I’m always looking for ways to make a meal tastier, and ways to make a meal healthier at the same time. It’s not some impossible pipe dream, either! There are lots of ways to make meals healthier without sacrificing flavor, and in fact, I’ve found lots of ways to add “delicious” and “nutritious” in one go. Don’t believe me? Keep reading. Here are 7 ways to make a meal healthier… and tastier.
1. Don’t Skip It!
This seems to be a favorite calorie-cutting tactic of dieters, but it’s terribly unhealthy, so at the top of my list of ways to make a meal healthier is to actually eat it! This includes breakfast, of course, because SpongeBob is right: it’s the most important meal of the day.
2. Eat Slowly
Why are we always in such a hurry to finish a meal? The TV show, internet, and chores can wait — take your time to enjoy the flavors and textures of the meal you just prepared. Chew each bite thoroughly, rather than just wolfing it down. This gives your brain enough time to realize your tummy is full, and it helps you enjoy and appreciate your food more.
3. Take Half of It Away
Did you know how big a serving of chicken ought to be, or a side dish of veggies? Picture it in your mind, then note that a serving of chicken ought to be about the size of a deck of cards, and a side of spinach ought to fit in the cupped palm of your hand. Chances are, you thought a serving was about twice that size, so one great way to make a meal healthier is to just eat less of it… in fact, about half of it, especially the starches and meats.
4. Color Your Plate
So if you’re not eating starches and meats, what should you be eating to make a meal healthier? Think of coloring your plate like a rainbow, with loads of fresh veggies and a little fruit, and you’ve got the right idea. The more colorful your meal, the healthier it will be! Start with red (tomatoes), yellow or orange (bell peppers), green (leafy greens), and even blue (blueberries) and purple (eggplant). Amazing!
5. Ditch the Condiments
You would be surprised how many calories, most of them from sugar and fat, that condiments and dressings add to a dish. One of the best ways to make a meal healthier, then, is to prepare it without them. For instance, make a veggie sub without mayo, or serve a green salad without the ranch dressing.
6. Spice It up!
How are you supposed to flavor a meal without the dressing and condiments, then? Get creative with the spices you already have in your cabinet! Try cinnamon (which is loaded with antioxidants), chili powder (which may help you lose weight), turmeric (to ward off cancer), or ginger (to ease arthritis pain).
7. Switch to Whole Grains
Are you looking for a truly easy way to make a meal healthier? Then make one simple switch: swap the “enriched” grain products (like white bread and pasta) for whole grain version instead. Whole grains contain more natural nutrients (like vitamins and fiber) without the nasty chemicals used to mill then “enrich” food products.
8. Switch to Low-fat Dairy
This tip goes hand in hand with swapping white bread for whole grain bread, and this simple switch can also make a meal healthier. Instead of indulging in fattening but vitamin and calcium-rich (and tasty) whole dairy, why not switch to low-fat dairy? Milk, cheese, sour cream, yoghurt… all of these are much healthier if enjoyed as 2% or skim rather than whole-fat.
So you see, it’s completely possible, and not even difficult, to make a meal healthier, and often, even tastier! Who likes all that nasty mayo anyway, right? Which of these ideas do you like best, and why? Or do you have another tip to share?