Comfort foods it's OK to eat in winter

Don't forget the veges and legumes
Don't forget the veges and legumes

Want to make it through winter without piling on the pounds, but also don't want to go outside and exercise?

You don't have to eat less, says ABC Nutrition founder Angela Berrill -- you just need to be careful.

"Some people are choosing to eat a little bit more over winter in an effort to actually make themselves feel warmer, but also people are possibly cutting back on their exercise," she told Paul Henry this morning.

"A lot of our traditional comfort foods can be quite high in saturated fat, and also probably lacking in things like legumes and vegetables."

But it's possible to keep meals tasty as well as healthy over winter.

Firstly, don't forget the veges.

"It's pretty simple - just veg up your favourite winter meals, whether it's adding some grated carrots or spinach to your lasagne, chopping up more vegetables and adding them to a casserole, and actually using the up the leftover vegetables sitting around in your fridge," says Ms Berrill.

It all comes down to how you prepare them. For example, 'Tasty' cheese makes pretty much anything delicious - it's right there in the name - but it's is also full of fat. Luckily, food scientists have fixed this problem.

"There's actually a new cheese on the market called 'Noble', and it's got the same taste as the 'Tasty' cheese, but it's actually lower in fat than Edam," says Ms Berrill.

Chucking some on top of a microwaved kumara is a fast and healthy feed perfect for winter. Or you can get creative.

"You could add something like chilli beans… or you could even have some canned fish, because we don't tend to eat as much fish over winter."

Ms Berrill's final tip is to load up on protein-filled chickpeas, beans and lentils. Chuck them in a casserole or soup.

"They're quite good if you're conscious of your budget, because they can stretch that meat portion a little bit further as well."

Or you could just get pizza delivered every night - it's up to you.

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