The fact that fried food is unhealthy won’t come as a surprise to most people, yet this knowledge never seems to stop some of us from chowing down on french fries, mozzarella sticks, fried chicken and onion rings (just to name a few). Trust me, I get it. Fried food tastes good. Piping hot, golden fries smothered in ketchup and hot sauce is guilty pleasure. We convince ourselves that indulging in unhealthy food choices is a onetime thing or that it’s a “special occasion” and some folks just adopt a “life is short, eat what you want” attitude.
In reality, Life IS short and poor eating habits can make it even shorter. We all want to look and feel our best and looking and feeling good starts with a nutritious healthy diet. Honoring yourself and your body enough to make healthy food choices can be hard, even when you know a food is bad for you but it is easier to make a change when we are armed with the FACTS.
FACT: Fried food is high in FAT and CALORIES. The breading on fried food soaks up oil like a sponge. Foods that are high in fat and calories can lead to obesity.
FACT: Fried Food often contains TRANS FAT. Trans fat is the worst kind of fat because it raises cholesterol which increases your risk of heart disease. Heart disease often leads to death.
FACT: Deep frying can make the food carcinogenic. Carcinogenic foods tend to cause cancer formation in the body.
Now that you have the facts, it’s time to act! Here are some tips that will help you find healthy alternatives to fried food.
1. Swap deep fried french fries for BAKED sweet potato fries and enjoy them with Dijon mustard. Baked sweet potato fries are lower in sodium, calories and fat. Beware! Sweet potato fries sold at restaurants are often fried in oil and can be just as unhealthy as regular French fries. This recipe can be made at home and is easy and quick!
2. Swap frying chicken with bread crumbs or flour breading and bake chicken using Panko instead. “Panko” is the Japanese word for bread crumbs and is delicious and super crunchy. Oil won’t soak into Panko, making it lower in calories and fat. Try this recipe for Healthy, Crunchy, Panko Crusted Chicken Fingers
3. Instead of fried potato chips, buy baked potato chips or try something new! A great alternative to potato chips are Kale Chips. Kale Chips are easy to make, they taste good and are really good for you. Here a lip smacking recipe that you must try!
4. If you must fry, do so RARELY and use a “good” oil to fry with such as Canola or Peanut oil both of which are low in saturated and trans fat.
Remember, most foods that you enjoy fried can be baked instead. You will get the same yummy taste but less calories and fat. Allow time for your taste preference to adjust. Sometimes new foods may not taste as delicious simply because they are different than the foods you are used to. Eating healthy does not mean sacrificing tasty foods; it simply means that you love yourself enough to give your body the best.