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Low-Fat Cheats


Easy Ways To Improve Diet
Go for quality not quantity. Try putting less food on your plate - it may sound obvious but evidence has shown that if food is in front of us we'll continue eating it - even when full. By the same token we all tend to cook more food than necessary when preparing a meal, measuring your amounts more carefully means there will be no 'seconds' to go back for and you won't have the excuse of eating more to prevent anything 'going to waste'!
Choose Food That Boost Your Mood
What we eat can affect our emotions. Mental health charity, MIND, found in a recent survey that foods such as chocolate and cola drinks can have a negative impact on your mood. This is because they give you a short energy burst followed by a slump and may induce feelings of guilt e.g. "I shouldn't have eaten that". Some healthier foods can actually stimulate the 'feel good' chemicals in the brain and make you feel happier and more relaxed. Good choices are oats, garlic, chilli, brazil nuts and bananas.
Eat Healthy Comfort Foods
Don't worry if you crave 'stodgier' more comforting foods in the winter, you can still follow a healthy diet. Just choose fat-reduced versions of traditional favourites. For example, oven chips contain less fat than those from the chip shop. Try using olive oil to mash potatoes instead of butter and using yoghurt or creme fraiche instead of cream with desserts. Remember that food such as baked beans, pasta and porridge are all low-fat, but will leave you feeling full and satisfied when you eat them.
Choose Sweet Not Fatty Foods
One of the main problems with chocolate, biscuits and cakes is that they are high in fat as well as sugar. Because fat has twice the amount of calories as sugar, it's healthier to choose a treat that's sweet but contains no fat. Try some of the following: fruit buns, Turkish delight, jelly or marshmallows. Because sugar is a carbohydrate eating something sweet like this should help curb your appetite and make you less likely to indulge in something high fat.
Switch To Low-Fat Ice Cream
Often called 'low-fat frozen dessert', these ice cream substitutes taste as good as the real thing and mean you can indulge in your favourite puddings without guilt. Sorbets are also virtually fat-free. However, watch out, as they can be high in additives like colours and preservatives. If you prefer something more natural, choose one that's made with real fruit juice.
Useful Tips: Fill Up With Soup
Soup is the perfect meal - it's low-fat and nutritious, yet surprisingly filling, especially if you choose to eat it with a large chunk of granary bread. Avoid soups that have cream added to them, as they contain more fat. Better still, make your own fresh soup. Vegetable soup is a great way to get three or four of the '5 a day' portions of fruit and vegetables we should eat.