Healthy-eating tips


Our food may get lighter on warm days, but there could still be hidden kilojoules. Dietician Nigel Denby has healthy-eating tips

You’d think this time of year would mean you can relax about dieting, wouldn’t you? Super-healthy salads, tall, cool drinks, and guilt-free desserts. Well, think again – summer foods can be just as kilojoule-, fat- and sugar-laden as stodgy winter meals.

If you’re keen to make sure no kilograms creep on, follow these tips.


These are quick to make, and are tasty as supper dishes or sides for braais. But all too often, they’re dripping in mayo-based dressings, which can add over 400 kilojoules to every serving. Get into the habit of roasting some veg peppers, onions, tomatoes in a little olive oil, and then stirring through pasta with some herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice. Try our Green pasta salad on page 133, or go easy on the carbs and swap pasta for pulses, and get a protein boost instead. LOOK ONLINE Find our low-kilojoule three-bean-salad recipe on woman


SNACKS Instead of chips and nuts, serve cocktails with wasabi-flavoured rice crackers – low in unhealthy fats, but lots of savoury kick makes them perfect with drinks.


Swamping veggies in oil ruins what could be a bowl of filling goodness. Any dressing that contains mayonnaise can be made with fat-free plain yoghurt instead, saving more than half the kilojoules. There are really great low-fat mayos available, too. LOOK ONLINE Find divine recipes for low-fat lemon salad dressings at womanandhome

Eating out

Going to restaurants is all part of a holiday, but don’t make it the route to your diet downfall. The worst thing is to starve all day to save kilojoules – you’ll be so hungry by the time you get to dinner, you’ll have no chance of making sensible choices. Have a snack before you go out, and you might not even need a starter or a dessert. Choose simply-cooked food, such as grilled- fish and meat, and ask for sauces on the side, so you can use less.

Avoid red meat, and include more chicken (see our recipes on pages 127 and 128), veggies and seafood on your plate.

Hake and angelfish are two meaty white fish that lend themselves to braaiing. They work well with marinades made with garlic, lemon and olive oil, or sundried-tomato paste and oregano for a Mediterranean flavour. King prawns, cherry tomatoes, and red onion make tasty kebabs; or go vegetarian with smoked tofu. Don’t forget to foil-wrap mielies with black pepper and a brush of butter, to cook with your protein.


Ice-cream based treats will pile on the fat and kilojoules before you touch the sauce, choc, or nuts. Ice-cream is about 780 kilojoules per 100ml (about two scoops), whereas low-fat frozen yoghurt is around 706 kilojoules. For a creamier alternative, try Greek-styled yoghurt, at 250 kilojoules. Fruit sorbet is slightly higher at 338 kilojoules, and contains sugar, but is still better for you than ice-cream. LOOK ONLINE Try our recipe for lemon-and-elderflower sorbet with prosecco on womanand za

COCKTAILS They’re great for parties, but you’d be surprised how laden with fat they can be, like a pina colada, which has around 750 kilojoules. Instead of creamy cocktails or sugar-filled fruit juice, rather opt for tall, sparkling iced drinks with soda.

Fancy a Sour-apple mojito?

One shot of vodka, sour-apple liqueur, a squeeze of lime, and top it up with some soda. How about a cassis Collins? One shot vodka, creme de cassis, squeeze of lemon, and top up with soda.

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