Murphy says that most Irish traditional foods use simple, basic and cheap ingredients, a reminder of the fact that they originated in a less affluent past. Many have been given a modern twist by a new generation of chefs, or incorporated into dishes that better suit the tastes of a more widely traveled population

“Traditional Irish recipes tend to be very simple, with just a few ingredients in most cases. Butter, salt and cream seem to be constants in almost every recipe,” Murphy says

“When I go back for holidays I’m somewhat bemused that butter and cream sauces are still so prevalent on Irish menus, though I do see that people are becoming more conscientious about their health and what they eat.”

By making a few simple adjustments in your diet (and by diet Murphy means what you eat, and not necessarily going on a diet), you can reduce calories and fat content to make your life healthier.  Here are some tips:

Limit cream for skim milk: Cream is full of fat. By switching to low-fat or fat free milk, you will significantly reduce calorie and fat intake.  And it’s a simple adjustment to make

Substitute olive oil for butter when possible: Olive oil is a heart-healthy option that also helps lower bad cholesterol

Less salt: When making recipes with canned products, choose a low sodium version, especially for soups and broth. Many of these products are loaded with sodium

Limit dairy: When making things like mashed potatoes, Murphy’s favorite trick to get full flavor but less fat is to use low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth instead of butter or cream. You can zest up any meal such as this with fresh herbs and spices

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