50 Healthy Food Swaps (Skip the Junk Food Better Choices)
Eating healthy food can sometimes be a daunting task. It seems that every month a new study shows up saying that carbohydrates, sugar, meat, sweets, dairy products, processed foods, or just about anything should be avoided in a healthy diet.
Rather than thinking about all the things you shouldn’t be eating, a better approach is to think about more wholesome alternatives to the foods you are eating.
Even the smallest changes in daily eating habits can go a long way to saving you calories, carbs, fat and reprogramming your habits to a healthier way of eating, and making profound diet habit changes is the most effective way to ensure long-term healthy weight management and overall health.
Here are 50 easy swaps you can make in your meals and recipes to move towards a better diet without sacrificing taste and flavor.
1. Frappuccinos, Mochas, and other blended fancy coffee drinks can have as many as 700 calories per serving! For a healthier treat, get a plain black coffee, iced or hot, and add Stevia all-natural sweetener and a little bit of all-natural dairy whipping cream or half and half. You will save a ton of calories and still have a tasty treat
2. Craving the salty crunch of potato chips? To avoid the grease and excess calories, try air-pop popcorn White, all-natural, whole grain popcorn is a healthy alternative if you are someone who likes to snack.
3. Love chocolate bars? Instead of buying Snickers and Mars bars, by 70% cacao chocolate that is loaded with healthy antioxidants and half the sugar of traditional candy Dark chocolate has to be one of the healthiest forms of chocolate that have been scientifically proven to aid in digestive health. So next time you indulge in chocolate, remember get the adult type instead, it is the best for your body...and weight! Experts recommend about an ounce a day for good health.
4. M&Ms and Skittles can be so addicting! Instead of popping these sugary treats to get you through mid-afternoon slumps, try eating frozen grapes or blueberries Frozen fruits will be the same size and consistency as bite-size candies, but they are more than half the calories, much lower in fat and also provide a daily-recommended serving of fruit and the nutrients fruit provides.
5. Drinking soda regularly negatively affects your health, and can lead to more severe conditions, such as kidney disease, heart disease, reproductive issues, obesity, and Rather than taking the risk, switch to carbonated water infused with fruit, cucumbers, or herbs. You’ll find a plethora of these options at the grocery store, or save money by making your own infused water at home.
6. Enjoy a beer or cocktail with your meal? Any alcohol in excess can cause harm to your body, but red wine can actually provide beneficial antioxidants. Doctors recommend a glass each day to reduce risks of heart disease. Spirits on ice are also great, low-calorie alternative to sugary cocktails.
7. It is true what scientists say about foods that contain a high amount of refined sugars - they destroy our teeth, act like an acidic substance on the bones, and alter the body’s energy As a substitute, switch to using xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar in fruits and vegetables that is just as sweet as sugar but twice as healthy.
8. Individuals that are lactose intolerant cannot properly digest the sugars (lactose) in milk, which causes a plethora of digestive Even if you are not lactose intolerant, enjoy the health benefits and better taste of your foods when you switch to using almond, coconut, or even soymilk.
9. Enjoy having a side of fries with your meal? Why not substitute greasy French fries for baked potato fries that are heart-healthy, contain fiber, vitamins C and E, manganese, and beta- carotene that replenishes your body with essential
10. Instead of spreading mayonnaise on your favorite sandwich, why not try using fresh avocado or guacamole instead, which has a creamy and fluffy consistency that is similar to mayonnaise, but much healthier for you.
11. Instead of eating a side of mashed potatoes with your meal, try steamed and mashed cauliflower that can be seasoned to your liking, (fresh garlic and a little butter are divine) as a much lighter substitute that is very low in fat, and carbs and can actually enhance your energy levels after consumption.
12. Consuming large amounts of table salt can have a negative effect on your health, such as raising blood pressure levels and causing water retention and weight gain, which is exactly why you should switch to using Himalayan Salts that actually balance blood pressure
13. Is ice cream one of your guilty pleasures? Not to fear, you can easily substitute nonfat or low-fat frozen yogurt for ice cream as it contains fewer calories and is often mixed with fresh fruits for a wonderful
14. Love soda? Did you know that each 12-ounce can have 39 grams of sugar? Infused water is the next thing in dieting because it is an easy and tasty way to get your daily intake of water while also absorbing nutrients from fruits and Water can be infused with parsley, cilantro, strawberries, kiwis, cucumbers, and many other water-based fruits and veggies.
