad for us per-se. It's the saturated variety that's bad news for our health. Too much of it can raise cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of developing heart disease.
Unfortunately it's in lots of the foods we enjoy, so-called 'guilty pleasures' such as cakes, biscuits, cream, butter, cheese, sausages and pies.
Perhaps replace some of these with foods rich in unsaturated fats - the good fats – which are high in omega-3. They can be found in:
- Oily fish such as mackerel and salmon
Top Tip: If you and your family love chips but want to drastically cut down on the fat you use to make them, try the Morphy Richards Health Fryer. It can cook enough chips for up to six people using only 1 spoon of oil. Use it to fry, roast, bake and grill your favourite ingredients.
3. Reduce your salt intake
Salt isn't just about the stuff we pour from a shaker on to our dinner.
Three-quarters of the salt we eat we can't see - it's already there in pre-packaged foods such as ready meals, as well as bread, cereal, meat, cheese and sauces such as mayo and ketchup.
Adults are supposed to eat no more than 6g of salt per day, and a diet high in salt can raise a person's blood pressure. But there are things you can do to keep tabs on the amount of salt you are consuming.
Most pre-packed foods have a nutrition label on them, so get into the habit of checking them for salt and fat content. If it's colour-coded, red means high, so look for foods with amber and green labels.
Ways to reduce salt when shopping and cooking:
- Swap salty snacks: Swap salted peanuts for unsalted popcorn or rice cakes, or a piece of fruit
- Choose the right fish: Swap smoked fish and shellfish like prawns for white or oily fish such as haddock fillets or salmon
- Savvy shopping: Avoid salty foods like ham, olives, bacon and cheese
Top tip: Steam veg instead of boiling it in salty water using a food steamer.
4. Eat more greens
Getting your 5 a day might sound a lot, but it's actually not that hard to achieve. A portion can be as little as a single piece of fruit.
Here are a few examples of one portion of your 5 a day (sorry, but potatoes don't count):
- 1 glass of unsweetened fruit juice
- 1 banana
- 1 slice of melon
- 3 tbsps of carrots
- 2 broccoli spears
Top tip: If you've got kids, a sneaky way to get fruit and veg into their diet is by spiralizing them.
Try the Morphy Richards Spiralizer Express. Transform courgettes and carrots into fun spiral shapes. Replace spag bol with courgetti-spaghetti and speedily prepare fruit and veg for salads, soups and casseroles.
5. Reduce your portion sizes
Ever wonder whether you've got a little bit too much food on your plate? The recommended daily intake of calories is 2,000Kcal for women and 2,500Kcal for men.
Tips for reducing portion size:
- Use a smaller plate: A full small plate has far less food on than a full large plate
- Be sure how much you need: Measure out the right amount of pasta, number of potatoes etc before cooking to remove the temptation of leftovers
- Go big on veg: If you must pile your plate high then do so with vegetables. Spinach, carrots and broccoli are particularly health
Top Tip: According to the Food Standards Agency, we should aim to eat the following proportions of food each day:
- 1/3 of fruit and vegetables - aim for at least five portions a day
- 1/3 should be based on starchy foods, including bread, rice, potatoes and pasta (choose wholegrain where possible)
- 1/3 should be made up of a mixture of meat, fish, eggs and beans, milk and dairy foods, and only a small amount of foods high fat and/or sugar
6. Prepare meals from scratch
Try to cook more meals using fresh ingredients. Cooking from scratch allows you to control exactly what does and doesn't go into your food.
Make pasta sauces that are low on salt, curries with the leanest turkey, cottage pie with low-fat steak mince and potatoes mashed with semi-skimmed milk or a low fat spread rather than butter and cream.
Top tip: For convenience, make meals from scratch ahead of time in a slow cooker. That way it's ready and waiting to be eaten when you get home from work.
Try the Morphy Richards Sear and Stew Slow Cooker. It’s ideal for busy lifestyles, and the searing option allows you to sear whole joints of meat to unlock maximum flavour from the juices.