How to turn fast, convenience food into healthier food

The first thought that springs to mind when we mention fast food is McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut and similar chains.  A quick and easy meal; eating-in, take-out, or possibly a home delivery after a day’s work.

Burger and chipsTo this lot I would like to add the various forms of convenience foods that come frozen – pizzas, lasagne, pies, burgers, fish in batter. Pop them into the microwave, et violà supper ready in 10 -20 minutes … fast enough?

But can you really get away with this kind of food, long-term? It’s high in calories, fat, salt and sugar. Your body will hand you the bill, sooner or later.


6 Tips how to turn fast, convenience food into “healthier” food

  • bake not fry
  • do not use saturated fats
  • go for olive oil dressings instead of mayo
  • add a salad by  the side
  • avoid breaded stuff or food in batter
  • avoid large portions

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tip #1 – bake not fry

Oven baked chips contain less fat than mashed potatoes with milk and butter.  Better still, why not cut up a sweet potato into wedges, add a table spoon of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes in a hot oven?

Tip #2 – do not use saturated fats

Margarine, lard, butter, ghee, coconut oil, palm oil – this lot is not good for you. Avoid deep frying at any rate; shallow fry or sauté instead.

Tip #3 – go for olive oil dressings instead of mayo

Olive oil dressings are so quick and easy to make:  put one part extra virgin olive oil in a screw top jar, add one part vinegar (balsamic or apple cider) or lemon juice, crushed garlic, a piece of fresh ginger, good dallop of wholegrain mustard, salt and pepper and shake.

For a creamier option take two tablespoons olive oil dressing and add to Greek yogurt; mix well.

Tip #4 – add a salad by the side

Replace the fries for a side salad. Alternatively add lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes to your burger and remove the processed cheese.

Tip #5 – avoid breaded stuff or food in batter

The breadcrumbs covering breaded fish or chicken absorb too much oil.  Batter also absorbs oil as a result of the white flour it contains, turning food which is good for you – fish  or chicken – into a health risk.

Tip #6 – avoid large portions

As with everything else – moderation is key!  Avoid super deals, double or triple burgers when you’re at your favourite chain.  You are not doing yourself any favours.  A large burger with fries and a drink can easily pack 2000 calories – a whole day’s worth!

Let me know if you find the above tips useful.  Next week I will look at how you can make better choices when eating at fast food chains.

My thanks go to:

 

 

Published by

Colette Cumbo

Welcome to my little corner on the world wide web from where I share my cooking experiences with you. My home country is Malta – a tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean. In 2016 I created this space as part of a web writing course assignment. But, in no time, it evolved into a little place from where I share with you nutrition tips as well as recipes for you to try out and enjoy. Read more…

One thought on “How to turn fast, convenience food into healthier food”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.