We’ve covered breakfast and lunch, now it’s time to talk about dinner. After a long and hectic day it can often be tempting to grab a time-saving, unhealthy option out of convenience, but with a few simple swaps you can transform your meal into one which holds far more nutritional value – and doesn’t leave you reaching for the biscuit tin afterwards!
|Straight cut oven chips (100g frozen)||132||2.1||3.3||22.3||0.5|
|Sweet potato cut into wedges (100g raw)||98||1.2||0.3||21.3||5.7|
|Basic pre-made pizza base (approx. 500g)||401||12||2.8||81.5||3.5|
|Wholemeal tortilla wrap (approx. 40g)||118||3.9||1.9||20.4||1|
|Breaded cod fillet (approx. 100g)||220||12.4||9.1||20.5||1.3|
|Frozen cod fillet (approx. 100g)||95||21.8||0.5||0.7||0.1|
|Dolmio Bolognese sauce (125g)||53||1.5||0.4||10||9.1|
|Fresh Italian Passata with basil (125g)||42.5||1.4||0.25||8||7.5|
|White spaghetti (75g uncooked)||263||9||1.1||54||1.9|
|Courgette spaghetti (100g raw)||20||1.8||0.4||1.8||1.7|
|Vegetable oil (one tablespoon)||124||0||13.8||0||0|
|Virgin coconut oil (one tablespoon)||135||0||15||0||0|
|Mature cheddar cheese (30g)||125||7.6||10.5||<0.1||<0.1|
|Greek feta cheese (30g)||87||5.1||7.3||0.3||<0.1|
SWAP YOUR CARBS
First up, chips. They’re easy to bung in the oven when you’re feeling tired out, we get it, but where is the nutritional value? Instead, chop up some sweet potato, or even bake one whole, and get your daily dose of vitamins and magnesium. Drizzle with a bit of oil and sprinkle with a pinch of flavouring before you cook, and you’ll have yourself a delicious side to your protein and veg sources! Can’t be bothered to chop every night? Set aside an hour at the weekend and get your peeling and slicing done then. Simply bag up, throw in the fridge/freezer and your portion is ready to go!
YES, YOU CAN STILL EAT PIZZA!
Making pizzas is fun, particularly if you have children, but it’s easy to think you’re being healthy by making it yourself. It can be, so long as you’re not using a carb and fat packed base. Instead, try using wholemeal wraps or pitta breads – and make sure that those toppings stay healthy! A bit of chicken or ham, fresh passata or tomato paste, and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese makes a beautiful meal.
INVEST IN YOUR HEALTH
It’s often cheaper to buy breaded or battered frozen foods, but it’s far healthier to spend a few pennies more and get the real deal. Carbs aren’t bad for you, so long as they’re the right sort, and those found in breadcrumbs and batter definitely aren’t going to be the kind you need to fuel your body correctly. Instead, buy a plain fillet and coat in a healthy, homemade lime and coriander sauce. Pair with those sweet potato wedges and a bit of veg, and you’re good to go!
CHECK THE LABELS
The adverts you see on television might tell you that your classic branded Bolognese sauce is ‘great for you and your family’, but it’s also likely to be full of sugar. Admittedly the example we’ve provided isn’t the worst offender, but you’re much better off buying a tin of chopped tomatoes or passata and adding in your own herbs and seasonings. Just as yummy, too.
UP THE VEG
As we said – carbs aren’t bad – but if you’re feeling a little carb heavy one day, try swapping your usual white spaghetti for courgetti. Yes, it’s a vegetable, but throw in a little spice and cook in coconut oil for that extra flavour, and you’ve instantly got a healthy base for your meal. Add chicken, fish or a vegetarian alternative and you’ve got yourself a delicious, healthy stir-fry!
Ah, the battle of the oils. There’s a lot of researching floating about, but it’s been said that choosing a virgin coconut oil over your traditional vegetable oils provides you with a much healthier source of fat – saturated fat to be specific. Who knew not all saturated fats were the same? It’s up to you, ultimately, but maybe give coconut oil a go. It actually tastes pretty good when cooked with the right foods! Just remember to go easy with whichever oil you choose, you really don’t need much.
TRY NEW OPTIONS
Cheese is quite a popular topping of choice for a number of dinners – such as pasta dishes, salads, pizzas and jacket potato. If you’re feeling adventurous, push the boat out and try Greek feta cheese. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also lower in both calories and fat.
For those who eat out often, you’re in luck, because restaurants worldwide are hopping onto the healthy bandwagon and have plenty to offer in the way of healthy alternatives – plus meals that are created for those with particular dietary requirements, such as those who are lactose intolerant or vegan. Order a healthy option, and if you’re unsure of what to go for, perhaps ask the waiting staff for nutritional information. Meals out are to be enjoyed, of course, but if you’re heading to your favourite local more often than you should – swapping your usual go-to meal for something on the lighter side every so often could be a good call.
3 STEPS TO SUCCESS
It’s often the little changes that make the biggest difference. Just remember to keep an eye on those portions! Filling up on veg is your best bet, but don’t exclude your lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbs, because they’re important too! Simply make better food choices, move a little more, keep yourself hydrated – and you’re onto a winner.
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