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Healthy eating: five easy swaps

Make the most of summer with these practical tips for creating nutritious mealtimes.

Protein: discover different food sources

What about trying the idea of making one day a week meat-free? There are plenty of healthy protein sources that don't involve eating meat or fish. You can add hard-boiled eggs, grated cheese or grilled halloumi to a salad, or boost the protein content of any meal by adding tofu or other soya products, pulses (such as beans, lentils and peas) and nuts, so start experimenting.

Cooking: give frying a rest

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy lighter meals, by grilling, poaching or baking your fish or meat. Frying adds unnecessary oil or fat to any dish – but if you are firmly set on frying then shallow-fry rather than deep-fry, and use an oil spray to lightly coat the pan rather than pouring in spoonfuls of oil.

Dressings: ditch the mayo

Salad is a summer staple and drizzling it with lemon juice adds a zesty twist. We also like making a dressing using low-fat yoghurt mixed with lemon juice or finely chopped herbs. Fresh chives, parsley, tarragon or basil add a nice tang.     

For a potato salad with a difference, make a vinaigrette dressing with an oil rich in omega 3s, such as extra virgin olive oil, linseed oil or rapeseed oil. Add chopped capers or sliced spring onion to your potatoes for extra kick.

Toppings: lose the croutons

Croutons on a salad can be heavy, as they are fried in oil. For added crunch, sprinkle toasted seeds over your leaves instead. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and pinenuts work really well, and they're good for you!

Puddings: enjoy lower-calorie treats

Make the most of delicious fresh fruit in season by checking out the offers at your local market. Alternatively, a sorbet served with frozen berries or frozen banana slices is a lighter choice than ice-cream and other rich desserts.

Further information

For more inspiration about healthy eating, take a look at our ideas for summer picnics and barbecues.

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