Posted on | July 26, 2010 | 2 Comments
Eating healthy is not always as simple as it seems. I am a big believer in preparing your meals at home so you have a better chance of controlling your portions, calories and fatty ingredients that you put into your meals. Often the flavours that we add to our meals plays a massive importance in the overall ‘healthiness’ of the end product. I was recently asked to provide some healthy ideas for low calorie / low fat spreads to put on bread. So lets take a look at some popular spreads to see the good, the bad and the ugly of what can occur in only 2 tablespoons:
|Skippy Reduced Fat Creamy||
|Skippy Super Chunk||
|Peter Pan Whipped||
|Peter Pan Creamy||
|Peter Pan Crunchy||
|Billy Bee Pure Organic Honey||2 tbsp||120||0g||16g||0g||0g|
|Jams||Publix Seedless Strawberry Jam||30g||105||0g||28g||0g||0g|
|Kraft Strawberry Jam||30g||104.9||0g||27.3g||0g||0g|
|Toast Box Hainanese Kaya||2 tbsp||98||3.2g||16.4g||0g||0g|
|Sour Cream||Nancy’s Organic||
|Mayonnaise||Best Foods Light||30g||70||7g||2g||0g||0g|
|Butter||Flora Extra Light Low Fat||30g||39.3||6g||1.6g||0g||0g|
|Trappist – Lemon||30g||75||0g||19.5g||0g||0g|
|Butter Garlic Spread||30g||215||24g||0.2g||0.3g||0g|
|Tesco||30g||93||buying pills online width=”40″ valign=”top”>9g||3g||2.4g||1g|
How you can stay healthy: Homemade spreads – vs- Supermarket spreads
Homemade spreads are definitely healthier because you can always choose your own ingredients, reduce the sugar, control the fat, salt and add in fibre. Be adventurous and try different blends to create amazing textures, tastes and it’s free of preservatives too!
Try not to stick to the same old boring jam or butter, blend in herbs, spices or even nuts to create a whole new different spread/topping for your bread and salads.
If you are buying straight from the supermarket shelf – Here is what you should be looking for to make the healthy choice:
1) Try vegetable-based spreads (Tomato, Garlic & Herbs, Onions, Mustard, Pesto, Salsa)
2) Choose low in fat & high in protein spreads for the whole family (Light Peanut Butter, Marmite, Vegemite, Low Fat Cottage Cheese)
3) High fibre spreads such as Houmous are always good! It can help regulate bowels and usually low in calorie. But do also remember to choose low fat brands.
4) Fresh Avocado has more nutrients when compared to regular butter or marmalade. Other than the fact that avocado is great for the skin, its good source of potassium can help to regulate blood pressure.
5) Protein-dominant spreads and toppings can make you feel full longer and research has shown can help in weight management. (On your bread try: 1 Hard-boiled egg, low fat cottage cheese and 2 huge slices of tomato, sprinkle a little pepper for flavour)
6) Know your needs
- Weight loss – Choose Low-fat spread (<3g/100g) or Fat-free (<0.15g/100g)
- Hypertension – Reduce salt intake (<0.3g/100g)
- Lowering cholesterol – Avoid products that contain cream or palm oil, such as butter. Choose a spread that contains plant-sterol that can help in cholesterol and heart disease (Benecol & Take Control spreads)
- For the whole family – Check the nutrition panel and choose margarine or spread which is higher in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat. Low-fat spreads are suitable for children over the age of two years providing they are thriving and eating a good varied diet.
7) Add in the good stuff! – Include flaxseeds, crushed almonds, oats or herbs for the added nutrients!
What you put on your bread is an important choice. I personally never use margarine or butter on bread. When making a sandwich depending on what I have in the fridge I always choose a low fat and low calorie option. My favourites are pesto (only a small amount is needed), avocado, houmous, salsa, cottage cheese or nothing. I find if I put lots of vegetables and toppings in you don’t need to add extra flavour. Stay away from butter, margarine, honey, kaya, jams and mayonnaise as often as possible.
Remember when you do choose a spread it’s all about portion size – use as little as possible or use a maximum of 1 tablespoon. If you’re out shopping and know you’ll be tempted to eat a fatty high calorie spread if it’s in the fridge than just don’t buy it!