Diet friendly ingredients to make healthy ready meals.

‘Like most people I keep a watchful eye on my weight, and whilst considering the calories in the food I eat is an important factor, I also try to look at the overall benefits the food I eat and the ingredients I use.’

If you are watching your weight, controlling your calorie intake by incorporating low-calorie food is important, but even more important is to choose foods that will fill you up so you are not tempted by hunger and cravings between meals. So considering fibre levels and whether they are a complex carb, comes high up on my list.

Learn more about the diet friendly ingredients we use in Kirsty’s meals below:









SWEET POTATO

I know this is a controversial start, but yes Sweet potatoes are surprisingly low in calories, one sweet potato (5 inch, 120g) contains only 112 calories. And more importantly they help keep your hunger pangs at bay, provide a good source of fibre and studies suggest even prevent fat absorption.

And whilst Sweet Potatoes contain carbs, they are actually a source of complex carbs, which help energy release at a steady pace, which helps you feel full and stops you from over-eating.

The average sweet potato also provides almost 4 g of fibre, which has been shown to aid weight loss mainly due to the reason that it absorbs water and helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Sweet potatoes are crammed full of:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Antioxidants
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Dietary fibre

They also have a low Glycemic Index (GI), are low in saturated fat, low cholesterol and have low sodium content, so if you’re trying to achieve a healthy weight loss add sweet potato to your shopping list.

QUINOA

Quinoa is well-known for being a great source of protein and energy. But did you also know that Quinoa seeds are rich in vitamin B 12, which if you have a B vitamin deficiency your body won't be able to synthesize nutrients as efficiently which can slow down weight-loss.

Quinoa is also high in dietary fiber and protein, both of which can make you feel fuller, which will make you less likely to binge on unhealthy foods.

Additionally Quinoa is:

  • packed full of the nine essential amino acids that our bodies need to process and use the protein we consume
  • gluten-free
  • a better source of protein than cow’s milk, making it perfect for vegans, vegetarians and people who are lactose intolerant
  • safe for diabetics to eat
  • antioxidant rich
  • a fabulous source of many minerals including: magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin E and folic acid








LENTILS

Lentils are particularly low in fat which helps their calorie content to be moderately low, however be mindful that how you cook them can affect the calories.

Lentils are a fantastic source of slow burning complex carbohydrates. They boost your energy levels and replenish your body’s iron reserves, which can help you body ‘burn’ the calories you do eat.

By including lentils as part of a healthy diet, you can also help lower your cholesterol levels and maintain blood sugar levels. This is because they have a high fibre content which helps stop your blood sugar levels soaring after eating (and stop you snacking between meals).

Being types of dietary fibre: soluble and insoluble. Lentils can also help us to avoid constipation and protect us from disorders of the digestive system such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and diverticulitis.

BROWN RICE

Traditional low calorie diets may discourage eating rice because it’s calorie dense and has a high carbohydrate content, however the high fibre content in brown rice (3 grams of fiber in a cup of brown rice— a little over 10 percent of the daily fibre needs for women) means it has a role in a calorie controlled diet to me (though eating measured portion sizes is important).

What’s more Brown rice has more nutrients than white rice, so it’s a much better choice if you are trying to eat more healthily. The processes used to produce white rice strip it of all its goodness. Brown rice is only partially milled, preserving all the essential nutrients it contains in the rice kernel including the fibre, oil and fatty acids

Brown rice’s fabulous nutrients include:

  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B6
  • Phosphorous
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Protein
  • Fibre

Brown rice is a great antidote to feeling lethargic and tired. It contains the nutrient manganese which helps synthesise fatty acids, so promoting a healthy nervous system as well as helping our bodies create energy from carbohydrates and protein.









CHICKPEAS

There are so many advantages to including chickpeas in your diet:

  • Low in fat
  • One of the very best sources of soluble and insoluble fibre
  • Help lower your cholesterol
  • Good source of carbohydrates
  • High levels of calcium and magnesium
  • Help keep hunger pangs under control
  • Great source of iron
  • Rich in minerals phosphorous and zinc

Vegetarians and vegans benefit from eating chickpeas alongside rice or whole grains as they can get an optimum level of proteins and also benefit from the calcium they contain, which can be difficult to source if you follow a dairy free diet.

Read more about our nutritious meals range here: https://www.kirstys.co.uk/meals-under-400-calories/