Jacqui Lewis - BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine
Healthy Condiments and Dressings
Here’s 6 Healthy Condiments and 4 you should rethink
We all like our food to taste yummy - especially after Bariatric surgery, where meal sizes are limited and food is a “delicacy” to be savoured, rather than a feast.
There are certainly a million ways we can add flavour to our foods, some are health giving, some are best given a wide berth if health and weight management is the goal of your regular fare.
Here are 6 healthy swap options and their benefits, as well as a few every day additions you might want to eliminate.
So we will start with the Good Guys first….
Adds a HUGE punch to any dish or salad. And is loaded with goodness. Traditionally made from Basil, Olive oil, parmesan cheese and pine nuts.
Pesto offers nutrients such as Zinc, for healthy immunity, and Omega 3 for reducing inflammation.
2. Our good friend - TAHINI
Often overlooked and misunderstood, tahini, made from ground sesame seeds brings a creamy texture and a nutty flavour it's perfect for replacing other creamy condiments that are not as healthy.
Tahini is a versatile, calcium rich paste you can buy from any supermarket. Your needs for calcium are higher after your Gastric Sleeve or Bypass surgery due to malabsorption, so adding calcium rich foods to your menu is a fabulous idea.
Once you’ve got the hang of your tahini dressing - you will never look back.
Simply blitz plain yoghurt, a scoop of tahini, a clove of garlic and some lemon juice and you’re up! - add some water to make it more like a dressing or leave it firmer and use as a sauce.
Now, don't freak out - yes it is the fats from clarified butter - “but I thought you were giving me healthy swaps, not fatty ones” well now you CAN have your Ghee and eat it too!!
What we don't want you to be is scared of fat - what we DO want you to be is savvy. If you’re eating a pretty clean diet, with limited carbs from grains and processed foods. You can enjoy more fat in your diet overall and still reach your weight loss goals GHEE - is just butter without the milk solids and its FABULOUS drizzled over veggies.
You can make your own or buy it already done for you. I would suggest making it from organic or grass fed butter so its higher in Omega 3 fats.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
It's not an old wives tale - this one really does offer about 100 health benefits!
Replace your standard vinegar for dressings with AVC (with the Mother) and you’ll be happy you did ACV has been known to improve Blood Glucose Control after meals which also helps keep you feeling fuller for a while longer between sittings.
Mix some ACV, Olive Oil and some garlic or mustard and you’re good to go!
This one is a no brainer - salsa adds a little kick to your boring old meat and veg! I have found a brand that is simply Tomatoes and Spices and nothing else - Mrs Renfro’s.
Cooked tomatoes are great for men in particular - providing LYCOPENE for healthy prostate tissue.
Overall salsa will spice up your meal without adding a stack of calories OR fat, so you can be liberal and guilt free.
6. Plain Greek Yoghurt
Plain Greek yoghurt is a bit thicker than other types and most of them are “pot Set” which means they are fermented in the container you buy them in and this is a GOOD THING for your microbiome and your gut health overall. And after WLS you’re always looking for tricks to meet your protein needs, and Greek Yoghurt is a great source of protein as well.
You can replace other creamy sauces and dressings with Greek Yoghurt on its own, or make a range of interesting flavours using other herbs and pops of flavour from garlic, tahini, lemon, basil, spinach, the list is endless and the benefits are many.
Check online for a “green Goddess dressing recipe” you’ll never look back!!
Say Goodbye to these guys...
OK Here’s who you need to say goodbye to now your health is your number one priority.
These guys not only provide an inflammatory calorie trap, some have such a list of unnecessary unnatural ingredients you’d need a chemistry degree to work out what you’re putting in your body!
1. Anything with MSG - MSG is a “flavour enhancer” and much research supports its ill effects on health. Ask at your local restaurants if they use MSG - you’ll be surprised,
2. Margarine: Margarine generally has “trans fats” which are known to be unhealthy for humans. Trans fats raise the levels of inflammation in the body, raises your "bad" cholesterol and also lowers your "good" cholesterol. A diet laden with trans fat increases your risk of heart disease, the leading killer of adults.
3. Store Bought BBQ sauce, Tomato Sauce, Sweet Chilli Sauce, Teriyaki sauce.
These guys can live on the shelf for a decade and still taste the same - and that tells us?? They are full of Sugar, Salt and Preservatives not to mention artificial colours and flavours. I would support putting these in the bin today!!
4. FAT FREE dressing - Whilst lower in calories, these tend to be higher in sugar and salt to make up for the flavour of the fats that are missing. You’re much better off by taking one of the home made options above and ditching the store bought dressing all together.
Now you’ve had weight loss surgery - you have limited capacity for food - every mouthful counts.
Read all the labels on the foods you buy from the supermarket and see what value they are bringing to the table.
When you are committed to improving your health, these simple swaps are the habits that can make all the difference over time.
If you have any questions or would like more information, join our BN Bariatric community on Facebook. BN Bariatric offers a wealth of knowledge, resources, free support and lively discussion with our Clinical Nutritionists.
BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine
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