While many of us clean our house to welcome the festive seasons, It is a great time to clean up the fridge! Though this will not be on the agenda of many people, but it is definitely a great way to start a more healthier lifestyle. Maybe it is about time to give it a healthier makeover.
Before we suggest what to throw & what to keep – Listing the existing content of the fridge may just give you an insight on what are the wrong choices you have made , while selecting food for your family.
- Sweetened drinks of all varieties, including canned and bottled drinks of carbonated and non-carbonated varieties, and tetrapak drinks with sugar in them.
- Even juice that trumpets no added sugar have plenty of the sweet stuff in them.
- All types of syrup and cordial.
Why : These drinks are high in sugar. For instance, a typical 330ml can of carbonated drink contains about eight teaspoons of sugar, or about 140 calories.This makes up almost 10 per cent of a typical adult Singaporean’s daily energy needs which range between 1,500 and 1.800 calories.
Also, note that drinks of the “juice” variety are different from actual fruit juice. They are not 100 per cent juice and are often made from concentrate or have added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
- Diet soft drinks
- Reduced-sugar drinks
- Diluted syrups and cordials
- 100 per cent juice
Why: Diet soft drinks and reduced-sugar drinks serve as alternative beverages for those looking to enjoy festive treats without the added calories.Diet soft drinks do not contain sugar and, therefore, have no calories.
Reduced-sugar drinks contain less sugar, with or without additional artificial sweeteners.
One hundred per cent juice also has less sugar and is generally preferred over juice drinks.But remember that juice still lacks the fibre of whole fruit. So do not forget to include whole fruit in your diet.We would recommends at least two servings of fruit a day.The Mandarin orange, a Chinese New Year must-have, is a good source of fibre and vitamin C.
- Leave a flask of water in the fudge with few slices of lemon. It is a great thirst quencher.
- Mix your own reduced-calorie carbonated drink by adding sparkling water to reduced-sugar cordial.
- Full-cream milk
- Full-fat yogurt
- Butter and hard margarine
Why: Full-fat dairy products, such as full-cream milk and full-fat yogurt, are high in saturated fat, which is associated with a rise in the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol in the blood, a risk factor for heart disease.
Hard margarine, which needs no refrigeration at room temperature, is high in trans fat, which raises the bad” cholesterol level, and lowers the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol.
This makes it worse than saturated fat, which raises bad cholesterol but has no effect on good cholesterol. It further raises the risk of heart disease.
- Low-or non-fat (skim) milk
- Calcium-fortified reduced-sugar or unsweetened soya milk
- Low-fat or non-fat yogurt
- Soft margarine
- Reduced fat spread
Why: These products contain – significantly less saturaied fat and are more beneficial for the heart than their full-fat – counterparts.
Regular soya milk has little calcium, so choose calcium fortified soya milk whenever possible.
Soft margarine, which requires refrigeration, is low in saturated fat and high in “good” unsaturated fat, such as monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. In moderate amounts, both have a protective effect on the heart.
Other tips: No matter how good a type of fat is, it is still fat. We advises people to use it in moderation!
- chiken/meat/fish Nuggets
- Prata/ready to eat pizza etc
- Ice cream
Why: Nuggets are processed food that has been fried in advance. Ready to eat Prata & Pizza are is high in sodium & fat.
- Frozen vegetables
- Frozen low-fat yogurt
- Fruit sherbet
Why: Frozen vegetables are often mistaken for being less nutritious than fresh ones. However, as they are quick-frozen at the source, they often retain their nutritional value.
Other tips: For easy thawing,freeze meat, fish and poultry in portion sizes that you would use for cooking.
- Regular salad dressing
Why: They may be the dips of choice for fried food, but use the above two condiments — both of which are high in fat — sparingly.- For instance, one tablespoon of regular mayonnaise contains about 50 calories, mostly from fat.
- Low-fat dressing
- Balsamic vinaigrette
(You can make a simple version with one part balsamic vinegar and three parts olive oil, with a pinch of salt and black pepper.)
Why: These are lower in fat compared with their regular – full-fat counterparts. Balsamic vinegar in itself does not contain many essential nutrients but when paired-with olive oil, has a tartness that brings out the sweetness in vegetables. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, which is good for the heart.
Other tips: Citrus fruit such as mangoes, oranges, green apples, pineapples and lemons can help to bring out the sweetness in vegetables. Consider using them whole or squeezed for their juice, in your salads instead of regular salad dressing.
Pat yourself in the back if you have very few or none of the items that should be discarded. Maybe you can consider making a “DON’T PUT IN THE FRIDGE” list & stick it on the fridge door!