Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in fad diets and worrying about every little thing you let appear on your plate, but with enough moderation and know-how, you can still indulge in the foods you love. You’d be surprised that sometimes fat and carbs are not actually the enemy! Here are a few examples of staples you might not need to cut out. With a little portion control, you can still enjoy yourself.
Bread is not out to get you! It’s all about the type of bread you choose. Go for wholegrain or brown bread. These contain plenty of fiber and will give you the carbs you need to slowly burn throughout the day. Have a hunk of wholemeal loaf on the side of some healthy homemade soup for a low-calorie dinner.
Coffee is very rich in antioxidants, and caffeine, which is moderation boosts your energy levels. Keep it under four cups a day to not overdo it. There have been studies that show drinking coffee can lower the risk of dementia, diabetes and Parkinson’s. If you’re a fellow coffee drinker fairtrade beans are a guilt-free alternative. Be careful, however, to steer clear of sugary coffees and whipped cream, as these will not add antioxidants, but instead a lot of calories.
What better way to start the day than with a stack of big fluffy pancakes? Check out some online recipes or invent your own. With dairy and gluten-free options nowadays readily available you can make pancakes as healthy as you choose. Decorate them with fruit and berries so you can get a couple of your five-a-day in at breakfast. They’re a good source of carbohydrates and contain a range of vitamins and minerals.
Pasta is a great option for students as it’s quick, cheap and doesn’t go off, these qualities also appeal to professionals, families and basically everyone. Even though it seems like an easy option, don’t treat it as fast food. It’s an Italian tradition handed down by generations, and if you learn the right way to cook it, you’ll get a perfectly balanced meal, low in calories and still delicious. Pasta is low in fat and salt and it fills you up, which means you are satisfied for longer and don’t need to snack. It’s what you put with it which is key to its nutritional value and fat/sugar content. Avoid pre-prepared sauces in jars, these are just not nice, loaded with sugar and salt and horrible artificial things. Instead, try buying Italian passata which is nothing more than sieved tomatoes, add some bacon, chili, a little parmesan, and you’ve got yourself a basic amatriciana. For veggie options add seitan, vegan bacon or mushrooms.
Dark chocolate especially is rich in antioxidants which can have many health benefits. Cocoa beans are one of the highest-scoring sources of antioxidants. In small doses, it can be very good for you!