Healthy Eating – Quick Wins

Feb 16, 2023

Healthy Eating – Quick Wins

Making healthy food choices isn’t easy, is it?  Yes, we all know we should be eating our 5 a day and that too many doughnuts are bad for us, but what we eat is influenced by so many things including personal, social and economic factors – many of which we have little or no control over. We are influenced by where we eat (at home, at school or work, in a restaurant, or on the go), and who we eat with (family, friends, colleagues, or on our own).  We are also influenced by why we are eating as we don’t always just eat because we are hungry.  We may eat as part of a social event, special occasion, as a comfort, to be polite or because we’re bored.  And let’s not get started on the marketing strategies used by food retailers to influence the choices we make. These include financial incentives (‘buy one get one free’), strategic store layout (impulse buys like sweets and magazines placed near the tills) and advertising (children in the UK see as many as 500 junk food ads every second!).

The bottom line is, it should be easy to eat healthy but it isn’t.

However, we have pulled together some quick wins to help you out – some simple swaps and small steps that could make a big difference.  Check them out and let us know how you get on…

Foodie swaps:

  • Swap Sugary Cereal (e.g., Frosties) for Shredded Wheat or Weetabix or Porridge
  • Swap White Bread / Rice / Pasta for Brown Bread / Rice / Pasta
  • Swap Potatoes for Sweet Potatoes
  • Swap Flavoured Sweetened Yogurt for Fat-Free Natural / Greek Yogurt
  • Swap Ice-Cream for Frozen Yogurt or Frozen Fruit
  • Swap Crisps for Popcorn or Crackers or Unsalted Nuts
  • Swap Sweets for Fruit (eg. handful of grapes)

Quick Wins:

Other things you could try include choosing low fat / low sugar / low salt alternatives of food and drink products.  For example, buy reduced salt beans, lower fat cheese, and sugar-free or diet drinks.  If you’re a meat-eater, choose leaner cuts of meat (eg. back bacon instead of streaky bacon) and cut off any visible fat before cooking.  And even though it’s super tasty, avoid eating the skin on chicken as that’s the fattiest bit!  The way you cook something can make it healthier (or otherwise) too.  For example, using the grill instead of the frying pan reduces the amount of fat you consume.  And why not have boiled eggs cooked in boiling water instead of fried eggs cooked in greasy oil?

To cut down on your salt intake, flavour your food with herbs and spices instead of salt, and if you fancy a sweet treat, have dark chocolate instead of white or milk chocolate as dark contains less sugar.

Making small changes to your diet is the healthiest and most achievable way to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  We know it’s not easy but the first step is to eat fewer foods high in calories, fat, salt and sugars and swap them for something healthier, including more fruit & vegetables.  We hope we’ve given you a few ideas here that will help – if you have any more healthy eating ‘quick wins’, we’d love to hear about them!

Lisa Aldwin Eat Smart Sheffield Programme Manager

By Lisa Aldwin Eat Smart Sheffield Programme Manager