Healthier Versions of Your Go-To Meals | Emerald Essentials – Oregon Daily Emerald

With new year’s resolutions looming over our shoulders, going from zero to keto can be an extreme transition. Ease into eating healthy by taking your favorite meals and putting a health-guru spin on them. Here are the best tips to reduce fat, sugar and calories.

Bake Instead of Fry

Frying often means oil, butter or added fat. By baking, you don’t have to use any of these unhealthy methods. Simply use a covered container in the oven and use a chicken, beef or vegetable broth to add flavor if you are baking meat.

Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Adding fruits and veggies to your meals is easier than you think. Put fruit in your morning protein smoothie, or add spinach for even more good-for-you vitamins. Eat salad over garlic bread as an app and use zucchini noodles when making pasta. You can even add zucchini to desserts like sweet breads or even chocolate muffins!

Reduce Amount of Fat

When baking, use only half the butter or oil called for and replace the other half with unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana. You can also use other high-sugar fruits to replace the butter and still achieve the sweet taste you are craving.

Make Portions Smaller

When eating carb-heavy foods like pasta, cut the portion you would usually eat down in small increments. A half portion of pasta means half the calories and fat. Have a salad on the side or add in pieces of protein like chicken or tofu to keep you feeling full.

Choose Whole Grains

When buying wheat products, look for “100 percent whole wheat” or “100 percent whole grain.” Whole grains provide more nutrients, like fiber, than refined grains have to offer. Choose whole grains for your bread, pasta or tortillas for a healthier version of your favorite tacos.

Choose Dark Chocolate Over Milk Chocolate

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up chocolate. By choosing dark chocolate over milk chocolate, you will get the same happy feeling you get from milk chocolate but also reap the benefits dark chocolate has. It can lower cholesterol, decrease blood pressure and even help you lose weight. Eating a little bit of dark chocolate is a great way to give you your chocolate fix without sacrificing a healthy lifestyle.

Cut Down on Salt

Salt can make you feel bloated and makes your skin look sallow. Replace salt with healthier seasonings such as pepper, herbs, spices, lemon juice or even mustard for an extra kick. Season your food after tasting it too, as this will help you rely less on Morton’s, and more on your culinary masterpiece.  

Choose Lean Meats

Leaner meats are better for your heart, not to mention they has fewer fat and calories. Trim fat from meat before cooking or buying meats that are labeled “lean”. Remove the skin before eating, as this will ensure that you are eating more protein than fat.

 

Check out our website for some recipes you can make with these tips!