So as we know, being health-conscious is very much trending right now. Although it should be life-long trending, it is great to see more of the public being conscious and aware of what they put in their bodies and how they train their bodies. Our health should be a top priority for all of us. With that being said, keeping healthy is not just a means of exercise. A lot of it has to do with diet and what foods we eat.
As a medical student, one of the most common phrases I say when I counsel a patient is to “maintain a healthy balanced diet”. And it’s not arbitrary at all. It really does matter. Diet is really an imperative factor or risk to the development of a lot of medical conditions. The most common medical conditions in Malaysia is hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes (high blood sugar).
And both these conditions have an unhealthy diet as a risk factor. Risk factors are basically things that predisposes someone to a higher likelihood of developing a disease. So for hypertension, a high salt diet is usually involved. For diabetes, a high sugar diet is involved. Now, this isn’t to say that they are the official causes, but they are putting you are a higher risk and danger. That’s why paying attention to what you eat and what you feed your family is imperative to keeping healthy.
Therefore, I am here to share some of my favourite substitutions to guilty-pleasure foods that still give you the satisfaction of a good meal. Trust me, I enjoy food. I love all food, I love fatty foods, sugary foods and salty foods. Hence, I share nothing that I myself would not enjoy. Hopefully this list can inspire the public to be more creative with their recipes and their meals. This can help with health but it can also help with expanding their gastronomical palette.
- Hamburger Buns - Portabello Mushrooms
I love burgers so much. This is a fact, a set-in-stone fact. I will never stop loving burgers. With that being said, the whole idea and hearty-ness of a burger is a hamburger bun. It’s more satisfying that way. However, I tried this idea which was replacing the bun with a large portobello mushroom. And my mind was blown. Portabello mushrooms are so meaty and hearty in their own vegetable-type way. But it’s so delicious, it even gives the burger a different type of element.
- Lasagna Sheets - Eggplant Sheets
Lasagna is a great dish. Layered cheese and meat and pasta sheets. But if you think about it, the meat and the cheese is enough to fill you up. And sometimes it feels as if the lasagna sheet is lost in the mess of yummy stewed meat and cheese. Therefore, if you are looking to lower the calories on your lasagna, try slicing eggplants very thinly along the sides. You’ll have the look of lasagna sheets but better for you. And eggplants tend to suck the flavour of what they are cooked in (especially when they are baked in sauce), therefore you’re not losing with this.
- Pizza Dough - Cauliflower Dough
I was definitely hesitant at first. I was not a believer of this substitute. Pizza is essentially dough. And I love the dough, I especially love the crust of the pizza. Therefore, I didn’t want to buy into this substitute. But I did try it, and it’s not that bad. Now, I’m not saying this will taste exactly the same. The taste is definitely different with a different texture as well. However, if you top the pizza well and generously (like I do), then you don’t really miss the dough.
- Full-Fat Pancakes - Banana Pancakes
The greatest hack ever. Not only do you save calories, you have time and money too. As soon as I see my bananas going a little dark and brown on the sides, I know it is time to mash them up with an egg and make me a good pancake. These pancakes are great! They are naturally sweet so you don’t need to ass sugar (but if you wanted to : honey is great with this as well). They fill you up just as a normal pancake would. They’re even more delicious if you ask me. Cause regardless, I drench my pancakes with maple syrup.
Article is written by:
Fatin Najwa binti Daud, is a medical student studying at IMU Malaysia. She is a freelance writer of this blog at Zaahara. Interests include music, art, sports and travel.
-Photos are taken from google images
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