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Revamp Your Cultural Meals for Sustainable Weight Loss

You can create cultural meals for weight loss !

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for overall health and wellness. However, sticking to a healthy diet can be challenging, especially when unsure if your traditional recipes are healthy enough to consume daily. Some cultural meals can contain calories, unhealthy fats, and sugar. Fortunately, by making simple modifications to traditional recipes, it is possible to enjoy flavourful, satisfying meals while achieving sustainable weight loss.

In this blog post, we will explore three traditional recipes that have been modified to be healthy and promote sustainable weight loss. We don’t want to give up the foods we grew up loving all in the name of weight loss, as it won’t last.

Healthy meals: How to modify your recipes.

The secret to long-term weight loss is enjoying the food you eat. Cutting out family favourites is not the way.  Check how to modify your meals to ensure they are healthy enough to eat daily. Consider what you need to reduce or cut back on and what you can add to a recipe.

  • Boost the Fibre 

Am I allowed to pick a favourite nutrient? Because if I am, it is Fibre for sure! Fibre has a functional effect, like keeping us full for longer, keeping our bowels healthy and, most interestingly, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, depression & anxiety! To increase the Fibre of your meals:

    • Add nuts/seeds to salads, baking, and cereals (almost anything that they work with, really- think of them as a sprinkle on top)
    • Add vegetables to dishes that don’t usually have them, e.g., make mashed potato with carrots, add vegetables to your potato salads, and add vegetables to your pasta sauce.
    • Swap to wholewheat, e.g., brown flour over white, and add oats to your baking flour.
    • Add lentils & legumes to dishes, e.g., add 1/2 can of lentils to your next soup.
  • Reduce the salt

Whether you have blood pressure or not, moderating your salt intake is essential for overall health. Your taste buds adapt to a certain level of saltiness, so any reduction will usually taste strange for a little while. If you give it some time, your taste buds will adapt. Aim for 1/4 teaspoon of salt per person per meal.

This looks like this;

    • 1 teaspoon of salt in a meal cooked for 4. The recommended intake for salt per day is one teaspoon per person, and if you have high blood pressure, 1/2 teaspoon per day.
    • Reducing salt in your recipes doesn’t mean you need to skimp on flavour; add spices, herbs and even aromatics like garlic & ginger.
  • Cut down on the sugar.

Refined sugar refers to added table sugar, and the main reason we need to limit its intake is that it doesn’t have any nutritional value. Many products, such as sweetened beverages, confectionaries, and baked products, are incredibly high in added sugar.

    • Reduce the sugar intake in the recipe if it is high in sugar & you want to consume it regularly.
    • Swap it for honey or fruit.
    • If you like it sweet and can’t adapt to less,s consider trialling a sweetener.
  • Reduce fats

Not all fats are equal. Saturated fats are non-essential for our body and, in large amounts, aren’t great for our heart health. Keeping these to a minimum when possible is essential. Saturated fat includes animal fats, butter, coconut oil, deep-fried foods, and hard cheeses. 

    • If a recipe calls for a lot of butter, reduce it or swap it for oil.
    • Limit deep frying and swap to alternative cooking techniques like grilling. 
    • Trim fat and skin off meats and choose leaner cuts.

Protein comes from animal products mostly. Ho ever, certain plants like legumes, lentils & soy products are also excellent sources. Adding enough protein to a recipe is essential for that satisfaction factor. Protein initiates the release of the Leptin hormone, which makes you feel full or satisfied from a meal. 

    • Increase the serving of protein you already have in the recipe
    • Add in an extra egg or more dairy if the recipe calls for it
    • Add in a can of legumes/lentils to boost the protein content of a recipe
    • Consider using protein powders or milk powder to promote protein content in baking

Beyond the quality of the meal, the portions we eat are critical to success too. Sl w down your eating and savour each mouthful.

Here are three cultural recipes made healthier.

Indian Vegetable Curry

Indian cuisine is known for its use of flavourful spices and herbs. However, many traditional Indian recipes can be fat due to ghee (clarified butter) and cream. A vegetable curry is a perfect example of a traditional Indian recipe that can be easily modified for weight loss.

To make a healthy Indian vegetable curry, use vegetable broth instead of cream and limit the amount of oil or ghee used. Additionally, use a variety of vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, and spinach to increase the fibre content and add extra vitamins and minerals.

Here’s a healthy Indian vegetable curry recipe:


  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, sauté onion, garlic, and ginger in olive oil until softened.
  2. Add garam masala, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon. Stir until fragrant.
  3. Add chickpeas, cauliflower, spinach, diced tomatoes, and vegetable broth.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  5. Simmer for 20-25 minutes.


African Cuisine

Peanut stew is a popular dish in many African countries, and it is traditionally made with peanut butter, chicken, and vegetables. Unfortunately, traditional peanut stew can be high in calories and fat due to the high amounts of peanut butter used.

To make this recipe healthier, use natural peanut butter or pounded fresh groundnuts without added sugar or oil. Additionally, remove the skin from the chicken to reduce the saturated fat content and sometimes, consider lentils as an alternative. Lastly, include a variety of colourful vegetables like sweet potatoes, leafy greens, and peppers to increase the fibre content and add extra vitamins and minerals.

Here’s a healthy African peanut stew recipe:


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed OR 1 chicken without skin
  • 2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 bunch of spinach or other leafy greens chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, sauté onion, garlic, and ginger in olive oil until softened.
  2. Add vegetable broth, peanut butter, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and red bell pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender.
  5. Stir in kale and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Asian Cuisine

Traditional Asian dishes use fatty meats and are heavy on sauces. By using lean protein and a variety of colourful vegetables, you can reduce the calories and increase the fibre content of meals.

Here’s a healthy Asian Stir-Fry recipe:

Cultural recipe for weight lossIngredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup snap peas
  • 450g lean protein (such as chicken breast or tofu), sliced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the onion, bell peppers, broccoli, and snap peas to the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender-crisp.
  4. Add the sliced lean protein to the skillet and cook until cooked through.
  5. Drizzle with soy sauce and rice vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

If you try these recipes, please leave a review on the blog or our social media pages. To get more recipes like these, you can purchase our Recipe Collection. Available on our website. 

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