It is a good idea to consume healthier foods, however, the paltry alternatives are not nearly as satisfying as some of the classic dishes we are used to. For instance, rice cakes do not make a good replacement for rice pudding. However, there are some tasty swaps you can make that will propel you forward on healthy goals.
You can maintain a healthy diet by including plenty of plant-based items that you find enjoyable. In this place, you can locate scrumptious diet changes in addition to various good-for-you recipes—absolutely no bleak seeming diet food involved.
What are healthy food swaps?
Participants of customary food exchanges regularly concentrate on decreasing the amount of calories or replacing unhealthy snacks. The focus of healthier eating through food swaps is not primarily on losing weight. Instead, you might use fruit for sweetness, look for high-fiber food swaps, find ways to add healthy fats, or add a vitamin and mineral boost to your recipe.
It’s common knowledge that for healthier eating, one can substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream, whole-wheat for white flour, and nuts for granola, but there are many other alternatives!
Swap Coconut Water for Juice
A couple of decades ago, an orange juice at breakfast was seen as necessary, and unfortunately, many of us still view sugary OJ as a nutritious drink or something to be used in a shake. A better choice: plain old coconut water. Sharon Collison, who is an RD (Registered Dietitian) and clinical instructor of nutrition at the University of Delaware, states that this beverage has electrolytes, including potassium, and contains substantially less natural sugar. A cup of coconut water contains nine grams of sugar, whereas a cup of apple juice has twenty-five. One suggestion is to mix a bit of coconut water into regular water to give it a bit of flavor and electrolytes.
READ MORE: 18 Health Benefits Of Coconut Water
Swap Nutritional Yeast for Parmesan Cheese
Nutritional yeast, commonly referred to as “nooch,” is often added to vegan or vegetarian dishes to give them a cheesy, umami-tasting flavor. It is as delightful when used as an addition to snacks such as popcorn and baked potatoes, as well as on cooked vegetables like roasted cauliflower, green salads, and pasta dishes. The difference between them? Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of B vitamins, protein, minerals, and antioxidants, as compared to parmesan cheese.
Swap Homemade Dressing for Bottled Dressing
The salad dressing you purchase from the supermarket may have a surprisingly high amount of sodium and sugar. Fortunately, it is simple to prepare your own salad dressings—and they are especially flavourful. Kelly Pritchett, PhD, RD, assistant professor in nutrition and exercise science at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, recommends replacing traditional salad dressings with healthier alternatives, like olive or avocado oil for a vinaigrette. If you desire an extra creamy dressing, yogurt is the perfect ingredient to utilize for the base. Known for its probiotics, protein, and calcium, not to mention its delicious taste, yogurt is an excellent way to achieve a decadent dressing.
Swap Homemade Jam for Storebought Jelly
Many commercially produced jams and jellies are packed with enormous quantities of sugar, or even worse, high-fructose corn syrup. Preparing your own is a superb thought: you can utilize your fresh produce and drastically reduce the sugar content. The result? A higher level of fruity taste; a reduction in overly-sweet flavor and an absence of artificial, limp consistency.
Swap Dairy Butter for Plant-Based Butter
You can use dairy-free alternatives which taste similar to butter in your recipes if you need to bake for someone with food allergies or are adhering to a vegan or plant-based diet. These substitutes can be used as a one-to-one replacement for the butter. Decrease consumption of saturated fat by about a quarter to two-fifths.
Swap a BLAT for a Cobb Salad
A Cobb salad may have an array of appealing tastes and consistencies, however, the combination of eggs, bacon, chicken, avocado, blue cheese, and a creamy dressing makes it exceed the recommended amount of saturated fat. Collison suggests that a single meal may contain more protein than is required. Why not switch to a BLAT sandwich (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato) on whole-wheat bread and get an equally great-tasting flavor while gaining a health benefit? Eating a mix of fat and protein will keep you fuller for longer. The bread in the sandwich contains whole grains, which will provide a longer feeling of fullness than the salad.
Swap Farro for White Rice
Unfortunately, white rice is not among the healthiest grains. In fact, it offers approximately zero nutritional value. A quarter-cup helping of farro contains seven grams of beneficial to the heart fiber and seven grams of protein. You’ll love its deliciously nutty, toasty taste, too.
Swap Cacao Nibs for Chocolate Chips
Cacao nibs are pieces of unrefined, raw cacao (the same bean used to craft cocoa and chocolate). They offer the same benefits of dark chocolate, while including a chocolate fragrance, only without any added sugar. Nutritionist Beth Warren, RD, explains that eating cacao can be highly beneficial as it is a great source of magnesium, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and flavonoids. Consuming this confectionary can positively elevate the mood, cognitive function, and may even lead to a reduction in blood pressure.
Cacao nibs, which have a slight bitter taste, work well in combination with items which are sweet.
Swap Tahini for Sour Cream
Rather than employing sour cream for dips and sauces, try a spread containing tahini for a hearty flavor and creaminess. Tahini, a paste made of ground sesame seeds, is available at most grocery stores. Tahini is an outstanding source of dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, protein, and healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which can lower cholesterol levels. And there’s the deliciously nutty taste.
