Wondering how to change your eating habits? Switch to healthy cooking ingredients, for a start. Here are 4 ideas on how to swap ingredients and choose the better option.
In today’s day and age, you no longer have to sacrifice the flavours you enjoy in your food for better health and a fitter body. You can keep eating what you always do, but just switch some of the basic ingredients, with healthier alternatives.
Here’s a few easy changes to make!
#1 Get your atta right
Instead of sticking to a simple wheat atta, mix wheat, barley, pearl-millet (bajra), sorghum (jowar) and finger-millet (ragi) in equal proportions. Knead as you would a normal atta, and then make rotis with it.
This will make a more wholesome meal as well as release energy slower (so you’ll feel full longer). You can also throw in fresh herbs into the dough – ajwain seeds, coriander and spinach- for extra taste and added nutritional value.
#2 Use a mixture of healthy oils
Paying attention to your cooking medium makes all the difference. If you use just any vegetable oil, then stop. Read up about oils, and go for a variety of healthy varieties: mustard, canola, cold pressed coconut, olive oil.
Use clarified butter or ghee as we know it, in small amounts daily. This has proven benefits.
#3 Switch From white to coloured
Replace all your white carbohydrates – rice, sugar and poha- with healthier, more fibrous alternatives such as red rice, cane sugar, brown poha. These replacements have a lower glycemic index and will keep you energized (and full) through the day. Your body gains more nutrients from brown, than the over-processed ‘white’ ingredients.
Use oats in place of cornflour to thicken dishes. The consistency you’re looking to achieve will remain more or less the same, but the nutritional value will go up a notch.
#4 Be generous with the millets
Most millet seeds (pearl, foxtail, amaranth, finger) are power foods. They’re not only rich in minerals- calcium, vitamin B, iron, potassium, zinc- but are also gluten-free.
Additionally, they help in the regulation of blood sugar. So, use amaranth as a replacement for porridge, or roll out ragi (finger-millet) flour and make pieces to roast in the oven, and have them as chips – healthy, yet delicious.
You’ll also get your dose of protein and fibre through these seeds!
Read more about food swaps for healthy cooking here.