Spring is a great time to refresh your kitchen. Pop open your fridge and stock cupboards and clear out the unhealthy and processed items that don’t align with your healthy-living goals.
Use National Nutrition Week as the perfect opportunity to examine your pantry and give your kitchen a health makeover, with products that promote nutritional health and well-being.
Throw away: Full-cream ice-cream
Stock up: Lite ice-cream, frozen yoghurt or sorbet
All it takes is just a small serving of full-cream ice cream to count as your recommended fat serve for the day. Rather grab the small tubs of frozen yoghurts and sorbets, which come in smaller portions, are lighter in fat and kilojoules and more nutritious. And few things are as refreshing as an ice cold sorbet on a warm day.
Throw away: White flour
Stock up: Whole-wheat flour
White flour has been stripped of nutrients in the refining process and is synthetically bleached. Whole-wheat flour has a higher fibre content and a lower GI value. Don’t forget you can mix your flours. Because the high-fibre content of whole-wheat flour can result in less tender baked goods, use half whole-wheat, half white flour to create a softer texture.
Throw away: Creamy sauces
Stock up: Tomato-based sauces
A staple of Italian-style cooking, tomato-based sauces are lighter and lower in fat, making them a healthier alternative to heavy, cream-based sauces. Give your cooking a Mediterranean twist and bump up your veg intake by adding grated carrots, peppers, onions, mushrooms or baby marrow to the sauce.
Throw away: Fish tinned in oil
Stock up: Fish tinned in spring water
Besides being lower in fat, tinned fish in water also tends to be higher in Omega-3 and therefore more beneficial. You don’t need the oil that comes with your tinned tuna, salmon or mussels. Stick to spring water and save the fat serves!
Throw away: Cereals high in sugar and low in fibre
Stock up: High-fibre, low GI cereals
There is little benefit to starting your day with a high sugar kick. The slow energy release of a high-fibre , low GI cereal ensures you don’t hit an energy slump early in the day and aids in absorption and digestion of vital nutrients.
Throw away: Sugary drinks and sodas
Stock up: Water and fruit juice
Fizzy cooldrinks have very little nutritional value and can be damaging to teeth, as well as waistlines. Add some lemon, cucumber and strawberry slices to a jug of water, let chill in the fridge, and enjoy a much healthier, refreshing beverage option, with a bit of added Vitamin C!
Throw away: Full-cream milk
Stock up: Low-fat and fat-free milk
Low-fat milk gives you all the benefits of full-cream without the fat. The same goes for yoghurt!
Throw away: Butter
Stock up: Reduced-fat margarine
Cut your Fat serves in half by making this easy switch, and opt for this more economical option. Some brands of reduced-fat spreads are half the price of real butter!
Throw away: Full-fat cheese
Stock up: Light and reduced-fat cheese
A general rule for hard cheese (cheeses you can grate) is the lighter in colour the lighter in fat, so opt for the pale yellow cheeses.
Throw away: Sugar-coated dried fruit
Stock up: Plain dried fruit or fresh fruit
There’s no need to consume a food that is naturally sweet that has an added sugar coating. Opt for nature’s sweet treats as they are.
Throw away: Salted nuts
Stock up: Unsalted nuts
Pre-salted nuts are high in sodium, which negatively impacts blood pressure and weight loss. They can also be unnecessarily coated in preservatives, flavourings and colourants to disguise a lesser quality product. It’s best to opt for the unsalted variety. To enhance flavour, just add straight to a frying pan on a high heat (with no oil necessary) and lightly toast for mere minutes.