Swap Silken Tofu for Mayo
Tofu, especially the smooth kind which is less dense, can act as a replacement for mayonnaise in creamy sauces or dips that need more body, for example like ranch dressing. Putting the item in the blender will make it have a luxurious, smooth texture. Tofu is a vegan food source with a high amount of protein, in contrast to mayonnaise.
Swap Ground Bison for Ground Beef
When people are searching for a more nutritious option for burgers, meatballs, or tacos, the initial inclination is to go for ground turkey. Turkey is great, but if you’re longing for the robust flavour of beef, ground bison could be a good option for you. Bison meat has less total fat and saturated fat than 80% lean beef, and has a few extra grams of protein in each patty.
Swap Corn Tortillas for Flour Tortillas
Corn tortillas contain fewer calories than flour tortillas and have less overall fat and saturated fat. Corn tortillas are a good source of fiber, which can help maintain blood sugar levels, suppress hunger, and reduce cholesterol levels.
The dishes have a strong hint of corn that is delightful and they have a full-bodied crunch. Ensure you warm the tortillas (in the microwave or on the stove) before filling them as these are not as pliable as flour-made tortillas.
Swap Avocado for Heavy Cream
Show off your cooking skills and impress others by incorporating avocado in dishes they wouldn’t expect. Avocados provide healthy fats, fiber, and other nutrients. They provide an excellent alternative to items like cream or other foods that are high in saturated fat. Utilize the delightful consistency of the fruit to give a dairy-free smoothness to smoothies, mousse, muffins, cakes, and icing.
Swap Dates for Sugar
You have likely come across the concept of sweetening food with either fruit juice or fresh fruit, such as bananas. Options from the dehydrated fruit section are an excellent alternative (although they are strange to consider, dates are actually a fresh fruit not a dry one). Dates possess an innate sugary flavor and contain essential vitamins like potassium, iron, and fiber, unlike common forms of sugar. You can substitute dates for added sugar in recipes to produce a sweeter taste.
You cannot expect the same result in your aunt’s much adored layer cake by substituting dates for sugar, yet dates can offer a sweet, caramel-like taste to multiple recipes. You can use them to add a touch of sweetness to smoothies, non-dairy milks, desserts, or any of these alternative ideas.
Swap White Beans for Cream
The taste of white beans is not very strong, so they can be used in a wide range of dishes without standing out. They are ideal for creating a smooth consistency in soups and sauces without needing to include anything creamy. White beans can provide a good amount of protein, fiber and magnesium, which are all beneficial for cardiovascular health.
Prepare a newly prepared batch in your kitchen or go for canned navy beans, great northern beans, or cannellini beans that are unseasoned and low in salt. Substitute beans into many different sweet and savory recipes, such as smoothies and soups, without needing to do any extra work.
Tuscan White Bean Soup
Blend the cooked white beans to make the soup thicker and give it a smooth feel — you don’t need to use cream. This same approach can be employed to give a loaded potato soup or white chicken chili a creamy texture. Taste the beans on their own or make them more flavor-packed by adding some extra-virgin olive oil or a selection of fresh herbs.
Swap Citrus for Salt
Face it. Salt is a substance that greatly improves the taste of food and cannot be successfully replaced by anything else. It magically brings other flavors to life. Luckily, most people don’t need to eliminate it completely.
If you’re cutting down on sodium or something seems to be missing from your recipe, try adding a small amount of acid to improve the flavor. With a large selection of citruses from grapefruits to oranges, and vinegars from apple cider to sherry vinegar, one can easily add a burst, a drop, or a grate of flavor to recipes.
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest
What’s the point of limiting yourself to just the juice of the lemon when you have the whole fruit available? The oil from the rind of citrus fruits contribute a stronger flavor than the juice.
Swap Aquafaba for Egg Whites
The water in a can of chickpeas or white beans is referred to as aquafaba. And this swap is not necessarily one that’s healthier. This is a vegetarian alternative to egg whites that can be used to create vegan treats and other recipes. Aquafaba does not include any of the protein or other nutrients that are typically found in egg whites. But it provides a range of options for kitchen use and is indispensable if you are following a plant-based diet.
Strawberry Aquafaba Mousse
This plant-based dessert combines the tartness of freshly picked strawberries, the creaminess of coconut cream, and the lightness of aquafaba to make a fluffy, airy treat. This is an attractive item that is ideal for adding cheer to any table.
Swap Mushrooms for Meat
Mushrooms can be used as a substitution for half the quantity of meat in dishes like meatballs, burgers, tacos, and stuffed peppers. Using a food processor to chop up mushrooms can make it more convenient to incorporate them into various dishes during the week. Mushrooms can contribute to a range of dishes as a source of dietary fiber, Vitamin D, moisture and an intense savory taste.
Not sure about swapping mushrooms for meat? Start small. These turkey meatballs integrate mushrooms in with the traditional components to add extra flavour.
Swap Chickpeas for All-Purpose Flour
Chickpeas are beneficial since they contain high amounts of dietary fiber and plant proteins, which work in unison to make you feel satiated. Chickpeas are very adaptable – and are a flour substitute for those who are gluten-free in the making of blondies and cookie dough.
No regular flour needed in this sweet treat. Make a speedy sweet treat that’s overflowing with protein and fiber by combining a tin of chickpeas and some nut butter.
To your health!
The food you consume makes an immense impact on your overall health!