Whether you're trying to lose weight or just maintain a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet is really important. Here are some alternatives to add classic dishes that will help you out. World class healthcare facility, The Christie Clinic have some tips on how to swap one or two ingredients for more healthy substitutes so that you can transform any meal.

Easy way to five a day!
Everyone loves switching their regular chips for sweet potato fries once in awhile but sweet potatoes aren’t just for chips. Slice a sweet potato and bake in olive oil for an alternative to crisps or mash them to top a fish pie. By swapping regular potatoes for the sweet variety and loading up on the veggies, your fish pie can cut down the carbs and it won't be nearly as starchy, yet be just as delicious.

Spiralising is one of the latest health food trends that we are seeing everywhere these days. Any fruit or veg can be twirled up to add to salads, soups or stir fries. Try swapping the heavy pasta by making or buying courgette spirals (courgetti) to add to a rich Bolognese, you’ll be cutting down on carbohydrates and sneaking in another one of your five-a-day.

Have a Meat Free Monday
If you get by on a carnivorous diet, then it can be hard to think of exciting recipes without the meat. Nowadays there are hundreds of tasty alternatives to beef, chicken or pork like Quorn, which is low in saturated fat and high in protein. For a hearty and meat free meal, try making a Quorn cottage pie, for example, a bit like the fish pie, but this time switch the filling rather than the topping.

Surprisingly, vegetables can also be a great substitute for meat. You may notice avocados has surged in popularity recently, and for good reason. Avocados are full of nutrients that you would usually find in a steak like Vitamin B6. You can use them as a replacement for butter in baking, cut them into wedges as a side dish, or crack an egg in the middle and bake for a quick healthy breakfast.

Fake a Takeaway
When you’re doing well and sticking to healthy meals, the craving for a takeaway can hit hard! Instead of picking up your phone ordering in, why not log into Pinterest and browse the hundreds tasty fakeaway recipes.

Whip up a Chinese chow mein cooked in coconut oil and packed with vegetables or an Indian curry with cauliflower rice. It's far less dense than regular rice, so why not try using it as a substitute for the long grain or basmati? You may find it easier to digest than the usual, and because it's healthy, you can have more of it!

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