The not so good…
Potato chips :
You don’t need a degree in nutrition to understand this one – packet potato chips are high in fat, salt and kilojoules and should be reserved for treats only. When packing school lunches, include healthier snacks, such as air-popped popcorn or multigrain crackers and dip. As for grown-up snacks, if you love the occasional potato chip, stick to portion-controlled chip packs so you’re not tempted to scoff the whole big bag.
Interestingly, Harvard School of Public Health researchers found that increased potato intake was also associated with weight gain. This doesn’t mean that potatoes themselves are fattening – far from it, in fact. It’s just that eating potato and potato products, especially fries or hot chips, is associated with weight gain. Why? Because eating these foods is probably part of a dietary pattern of fast food, takeaways and not eating at home. A medium potato at dinner is fine and a small serve of hot chips as part of your weekly SmartPoints allowance is fine, too – so long as you’ve budgeted for it.
A spoonful of sugar is not so bad, but, unfortunately, you’re often drinking far more than that when you pour yourself a glass of soft drink, juice or cordial. When watching your weight, opt for no- or low-kilojoule beverages. This way, you’re not drinking your SmartPoints allowance and can still fill up on an adequate volume of food to feel satisfied. Stuck for inspiration? Other than good old plain water, try soda or tonic water, sparkling mineral water, and herbal teas.
Somewhere in between….
While it is highly likely that big meat eaters may, in fact, be big eaters overall, it’s also true that a portion-controlled serve of lean protein will help you stay satisfied for longer. So while it’s a good idea to skip that plate-sized steak, do try to stick to a palm-sized serve of lean meat three to four times per week.
Love deli meats? While the World Health Organization has recently identified processed meats as containing carcinogenic chemicals, if you still want to eat them occasionally, switch to lean ham and fat-trimmed bacon, which are lower in kilojoules and saturated fats. And be aware of how you eat them too: people who eat a lot of processed meats may be more likely to consume them as pizza toppings or in American-style sub sandwiches, which makes it easy to clock up the kilojoules. Try adding lots of 0 SmartPoints salad fillings to increase your sandwich to a satisfying size, and 0 SmartPoints vegie toppings to homemade pizzas.
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