15. We all know that processed flour and bread cause weight gain and other negative health effects - so why not start eating multi-grain, Ezekiel, or wheat-free and guilt-free bread? You can enhance your healthy food, manage your weight, and enjoy a fresh new taste when you make the switch
16. Organic fruit juices do not contain fructose and unhealthy preservatives that can be found in most commercial When you substitute sugary fruit juices with this healthy alternative, you can rest easy knowing you won’t gain weight or suffer from high blood pressure by drinking a high concentration of sugars.
17. Potato chips can be an addicting snack that many overindulge However, there are now organic alternatives such as baked kale chips, baked vegetable crisps, and rice cakes that offer much more nutritious crunchy and salty snacks. You can also make your own carrot or kale chips in the oven.
18. In order to avoid the starches that are found in most commercial brands of cereal, why not eat organic granola? The reasons for consuming granola are unlimited, as it is heart-healthy and helps to lower cholesterol, enhance energy levels, improve skin health, improve cognitive function, and even tastes good with a healthy dose of fruits and a healthy milk
19. If you love eating breakfast sandwiches, then you will appreciate switching to eating your favorite scrambled eggs with a healthy combination of fresh vegetables instead to avoid the extra calories of the bread, meat, and added Scrambled eggs and veggies will give you an extra boost of energy and healthy nutrients your body needs to sustain energy levels and healthy metabolism.
20. Substitute some or all iceberg lettuce with nutrient-packed Organic spinach is packed with vitamins A and C, as well as a high amount of iron, magnesium, fiber, and folate. Spinach really is a superfood and while lettuce is a great low-calorie salad addition, it has very little actual nutrients
22. Spaghetti noodles that are made of squash or zucchini are a tasty alternative to the processed noodles that do not contain healthy or beneficial ingredients. Squash and zucchini noodles are the same consistency and contain vitamin C, fiber, and magnesium that revitalize your body and increase energy levels.
23. Spaghetti noodles that are made of squash or zucchini are a tasty alternative to the processed noodles that do not contain healthy or beneficial ingredients. Squash and zucchini noodles are the same consistency and contain vitamin C, fiber, and magnesium that revitalize your body and increase energy levels.
24. Goat and feta cheese are a healthy swap for processed cheeses because they are healthier because they contain conjugated linoleic acids that assist digestion and weight loss instead of unhealthy preservatives and
25. Try substituting fattening butter in your recipes with extra virgin olive oil as it has healthy unsaturated fats instead of the artery-clogging saturated fats that butter contains.
Fruit and yogurt cups can be convenient for those of us who are always on the go but they aren’t always the healthiest choice. Instead, replace pre-packaged yogurt cups with nonfat Greek yogurt that has been triple-strained to remove more of the whey for a richer and healthier dose of the yogurt you love. Add fresh berries that are naturally low in sugar and high in antioxidants, instead of that sugar-filled fruit at the bottom in yogurt product.
26. Have a sweet tooth? Do you know that your body and taste buds have no idea where the sugar that satisfies them is coming from? They only interpret that something sweet is being So, instead of apple pie, eat a baked apple with cinnamon, instead of a Twinkie, cookie or brownie eat fresh fruit. You can even dip the fresh fruit in some melted dark chocolate. Processed sweets and unhealthy baked goods have no nutritional value, but something like chocolate-covered strawberries or mango or apple give you essential antioxidants and other nutrients along with a natural sweetness. Your sweet tooth will be satisfied in much healthier ways.
27. Pizza is well known for its greasy saturated fats, cheeses, fattening meats, and starchy bread- so why not try a pizza salad instead? You can combine your favorite types of lettuce with a small amount of freshly cooked meats or healthy cheese like feta, blue, or goat cheese crumbles that will actually blend well with a healthy portion of raw veggies.
28. Another healthier option for pizza is to swap the traditional crust for a Portobello mushroom cap. The crust holds most of the calories in pizza and it is an empty calorie white Spread your sauce, pile your toppings and fresh mozzarella on the Portobello cap, bake, and enjoy!
29. Creamy salad dressings contain a large amount of calories that contribute to weight gain and fat that contributes to heart Olive oil and any flavor of vinegar is 100% heart-healthy, and neither has saturated fat.
30. Honey can be an ingredient that can sweeten any food or drink; however, it also has a high glycemic- index, contains a lot of sugar, and has carbohydrates and calories that are not Replacing honey with natural agave in recipes and baked goods can help to maintain your blood sugar levels instead of increasing them.
