Being both a foodie, and somebody who is conscious of my health, I know that going on restrictive diets is always a silly idea. Instead, the more sensible approach is to make sensible and realistic changes to your diet and lifestyle, without starving or depriving yourself.
Less fat, and when used in a rich, tomato sauce or chilli, tastes much better and makes a refreshing change to red meat. Simply substitute into your favourite dishes.
2. Swap: cream for creme fraiche in curries
You'll reduce the fat content dramatically, which means your cholesterol levels will thank you profusely!
3. Swap: cream for natural yoghurt in desserts
This can be used in Eton Mess, Pavlovas and drizzled over cakes. Natural yoghurt is more sharp, which complements the sweetness of a dessert perfectly.
4. Swap: toffee sauce for honey
This works especially well on pancakes and frozen puds, sweet sauces often have a higher fat and sugar content, honey contains only natural sugars, and is even supposed to boost your immune system.
5. Swap: nutella for organic peanut butter
Whole Earth's organic peanut butter is my favourite, as there is no added sugar and only contains peanuts and a little palm oil and salt added for taste.
6. Swap: pork or lamb chops for tuna steak
Tuna steak may not sound like much, but the steak actually tastes much like white meat, and is full of flavour. Eat with a tomato sauce, or crispy breadcrumbs.
7. Swap: crisps for lightly fried kale
All you need to do is chop up some kale leaves, place upon a baking tray covered with tinfoil and lightly drizzle with oil. Cook under a medium heat until crispy. Despite the difference in taste, it is just as delicious as standard crisps.
8. Swap: Snicker's bar for Lindt Excellence 70% dark
Dark chocolate may be bitter to those tasting it for the first time, but it is this taste, along with the richness of the intense flavour that comes with a high cocoa content, which makes dark chocolate so appealing. Always opt for a high quality brand.
9. Swap: creamy mash for couscous
Couscous is a versatile and easy dish you can flavour any way your like. Packet mixes generally come flavoured, while plain couscous can be prepared in a pan and can have tomato sauce, olives, red pepper pesto or mixed vegetables added to give them flavour. Despite potato being a complex carbohydrate and vital for energy, mixing it with cheese or cream adds a lot of saturated fat.
10. Swap: chips for roasted vegetables
Roasted carrots and parsnips are a healthier alternative to fried chips, I published a recipe in December 2012 with advice on how to cook these. You needed use much oil, and they make an ideal accompaniment to white meat.
Needless to say: along with healthier food choices, upping your exercise and cutting portion sizes is also important is your aim is to lead a healthier lifestyle. Try this food swaps, and see if you feel the benefits of making healthier choices.