Opening the pantry doors looking for snacks has become a habit for many of us, which is why it is so important to have only healthy options in the house.
Kitchen cupboards should always be stocked with choices that will prevent you from falling into the trap of ending up stuffing your face with junk food.
But you shouldn’t just be worrying about that greasy bag of chips!
Your foods may also be chalked full of seemingly innocent ingredients that are actually unhealthy. Thankfully, better alternatives exist, so let’s have a look at some examples and rearrange our kitchens for a longer, happier, healthier life.
Sugar adds unnecessary empty calories to your diet and is a huge culprit when it comes to tooth decay, obesity and other health issues. To prevent temptation, it’s best to ban sugar from the kitchen, even if you have a bit of a sweet tooth.
Don’t fret! Stevia is a great natural option, and although honey will still add calories to your diet, it has antibacterial properties and is fantastic for baking.
Another option is to try spicing up your coffee or tea with cinnamon, vanilla or nutmeg instead of sugar.
Sodas And Fruit Juices
Both sodas and fruit juices can add too much sugar to your diet. If you find water to be too boring and have a craving for that sweet taste, try coconut water, which has many nutrients; just don’t overdo it.
Your other option is flavoring regular water by adding apple pieces and a bit of cinnamon to the water jug.
Salad Dressing And Mayonnaise
Instead of buying fatty salad dressings, make your own from olive oil, lemon juice and a bit of water. Add herbs and sweetener to taste and use Greek yogurt as a substitute for mayonnaise.
Chocolate And Candy
According to Elizabeth Brown, registered Dietitian from The Kitchen Vixen, having chocolate cravings often means that our bodies are in need of magnesium. An easy way to satisfy this craving is to eat nuts instead, or to add cacao to a banana smoothie.
For that extra treat, it is okay to keep some organic, dark (70 percent or more) chocolate in your kitchen, as it actually contains healthy nutrients, fats and is good for the brain.
If the sugary chewiness of candy is what you crave, opt for dried fruit like raisins, apricot or peaches.
Sometimes we just want to snack on something crunchy. Luckily, there are plenty of other healthier options when you have the munchies. Nuts, for instance, are healthy, filling and add fiber and omega 3 fatty acids to your diet.
If you want to limit your calorie intake, opt for sliced carrots and a hummus or guacamole dip. Raw beets, jicama or bell peppers are also healthy options that give you that much-needed crunch.
If it’s the salt you’re after, it is possible that your body needs potassium and eating a banana may help (which is why you should always have bananas in the house). According to Brown, fish or raw goat milk should also help.
For years, we have believed that vegetable oils are good for your heart, but the opposite is actually true. Some studies suggest that consuming vegetable oils can actually increase the risk of heart disease and may actively cause obesity.
Get rid of all of that vegetable oil and use coconut oil for frying and baking and olive oil for your salads.
Your kids may love breakfast cereal as it is tasty, colorful and sweet, but these cereals often consist of empty calories and don’t keep the kids satisfied for long.
A bowl of oatmeal is a much better choice for the kids and you! It is a long-lasting source of energy and a heart-healthy food. Add some berries or banana on top for a sweeter taste.
For some variation, have an egg for breakfast, which will provide a protein burst that should last the whole morning.
If you are planning to deep-fry them, get those pre-cut French fries out of the house. Rather opt for the type that is suitable for oven baking, or for some variation, make your own oven baked sweet potato fries with olive oil and a little salt, pepper and garlic.
Toss the cut fries in the oil and seasoning, spread on a cookie sheet, and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes, turning halfway through.
By just making healthier choices each time, your diet can be satisfying and you will lose weight without too much effort. Go and get started on that kitchen!