Chopping board with vegetables

Healthy eating is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That’s why we’ve developed this guide to help you create healthy recipes of your own.

These are some easy tips to help you make healthier choices. Start making these changes gradually and soon these will become part of your regular shopping, preparation and cooking habits!

1. Select Healthy Ingredients

Healthy substitutions make your recipes more nutritious and can reduce the amount of saturated fat, sugar, salt and energy (kilojoules).

Instead of this... ...try this!
Fats and oils Polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats (eg. olive, canola and sunflower oils and margarines)
White rice, pasta, bread and flour Multigrain and wholemeal varieties. When baking, use a mix of wholemeal and white flour
Milk, cheese, yoghurt Reduced-fat varieties. Use a smaller amount of cheese
Meat and poultry Choose smaller, leaner cuts of meat and trim the fat off before cooking

2. Preparation with Pizzazz

You can often reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt in recipes without affecting the flavour!

Butter and oil, in baking Halve the quantity and replace with unsweetened apple sauce, low-fat natural yogurt or mashed banana
Sugar, in baking Reduce amount to as little as 1/4 cup for every 1 cup of flour
Salt, in baking For dishes without yeast, reduce by half. Foods with yeast need the salt for correct cooking
Salt, in general cooking Reduce by half or remove it completely. There’s no need to add salt when cooking pasta or rice. Herbs and spices can be used to add flavour

3. Cooking with Confidence

There are lots of healthy ways to cook food without sacrificing flavour. You may find your meals taste even better!

Healthy cooking methods:

  • Boiling: Cook in boiling water
  • Braising: Slow cooking in the oven, partially covered by liquid
  • Grilling: Cooking over a high, dry heat using a grill, grill pan, or griddle
  • Microwaving: Use a microwave oven
  • Poaching: Gently simmering food in liquid (eg. water, stock, milk)
  • Sautéing: Cooking small pieces in a shallow pan over a relatively high heat
  • Steaming: Cooking by steam from boiling water
  • Stir-frying: Cooking in a wok, over high heat, stirring often

These cooking methods can be healthy with a few modifications:

  • Baking: Limit the amount of oil used wherever possible
  • Barbecuing: Avoid burning your food and try to limit the amount of oil used
  • Basting: Instead of using oil or drippings as a basting liquid, use a teaspoon of fruit juice, vegetable juice or fat-free vegetable broth
  • Roasting: Use a roasting rack to catch oil and fat and discard after cooking
  • Stewing: Avoid cooking with alcohol or other high energy liquids

4. Re-Think the Added Extras

In some recipes, you can eliminate an ingredient altogether or reduce the amount you use.

Instead of this... ...try this!
Sweet toppings (such as toppings or icings), cream and/or edible decorations Fresh fruit
Condiments such as olives, pickles, mayonnaise, mustards Salt reduced varieties and reduce the amount used
Ice cream or cream Low-fat ice cream or home made custard using low-fat milk

For more healthy cooking tips, see Healthy Recipe Swaps.