Nowadays, especially with obesity rising, people are looking for ways to be fitter and healthier. Healthy diets are becoming more popular. Remember that regular exercise is also key to good health. If you want to have a slim and healthy body, take the time to prepare low calorie recipes.
Sample low calorie recipes
Breakfast – warm smoothie oatmeal: There are only about 304 calories in this breakfast recipe. Eating regular oatmeal everyday may seem a bit boring, but you can enjoy many kinds of low calorie oatmeal. Warm Smoothie Oatmeal is a low calorie recipe that blends oats, plain yogurt, nonfat milk, blueberries, and strawberries. For a sweeter taste, add a little sugar. First cook the oatmeal, using the old fashioned steel cut oats if you have time as they are less processed, and then puree in the blender. Add yogurt, milk and berries. You can also substitute with other fruits, like bananas.
Lunch – chicken breast with mushroom sauce: There are only about 275 calories in this recipe. Use 5 oz. of skinless chicken breast, ¼ tsp. of salt, ½ tsp. of pepper, canola oil, minced shallot, 1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms caps, 2 tbsp. dry white wine, fresh chives, ¼ reduced-sodium chicken broth, and a tablespoon of heavy cream. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken on both sides, remove from skillet. Add mushrooms and shallot to skillet, sauté until tender and golden. Blend in wine. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. Return chicken to skillet with the chives, chicken broth and heavy cream. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until chicken is tender. Serve over brown rice.
Dinner – stuffed cabbage rolls: This recipe has only about 223 calories. The ingredients are 1/3 cup uncooked white rice, 1 egg slightly beaten, 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, 1 lb. lean ground beef, 8 cabbage leaves, ¼ cup chopped onion, and 1 can of condensed tomato soup. Cook the rice until tender. While cooking, bring a large, wide saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add cabbage leaves and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until softened; drain. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, 1 cup cooked rice, onion, egg, salt and pepper, along with 2 tablespoons of tomato soup. Mix thoroughly. Divide the beef mixture evenly among the cabbage leaves. Roll and secure them with toothpicks. Place the cabbage rolls in a large skillet over medium heat, and pour the remaining tomato soup over the top. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring and basting often with the tomato soup.
So many healthy benefits
Nutrients – Low calorie recipes can benefit your health both emotionally and physically. Preparing three meals a day this way will give you all the nutrients that you need based on USDA choosemyplate guidelines. These low calorie recipes provide the carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, and oil required for your body needs. By following the food pyramid guidelines, you will get required nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, potassium, iron, calcium, dietary fiber, b-vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
- Carbohydrates – The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy (in glucose form). This energy is rapidly distributed to cells and muscles, which contributes to an active body and mind.
- Protein – Protein is essential for the body, as its primary function is to build and repair body tissues. It also enhances your immune system. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein.
- Potassium – Potassium is important in getting oxygen to the brain and it regulates fluid levels in the body. Potassium also enhances physical and mental condition.
- Iron – Iron’s main function is to carry oxygen to your cells, the body’s building blocks. It helps the body grow properly and helps metabolism. It strengthens muscles and enhances brain activities.
- Calcium – This popular nutrient, found in dairy products like milk is very important in strengthening bones and in maintaining healthy skin. Calcium prevents insomnia and helps to boost the immune system.
- Dietary Fiber – A significant part of a healthy diet, fiber aids in proper digestion, normalizes blood cholesterol levels, helps in losing weight, and lowers the risk of developing colon cancer.
- B-vitamins – Thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, biotin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, and cobalamin are the eight b-vitamins that help ensure healthy organs. These vitamins also help to prevent sickness, contributing to the maintenance of proper metabolism, digestion, appetite, blood formation and nervous system functions.
- Vitamin C – Vitamins C is an antioxidant that prevents cardiovascular diseases and stroke. It strengthens the immune system and prevents minor sicknesses, like colds. It also normalizes blood pressure.
- Vitamin K – The primary function of vitamin K is to help the body form blood clots. It slows down bleeding from cuts and wounds.
A few healthy tips
Watch for Over Eating – The challenge with low calorie recipes is that people may think they can eat twice as much. Eating too many low calorie recipes could cause obesity, lethargy, and digestive problems such as diarrhea and constipation.
Variety – In preparing low calorie recipes, it is healthier to include different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Repetition isn’t just boring, it’s can also be unhealthy as you are less likely to gain all your daily nutrients.
Reduced portions – On average, the body needs 90 grams of protein daily with a 1,800 calorie diet, or 60 grams with a 1,200 calorie diet. A single skinless chicken breast (serving size of 3.5 oz) contains 30 grams protein. That doesn’t include sauce, which is extra calories.
Substitution – When making healthy low calorie recipes, always include fresh, low fat ingredients. You can turn your favourite high calorie recipes into low calorie recipes by reducing the portion size or substituting healthier ingredients. Use skim milk instead of cream. Use low fat cheese instead of full fat. Use canola oil instead of butter. Use brown instead of white rice.
If you want to slim down and stay healthy, low calorie recipes are an excellent choice. Many of your favourite recipes can be converted into low calorie versions simply by substituting low fat ingredients. Portion control is also key because people tend to eat more if the dish is low calorie. Remember to give yourself a treat once in a while: food should be enjoyable and nutritious.