While for some, dieting is about deprivation, for me, it’s all about perspective and a few simple swaps — which unhealthy foods to purge, and which healthy foods to indulge in. That’s right, I used the words “indulge” and “diet” in the same sentence! And it’s true. A diet can be all about indulging, if you’re doing it right. Are you intrigued? Keep reading. Here are 7 healthy foods to indulge in while you’re dieting.
1. Fruit Smoothies
If they’re made properly, real fruit smoothies are definitely one of the best healthy foods to indulge in, even if you’re not dieting! They’re made with real fruit and non-fat or low-fat Greek yoghurt, which means they’re loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and even a little protein for good measure, keeping you full and happy for hours, while satisfying your sweet tooth.
As long as they’re not topped with dressings and ingredients that add unnecessary fat and calories, salads are another one of my favorite diet indulgences. And yes, they can be very satisfying and, dare I say it, fun to eat! Top with beans, dried fruit, or low-fat cheese crumbles. Yum!
3. Baked Chicken
A girl can’t live on greens alone, and it’s important to have some protein in your diet, so why not indulge in some chicken? Avoid breaded or fried chicken, or chicken that’s swimming in a fattening dressing or marinade, and opt for something grilled with lemon and pepper, instead.
4. Whole Grain Bread
I’m a carb fanatic, so I always indulge in bread and other baked goods whenever I can get my hungry little hands on them. The trick, of course, is to ditch the (literally) bleached processed baked goods and choose something made from healthy, hearty whole grains instead. They’re tastier, healthier, and will keep you feeling full and satisfied a lot longer than white bread.
5. Baked Potatoes
Who knew baked potatoes (with the skin) were so healthy? They’re so good for you, in fact, that you can indulge in one with a little dollop of butter or sour cream and still tip the judgment scales at “healthy.” They’re low in calories (even with a little butter) and contain lots of Vitamin C (about half of what you need in one day) and potassium. Wow!
6. Leafy Greens
Oh, how I love leafy greens, above and beyond making a salad! They’re also delicious cooked! I add them into soups and pasta dishes, and of course, to salad. Spinach and kale and chard, oh my! Visit your local library and look for cookbooks that specialize in leafy greens... you'll be surprised how many there are!
Like chicken, fish is an excellent source of lean protein, but with a bonus: heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid larger fish, swordfish, and choose smaller fish, since they tend to be less contaminated with mercury. Again, like chicken, fish is most healthy if it’s baked or grilled, not fried. It’s also healthier without fattening tartar sauce — one serving can contain up to 140 calories. That’s a lot when you consider that a good-sized serving of cod contains only 90 calories!
It’s completely possible to diet but still enjoy so many tasty foods! I especially love fruit smoothies and “loaded” salads, but which of these delicious but nutritious indulgences do you like best? Or is there something else you treat yourself to I ought to know about?