With stay-at-home and social distancing mandates being an integral part of our everyday lives, it is easy to lose the sense of moderation and indulge in emotional eating. However, it is important for the sake of our health to maintain a balance between foods that give us pleasure and foods that benefit our mind and body.
For this reason, we present you 6 easy-peasy diet swaps, with a Mediterranean flair, that combine pleasure with high nutritional value!
1. Pita bread with Falafel instead of Hamburger
It is not new that conventional hamburgers are a pretty unhealthy junk food choice, as, among others, they are rich in fats, calories, additives, and sodium. At the same time, it takes a lot of cows for a single hamburger to be produced, so it is not beneficial for the environment either. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives, and pita bread with falafel is one of those.
Falafel, a dish from the Middle East, is a great source of nutrients, made of chickpeas and usually combined with tasty herbs and spices. Chickpeas are protein-dense, they may prevent serious diseases, and can help you manage your weight. You can bake the falafels, instead of frying them, and stuff the pita bread with those, along with a healthy dip and other veggies.
2. Roasted Chickpeas instead of Chips
Netflix and Chill is a prominent way to spend some time during the pandemic, and it is common to be accompanied by a bowl of potato chips. Potato chips are definitely not an innocent snack, as they are fried carbs, rich in fats and salt.
Our suggestion? Replace them with a delicious bowl of roasted chickpeas, that will satisfy your cravings and benefit your body at the same time. There are many recipes out there and a variety of ingredients you can use, such as olive oil, a bit of sea salt and spices such as coriander and paprika.
3. Herbs & Spices instead of Salt
When adding flavor to dishes, it is very common to use lots of salt. While salt comes with some health benefits, it also has disadvantages when consumed excessively, that mainly have to do with the heart health. So, you could limit the amount of salt and use different spices that will make every meal special and do good to your body.
To offer some examples, cinnamon is a particularly healthy spice that can reduce your blood pressure, garlic can benefit your heart’s health, whereas cayenne is found to offer pain relief.
4. A bowl with Greek Yoghurt, instead of Breakfast Cereals
Although breakfast cereals are promoted as healthy and optimal for starting your day with energy, in reality they are highly processed, and contain refined grains and important amounts of sugar. In the contrary, Greek yoghurt, combined with ingredients such as nuts and fresh fruits, can provide you with substantial nutrients.
Greek yoghurt contains proteins, calcium, vitamin D, probiotics, and iodine, without having too many calories. Also, nuts are great sources of healthy fats and offer various benefits, such as improving your heart health. Plus, there is evidence that a synergy between yoghurt and fruits can be valuable, through their prebiotic and probiotic effects.
5. Spaghetti alla Putanesca instead of Mac n Cheese
If your go-to comfort food is mac n cheese, consider switching to a healthy, delicious, perfetto alternative with an Italian origin. Mac n cheese is a meal full in chemicals, called phthalates, that might harm your body in several ways, including hormonal issues.
On the other side, Spaghetti alla Putanesca is a great pasta dish that includes beneficial nutrients, as it contains tomatoes, olives, olive oil, caper, and garlic, whereas mac n cheese is filled with unhealthy heavy cheese cream and cheese powder.