31. White rice is well known for being unhealthy due to its high concentration of starch but can easily be replaced with many different alternatives, such as barley, quinoa, and even brown These ingredients contain more nutritional ingredients such as zinc, iron, folates, vitamin B3, and the all-essential fiber that supports healthy weight management.
32. Who oat oatmeal is a heart-healthy alternative to eating processed cereals and has the ability to boost your energy levels, reduce cholesterol, and provide an essential amount of antioxidants that powerfully cleanse your body throughout the
33. Making the switch from red meats to fish and seafood is a drastic one that can influence cholesterol and blood sugar Fish and seafood contain unsaturated fats and a healthy dose of vitamins whereas meats contain a high amount of saturated fats, and calories that are toxic to the body.
34. Swap sour cream with nonfat Greek yogurt in all your recipes and as toppings for tacos, and burritos. Sour cream has 20X more fat and almost 4 times the calories of nonfat Greek yogurt.
35. Switching from energy drinks to naturally caffeinated teas can seem like a big change but will enhance your overall health. In fact, scientists have documented proof that energy drinks destroy your body while herbal teas enhance energy. Green and black teas contain natural ingredients, antioxidants, and nutrients that promote the health of your body while giving you the energy you desire. Green tea also promotes weight loss
36. When you are on the go and want to drink your daily amount of fruits and veggies, look no further than substituting fruit juice with the actual Why? The acids stored in many fruits are beneficial to your body when eaten raw and whole foods contain fiber, which lessens the impact of the sugar in fruit.
37. Everyone loves the traditional lasagna dish - the tomato, cheese, and goodness crammed between layers of ..that isn’t good for you. You can easily replace processed lasagna noodles with cut eggplant or zucchini strips as it has the same texture and consistency but adds an extra flavor to enhance this traditional favorite and reduce the carb and calorie count in lasagna dramatically.
38. When you switch to healthy seeds instead of croutons in your favorite salad, not only will gain great flavor, but you will reduce your intake of calories and carbs with this enhanced meal Chia, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds are great choices.
39. When baking healthy brownies or other desserts, switch out empty calorie white flour for cleaned and rinsed mashed black beans that provide the same texture but with an added bonus of containing a high amount of protein and fiber, which will make the brownies much kinder to your waistline.
40. It is a good idea to switch from using reduced-fat peanut butter to natural peanut butter because it contains fewer sugars and additives that create negative health effects in the body so that you can snack guilt-free.
41. When baking desserts, using whipped bananas can substitute heavy creams or similar products because it offers the same Bananas contain many nutrients that can enhance any recipe and less fat than heavy cream.
42. Ah, we all love the creamy goodness of frosting on our favorite desserts, but it can be so fattening. Now you can make your indulgences smarter when using meringue instead of traditional frosting, which is a combination of whipped egg whites and your favorite sugar
43. Switching out processed chocolate chips for the unprocessed and organic cacao nibs is a health-conscious decision because cacao nibs have not been combined with unhealthy sugars and additives.
44. You can enjoy your favorite breaded food or garnish when substituting breadcrumbs for rolled oats mixed with your favorite herb or This cuts out the added sodium that contributes to high blood pressure and other health conditions and while breadcrumbs have little nutritional value, oats are loaded with fiber and other nutrients the body needs.
45. Tortilla shells can be found in many classic favorite dishes, but for those who eat gluten-free or prefer healthier alternatives, there is the option of using leaves of romaine lettuce or kale for a shell, which adds a nice fresh crunch to any dish and eliminates loads of calories and unhealthy carbs. You can also use Kale and lettuce to wrap your burgers and sandwiches.
46. Love burgers but concerned about a high amount of red meat intake? No problem, switch to turkey burgers 85% lean ground turkey has 50% less saturated fat than 85% lean ground beef.
47. If you are looking for an alternative to heavy creams used in some soups and dishes, try using thick and creamy coconut What is most satisfying about this alternative is that coconut milk is not very sweet so it will not ruin the flavor of your desired dish.
48. If you are trying to avoid cheeses altogether but do not want to suffer from not eating your favorite foods, try adding nutritional yeast to your This cheese alternative has the same consistency and taste as cheese but is much lower in fat.
49. When a recipe calls for a can of tomato sauce that contains sugar, preservatives, and other additives, why not use fresh cut tomatoes? This reduces sodium, sugar, and additive intake and offers a fresh, highly nutritious alternative for a balanced
50. An all-time favorite food substitution is swapping syrup with your choice of pureed This healthy swap can completely change and enhance the flavor of your breakfast favorites while providing a concentrated dose of nutrients from fruits without the mass sugar found in syrup.