Social situation: Your family barbie
EAT THIS: FRUIT SALAD AND ICE CREAM
NOT THAT: CUSTARD TART
Because even though they're small, these mini saturated butter bombs are still packed with sugar and fat. A serving of fruit salad with a scoop of ice cream still gives you a sweet hit, along with a bucketload of antioxidants, vitamins and calcium.
EAT THIS: THREE BEAN SALAD
NOT THAT: POTATO SALAD
Because while potatoes are packed with potassium, mixing them with mayo equals disaster – half a cup of mayo alone has about 2700kJ and 68g of fat! Three-bean salad has about a third of the fat, plus beans contain healthy plant protein, folate and disease-fighting antioxidants. They’re also high in soluble fibre. A winner all round.
EAT THIS: HONEY-MUSTARD CHICKEN KEBABS
NOT THAT: STICKY CHICKEN WINGS
Because although chicken wings are small, they’re mostly skin and dark meat, which is where most of the fat is found. Wings have about five times the amount of fat than the same quantity of skinless kebabs, so they’re also higher in kilojoules.
EAT THIS: SIRLOIN STEAK
NOT THAT: SNAGS
Because sausages can contain around 22 grams of fat per 100g and are usually heavy on the salt. A moderately-sized sirloin is fat-friendlier, contains little sodium, provides good quality protein, amino acids, vitamin B12 and zinc. Any more questions?
EAT THIS: FRENCH TOAST WITH SYRUP
NOT THAT: A BIG BREKKIE
Because a good old fry-up can contain more than half your daily kJ needs and more than 25g saturated fat. French-style toast equals less sodium and only 4g unhealthy fats. Ask for syrup on the side and only add a trickle.
EAT THIS: SCRAMBLED EGG WITH BACON AND TOMATO
NOT THAT: EGGS BENEDICT WITH TOMATO AND SPINACH
Because Hollandaise sauce, made with butter and egg yolks, bumps up fat and cholesterol. Keep your helping of bacon moderate – it’s a sodium bomb. Go for fresh tomato slices and, for added flavour and folate, ask for a topping of fresh basil.
EAT THIS: PLAIN BAGEL WITH LIGHT CREAM CHEESE
NOT THAT: CROISSANT WITH HAM AND CHEESE
Because your plain bagel is way lower in kJs and fat than a croissant (330kJ and 0.4g fat vs. 2635kJ and 46g fat, including about 15g of bad fat).
Get your protein at another meal or, as a breakfast, combine lean leg ham with a poached egg on wholegrain bread with fresh tomato slices.
EAT THIS: SKIM FLAT WHITE
NOT THAT: BANANA SMOOTHIE
Because a smoothie might sound healthy, but it's actually hiding more than 1500kJ and at least 50g of sugar. Sneaky, eh? Your flat white with skim milk (no sugar), on the other hand, has only around 390kJ and less than a gram of fat.
EAT THIS: MINI MEATBALL
NOT THAT: BISCUITS WITH CREAM CHEESE
Because four or five meatballs will be kinder to your waistline and heart than biscuits topped with wedges of cream cheese dripping in sweet chilli sauce.
Cheese and bikkies contain around 15g of bad fat, while the meatballs come in at about 5g. But don't overdo the meatballs either – they’re high in sodium and still contain a fair amount of fat.
EAT THIS: HUMMUS ON CRACKERS
NOT THAT: MINI QUICHES
Because you'll pick up four grams of filling fibre – and you'll eat slower too, since it takes more time to dip each cracker in hummus. You'll also keep your fat intake down: four mini quiches contan 19g fat; four wholegrain crackers with hummus on each has only 7g fat.
EAT THIS: PRAWNS
NOT THAT: GRILLED COCKTAIL SAUSAGE
Because easy-to-eat mini snags are loaded with fat – just five of them have about 25g, with more than half being the bad type. Prawns (the non-deep fried kind) are a lean protein-packed snack that’s low in fat and kJs, especially if you skip the creamy dipping sauce. Prawns provide a hit of magnesium, too, which helps calm any party nerves.
EAT THIS: PEANUTS
NOT THAT: VEG SAMOSAS
Because even though the samosas are filled with vegies, the deep-fried pastry carries plenty of fat, most of it bad. A handful of peanuts will give you about 10g of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and a good dose of your daily vitamin E quota. But stick to a handful, as peanuts are kJ-dense.
EAT THIS: A FLUTE OF BRUT SPARKLING WINE
NOT THAT: A COCKTAIL GLASS OF STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRI
Because these drinks clock up a similar number of kilojoules, but daiquiris are most often made with at least 10g of sugar per glass, whereas the residual sugar content of most brut sparkling wines is less than 2.7g per flute. Bottoms up!