One thing that puts a lot of people off the idea of eating healthy is that the food theyre eating will be, well, dull. But lets take a second to actually think about that. All this fatty food that youre desperately going to miss - how great is it exactly?
Were basically talking about the taste of fat, salt, and sugar. Thats three flavors. Three flavors that, lets be honest, youve had a lot of. Would it be so bad to try out something new? Come on! Live a little!
At a minimum we need at least 10 percent of our calories to come from fat, but the typical American diet exceeds this amount. Dietary fat is categorized as saturated or unsaturated. Saturated fat is found in meats, butter, cream, ice cream and other foods with animal fat. Trans fat is a man-made fat found in some margarines and packaged bread. Unsaturated fats monounsaturated and polyunsaturated should be the dominant type of fat in a balanced diet because they reduce the risk of clogged arteries. Foods containing unsaturated fats include avocado, nuts, and vegetable oils such as canola and olive oils.
Explore New Products
With the help of activists such as Jamie Oliver and Michelle Obama, the market for health foods has seen huge expansion over the last decade. Gone are the days when health food meant rice cakes. Theres a whole host of new and exciting options on the menu, and if youre willing to experiment, youre going to find mealtimes get more delicious as well as lower in the bad types of fat.
Heat It Up
Salt, fat, sugar - these are the three tastes that make up most of the food youre afraid of abstaining from when you switch over to a healthier diet. This leaves, well, everything else - theres literally every spice ever discovered. By applying the right spices you can make even the blandest, dullest, healthiest looking meals into a fireworks display of tastes. Whether youre the sort of person who likes to stick their tongue in an inferno of spice, or you want something a bit milder or subtle, the options are endless.
A Bit More Fruity
The sugar we have in most of our food is derived from one plant. But sugars turn up all the time in nature. By switching to fruits you open up a whole new palette of dessert flavors. Apples, bananas, raisins - these are healthy and delicious. Youre worried about missing ice cream? Why not try some sorbets or frozen fruit yogurts? Making a cake? Why not substitute the sugar and half the butter for apple sauce?
Meat Is A Flavor Not A Meal
The trouble with so much cooking today is that we tend to get a big chunk of fairly bland tasting meat and then work out ways to try and make it taste like something. However, by using less meat you give yourself the option of buying better meat. Instead of slathering something in best-value bacon - you know the kind which oozes about half a pint of water into the frying pan when youre cooking it - why not just add a light sprinkling of really good prosciutto? Instead of having a huge roast, why not try turkey recipes that just use the most flavoursome parts of the bird?
This is the paradox people always seem to miss when they talk about dieting. By being more selective about what you eat you can make sure that everything you eat is worth it, and an experience to be enjoyed, rather than just cramming the nearest objects into your mouth to keep you fuelled for another three or four hours.
Sam Wright is a freelance writer and cooking enthusiast.