Sticking to a strict diet plan isn’t the only way to eat healthier. In fact, swapping out unhealthy ingredients for similar, healthy ones is also an effective and easy way to improve your diet.
Spencer Watts, the host of Spencer’s Big 30 (Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET) and Fish the Dish (Mondays to Thursdays at 6:30 a.m. ET), sat down with us to dish out his best tips to help you cut down on fat, sugar and salt effortlessly. These simple changes are about to make a big difference in your kitchen.
Stick to whole foods
One of the healthiest things you can do when cooking is to gravitate toward veggies and fruits instead of processed ingredients.
“I find if you just start with good, raw ingredients, it’s healthy,” said Watts. “Your bodies designed to turn that stuff into energy.”
Use unsalted butter
Most of the time, the less salt you work into your food, the better. One great way to cut down on your meal’s salt content is just to use an unsalted butter in place of a salted one.
“It’s just a cleaner form of butter, you kind of work it off by the time you get to the car,” Watts explained.
Clean fats all the way
“Olive oil’s so healthy you could drink it,” stated watts. So if you’re going to cook with any type of fat, opt for olive oil whenever you can.
Go for crispy food, not fried
Broil your food to get it crispy instead of frying it.
“When you think about frying, you deep fry it — you submerge something in hot oil, and it gets something really crispy. If you give things a nice toss in some olive oil and put it into the boiling oven, you can get things pretty crispy too,” suggested Watts.
You can even coat things in potato starch for some extra crunch.
Use honey in place of sugar
According to watts, it isn’t a bad idea to replace your sugar with honey. Since honey’s good for you on so many different levels and adds the same sweet taste that sugar does, you can’t really go wrong with it.
Soy sauce instead of salt
If you’re concerned about your sodium intake, forget about salt, and use a low-sodium soy sauce instead. A little bit of soy sauce goes a long way in terms of flavour, and you can even dilute it with water.
Ditch the cream
Cream is extremely fatty, but that doesn’t mean you can’t replicate it’s taste in a healthier way. Opt to make a roux instead to cut down on the fat. “A little bit of milk, and a little bit of butter and flour — that’s called a roux — will still give you that creamy consistency,” Watts said.
Alternatively, you can mix flour-coated, cooked vegetables with veggie stock for a healthy, creamy sauce when making a savoury dish like chicken pot pie.