Today I have composed a simple list of alternatives to common nasties in cooking.
When reading through this list, keep in mind that what is rotten for one person, is fine for an other. You only substitute the foods that are nasty for YOU! This list is about health, not about fat loss, and you may find you eat more (good) fat generally than you did before.
In packaged foods, look at the ingredients, not the nutritional table. You will find that you need to learn to make your own favourite foods, if you’re going to avoid these unhealthy additives. In my home life, we are keen to reduce processed & added sugar, and unhealthy fats.
SUGAR (and it’s many forms: fructose, dextrose, etc): Sugar is nasty for two reasons, 1) the way it affects your hormones, and 2) the way it affects your innards. Processed sugar sends your blood sugar sky-rocketing, only for it to plummet within minutes making you feel hungry again. General health is characterised by good oral and gut health, and sugar degrade both of these. In addition, high processed sugar often goes hand in hand with low fibre, which can lead to a build up of waste in your intestines.
Clean up the sugar in your diet by swapping with these alternatives; coconut sugar (low GI due to the fibre in it!), maple syrup and honey (whilst sugary, they have antibacterial properties that make them “healthier” alternatives), banana, stewed & blended apples, stevia, and dates. Notice how all these sugars have fibre (that’s if you use the whole stevia leaf).
BUTTER (and other solid animal fats): butter is nasty because of its high saturated fat content. However it is preferable to have real butter than margarines and butter substitutes.
Instead of using dairy butter when you cook, clean it up with; coconut butter, greek yoghurt (only replace half the butter required, otherwise it gets a bit tangy!), prune puree (you read right). If you’re not cooking it, Olive Oil, hommus, nut spreads, and avocado are great substitutes.
VEGETABLE OIL (incl. Olive): vegetable oils are nasty when you cook them, because the fat content is affected by heat, turning the lovely unsaturated fats into hideous saturated ones. The only clean exception is coconut oil, if you’re planning on cooking. Nowadays you can get spray-on olive oil (harris farm), which will make those home-made chippies positively healthy!
MILK: milk can be nasty because of the hormones in it and how they affect you. In addition, cow’s milk has more sugar in it than protein, so should be treated like a carbohydrate. It also contains a lot of saturated fat, the stuff that clogs up your arteries.
Clean up the diary using these alternatives; oat milk (great for your arteries, low calorie), goat milk (high protein, low saturated fat), almond milk (high protein, low saturated fat), coconut milk (ditto, slightly higher fat). Soy milk is not included here, because it often has traces of chemicals leached from the ground that the soy beans were grown in.
WHITE FLOUR: white flour is nasty because it is a highly processed carbohydrate, impacting your hormones in a similar way to sugar (but not quite as nasty), devoid of the fibre that keeps your innards clean, and high GI (which means you get hungry again quickly). White flour is often found with added sugar, which compounds the problem.
Instead of white flour, clean up your baking with these
; wholemeal flour, buckwheat, almond meal or flour, coconut flour, quinoa flour, barley flour, or spelt.
If you make your food from scratch, it is a relatively easy process to boost the nutritional content of your meals and snacks, using the above methods. If not, get used to reading packets. This is a time consuming process at first, but eventually you will know which brands to buy and which ones to avoid.