Garlic is known for its many benefits. It has been linked to increased cardiovascular health and considered an effective treatment for aging, and an immune system booster. Some studies have also shown a link between garlic consumption and weight loss. Even if you aren't looking for extra nutritional support, you can easily enjoy the flavor of garlic while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few ways to incorporate garlic into your diet:
Pasta night can be your worst nightmare. Heavy sauces combined with carb packed pastas can quickly add up to an overindulgence of regrettable proportions. Here's where garlic can become a friend. By using a low carb wheat pasta, a light marinara, and lots of garlic, you can satisfy your pasta craving without going overboard. Go a little heavier than usual on the garlic, this will give you the flavor you crave, but will help prevent you from overdoing it.
Breads are another easy way to pack on the pounds. Just a single serving can easily top your recommended intake for fat. Adding cheese to the bread can make this even worse. You can enjoy a simple but flavorful bread companion by using a small piece of a baguette toasted with fresh garlic and a dash of olive oil. The garlic will give a wonderful flavor while the olive oil adds moisture and a nutty flavor. This is a much healthier alternative than a biscuit slathered in butter or French bread covered in cheese.
Potatoes aren't terrible alone, but when mashed with butter and milk, they can become dangerous for a dieter. This doesn't mean you can't enjoy a side of mashed potatoes occasionally. Use skim milk or fat free sour cream instead of whole milk or cream. Add a few chopped garlic cloves, and mash as usual. Taking the butter out of the equation will save a lot of fat, and the addition of the garlic creates a flavor that is rich and hearty.
Sauces and Marinades
Otherwise healthy cuts of meat can become very unhealthy with the addition of sugary marinades and fatty sauces. You can create marinades and sauces using garlic that are great healthy alternatives. Instead of using a heavy barbecue sauce, try using low sodium soy sauce with minced garlic cloves as a marinade for chicken. A lemon garlic sauce made from fresh garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil can be used with chicken, seafood, and pasta dishes. For red meats, consider using a sauce made of fat free sour cream, mushrooms, and fresh garlic for an extra kick of flavor.
Soup is a great way to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle. Since soups are typically eaten hot, they take longer to eat, making overindulgence less likely. A creamy garlic soup is not only good for you, it can be very satisfying on a cold winter day. Experiment with vegetable stocks, garlic, and onion until you find the perfect combination for the base. Add colorful vegetables for a heartier soup with a beautiful presentation.