Just swap it!

Make guilt-free food choices with simple, healthy alternatives

At some point or the other, all of us would have felt guilty about giving in to our temptations. Be it that late-night burger or that tub of chicken nuggets in the afternoon or even the extra bowl of ice-cream every now and then, we all find it difficult to give up on tasty treats.

It’s 11 pm, way past dinner. You have already eaten dal and rice and washed it down with some dessert. But hunger pangs are still there. You indulge in some leftover pizza or some chocolates or ice cream believing it won’t count. But it does; soon, you start feeling guilty about giving in to your hunger pangs every now and then. All the pizzas and leftovers and snacks you have binged on show up on your waist and legs and arms. You vow to never do this again, but at night, when you are working late, you head to the kitchen, and the cycle continues.

At some point or the other, all of us would have felt guilty about giving in to our temptations. Be it that late-night burger or that tub of chicken nuggets in the afternoon or even the extra bowl of ice-cream every now and then, we all find it difficult to give up on tasty treats. However, there are a few simple things you could do to turn around this harmful cycle of bingeing. All you need to do are a few simple swaps. Here are some suggestions:

Coffee vs ginseng tea

Sure, we all love our morning cuppa, but a single cup of coffee with sugar and milk has 79 calories, not to mention high amounts of caffeine (95 mg)! Switch your cup of joe with ginseng tea. Just add some dried ginseng root powder to a cup of hot water and you are good to go. You can also add a splash of lemon and honey to it. Ginseng tea helps control type II diabetes, lowers blood pressure, helps relieve menstrual cramps, and has great energising properties.

Paratha vs cornmeal paratha

Yes, a ghee-laden paratha is what comfort food is all about. But a single aloo paratha has about 330 calories. And to burn those 300-odd calories, you need to either do aerobics for 40 minutes or run for 30 minutes. Yikes! Take the healthier route and indulge in cornmeal paratha. It has fewer calories, is an excellent source of fibre (so, yay digestion), and also a good source of iron, zinc and phosphorus.

French fries vs sweet potato fries

Fried potato is a universal favourite. But nobody is a fan of the calories that come along with them. The high sodium content in fries can prove to be fatal to your body. But instead of ditching your favourite snack, simply replace potato with sweet potato and you can then enjoy fries guilt-free. Sweet potatoes are rich in fibre and magnesium that aid digestion, beta-carotene that boosts your immune system.

Pizza vs portobello mushroom-crust pizza

Stringy, oozy and melting cheese over charred meat and veggies mixed with a tangy sauce on a crust made from enriched flour tastes heavenly but 1,010 calories that it contains go straight to your hips. It also causes your blood pressure levels to rise, putting your heart at risk. Since it has absolutely no fibre content, it raises your blood sugar; and you know what happens to unused sugar in the body, flab, flab and more flab. But there’s a way out: replace the refined flour crust with either a portobello mushroom cap. These mushrooms are known to regulate thyroid function, while also preventing early ageing. You can also use cauliflowers, eggplants, beetroots and sweet potatoes as a pizza base.

Pasta vs zoodles

Pasta, while utterly delicious, contains less fibre and lots of calories. Needless to say, refined carbs never bodes well for your body. Try zoodles or zucchini noodles. Just use a spiraliser to create noodles out of zucchinis and add them to your favourite pasta sauce. Your comforting bowl of pasta can now be relished guilt-free. Zucchini is a rich source of vitamin C and manganese, which means your heart will stay healthy for a long time.

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Just swap it!

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