Diet & Food

7 Easy Ways To Clean Up Your Diet

Clean up your diet

While dietary guidelines and food pyramids certainly have their place, eating well is like assembling flatpack furniture: the simpler the instructions, the easier they are to follow. We asked some food and nutrition experts to cut their best advice into bite-sized pieces. These nuggets of wisdom will keep you slim and healthy, effortlessly.

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Embrace your inner carnivore

“If you compare lean grass-fed beef with skinless chicken breast, the fat is almost the same, but the beef gives you considerably more zinc, iron and B12,” explains Catherine Friend, author of The Compassionate Carnivore. Pasture-raised pork is also very lean, healthy and delicious. Add it to stir-fry, throw it on the barbecue and add greens for a quick, easy meal.

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Think before you drink

“The average person consumes more than 2093 kilojoules (500 calories) from beverages a day,” says David Zinczenko, author of the Eat This, Not That! series. “That includes about 10 teaspoons of added sugar from soft drinks.” Swap juice and soft drinks for no-kilojoule drinks like water and green tea.

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Eat more nuts and seeds

Try pumpkin or sunflower seeds, two great sources of healthy fats, says dietician Keri Glassman, author of The O2 Diet. Alternatively, simply sprinkle linseeds liberally on everything from smoothies to yoghurt – or as a crunchy extra on your next schnitzel. They’re fibre and omega-3 rich.


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Raid your spice rack

“Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, turmeric may help prevent Alzheimer’s and oregano is thought to possess cancer-preventive properties,” says Glassman. Top your latte with cinnamon, add curry powder on your sautéed vegies and a big handful of herbs on salads and in pasta sauces.

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Turn the box around

The front of any product is where marketers stick claims like “natural”, “low-fat”, and “no added sugar” – which don’t really mean much. “The true test of the quality of the product is the ingredients list and the nutrition facts panel. Learn how to read those,” says Jessica Seinfeld, author of Deceptively Delicious! and The Can’t Cook Book: Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified.

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Eat like it’s Monday morning

“Think of each meal as a clean slate, an individual chance to eat well,” suggests Glassman. “If you’ve been eating a lot of fried foods or sweets, don’t throw in the towel – you can start fresh the next time you sit down to eat.”

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