7 Healthy Food Switches To Make This Year

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I can’t believe how fast time flies, and with kids around, I feel we rarely stop to breathe. So this year I am taking stock of our life – starting with the kitchen. Here’s to eating better and living better with these simple and healthy food switches.7 Healthy Food Switches | Healthy Food Choices For Your Family | Maple and MarigoldI am a feminist and consider myself a modern, liberated woman in so many ways. But when it comes to the kitchen, I’m still the one ultimately responsible for the food in the house. That means I’m also the one in charge of my family’s long term health. Food isn’t just fuel after all. So here goes!

7 Healthy Food Switches To Make This Year

Substitute white rice for brown

I grew up in India where rice formed a big chunk of my dinner plate. My grandfather used to say, “We should all eat like the farmers used to – and that’s brown rice.” But by then people in urban areas in India were already moving towards white rice. What a mistake that has been for our longterm health! White rice is made by removing the hull and bran around the kernel of the brown rice. This process removes most of the nutritional value and we end up with a bland, less nutritious food – white rice. And even though brown rice takes longer to cook, this year I will be switching brown rice for white in my family’s kitchen.

Choose White over Red meat

There’s no question about it – pork and beef has more saturated fat and cholesterol than chicken and turkey. A healthy diet means we should stay away from red meat as much as possible. Even though I love my hamburgers I know this food switch is essential for my family’s health.

7 Healthy Food Switches | Healthy Food Choices For Your Family | Maple and MarigoldSwitch to Fish twice a week

Specifically salmon, trout and herring that are rich in nutrients for the overall development of mind and body. I am choosing salmon twice a week for my family meals. Asides from making a low calorie, lighter meal, fish actually has tremendous health benefits, the most significant are Omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for heart health in adults and children. In the upcoming weeks, I promise to share my favourite seafood recipes, those that my kids will gobble up faster than you can say “Dinner’s ready!”

Switch to Pulses at least two meals a week

This one is easy for me since daal is such an integral part of Indian cuisine. There’s rajma (red beans), raungi (black-eyed peas), chane (chickpeas), and moong ki daal (in the picture), the list is long. Many people do not know that lentils and red meat contain the same amount of protein and only a tenth of the fat.  If there is one food switch you choose from my list let it be this one. Choosing lentils will help us all be healthy, for far longer AND will help our planet breathe easier. 7 Healthy Food Switches | Healthy Food Choices For Your Family | Maple and Marigold

Swap canned foods for those stored in glass containers

In 2012 Bisphenol A (BPA) was found to be a toxic substance. Since then vigilant consumers have been avoiding cheap plastic containers in the kitchen to minimize their family’s exposure to this chemical. What hasn’t been discussed as openly is that many canned goods are lined on the inside with BPA. This freaked me out a little since I use a lot of tomato sauce that comes in, you guessed it, cans. I am switching my cans for glass jars today.

Switch my second cup of coffee for tea

This one’s going to hurt, I already know that. I love coffee. I like it with steamed milk and I like it even more couple of times a day. I know caffeine is mostly good for me and helps me stay alert especially on those days when kids keep me up all night. But moderation is key so I will be switching my second cup of coffee for black tea. It will still give me my hit of caffeine and the health benefits are amazing!

Choose sweet potato over regular

This is such an obviously healthy switch. One medium sweet potato has more than a day’s worth of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), plus 57 percent more fibre and 50 percent more vitamin C than white potatoes. Higher in nutritional value, they are also tastier. Zeera (cumin) sweet potato anyone?

7 Healthy Food Switches | Healthy Food Choices For Your Family | Maple and Marigold

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8 years ago

Thanks for all these tips – very helpful. I have switched to black tea and already feel the difference.

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Puneeta is a writer, food advocate and guide for those who seek earth-friendly, delicious solutions that work for real life.

Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma, Food Writer, Climate Advocate, New cookbook - Good Food, Healthy Planet - out April 2024
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