Health

Eat healthier without giving up flavour

Small diet tweaks such as swopping sugar with honey and going for froyo instead of ice cream can make a huge difference

Introduce tiny tweaks into your diet for #guiltfreefood.

Substitute sugar with honey

Honey adds a tinge of sweetness and is healthy too. High quality honey, in particular, contains many important antioxidants that have been linked to reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes and some types of cancer.

Go for frozen yogurt instead of ice cream

Frozen yogurt might not be as sweet as ice cream, but you can count on that familiar soft and cold texture.

Better yet, it contains loads of calcium (great news for your teeth and bones) as well as vitamin B. which can protect you against heart and other related diseases.

Yogurt also contains probiotics, which improves digestion.

Indulge in sweet potato instead of potato

Sweet potatoes, especially the orange and purple varieties, are rich in antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals.

They also have a low to medium glycaemic index, which means they make a spike in blood sugar levels less likely than regular potatoes. They are also a great source of manganese, a mineral good for bone growth, metabolism and absorbing vitamins.

Replace pasta with zucchini noodles

High-fibre whole-grain pasta also does the job, but if you are feeling adventurous, consider the zucchini.

Less carbohydrate-heavy and packed with vitamins and minerals, zucchini - cut into thin, noodle-like strips and called zoodles - is fast becoming popular among foodies.

Its health benefits include improved digestion due to its high fibre content.

It is also rich in antioxidants such as carotenoids - which include lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. These have been known to bring benefits to the eyes, skin and heart, as well as offer some protection against certain types of cancer.

Zucchini is also found to be related to lower blood sugar levels, healthy blood circulation and weight loss.

Instead of a slice of cake, go for banana bread

Banana bread is moist, sweet and flavourful, while packed with nutrients thanks to the bananas, which provide potassium, protein, vitamin B6, vitamin C, dietary fibre and manganese.

The fruit is also good for your gut and gives you an energy boost. However, banana bread can still be full of calories and sugar, so pick those that are made with less sugar and with whole grain flour.

Choose cauliflower rice over white rice

It is derived from breaking down the cauliflower florets into tiny pieces.

Cauliflower is one of the most nutritious foods, containing fibre, potassium and vitamins. Plus, it is only 25 calories a cup of cauliflower rice, compared with 218 calories for a cup of cooked brown rice.

Its low-carb and low-calorie qualities make it a great alternative to rice. You can even use it to make pizzas, casseroles and fried rice.

Drink wine instead of beer

Drinking alcoholic beverages moderately has been found to decrease the risk of developing coronary heart disease and heart attacks by 30 per cent to 50 per cent, according to the American Heart Association.

This is especially so for moderate amounts of red wine, due to its high content of powerful antioxidants, making it preferable to beer. Moderate consumption of alcohol has been linked to a drop in diabetes risk.

This article was first published in Shape (www.shape.com.sg).

Food & Drink