Wanna Eat Healthier? Substitute these 10 Foods
Eating healthier doesn’t mean you should completely cut out all foods from your diet. Unless you have dietary restrictions that affect your health, eliminating certain foods has been proven to be ineffective for hitting health goals. Instead, tweak your portions and make substitutions where you can. Suppressing cravings might cause you to binge and lose control. If you’re dying for a bowl of rice, eat rice. In most cases, eating less leads to increase in hunger and that’s not good either. Make sure you eat a balanced diet of protein, carbs, fat, and micronutrients; and don’t forget water. Here are ten healthy food substitutes you can make now:
If you love french fries, hash browns and mashed potatoes you can still enjoy them. First, cook your french fries and hash browns in the oven with little to no oil. For the mashed potatoes, try to skip the butter; however, if you want to take it one step further, substitute white potatoes with sweet potatoes and cook with olive oil.
Salt & Sugar
You can use lemon juice or lemon peel instead of salt. Don’t cut sodium completely, just make sure you don’t exceed the daily intake. The American Heart Association recommends one teaspoon of salt a day. To substitute sugar, use honey, maple or agave syrup. Research is not conclusive when it comes to stevia and 0 calorie sweeteners, so keep consumption to a minimum.
Cereal is popular because it’s convenient and delicious. If you want to start eating healthier, try and mix your favorite cereal with oatmeal until you’re finally ready to substitute cereal with whole grains. You can mix oats with coconut shreds, maple syrup, apple, cinnamon or even a bit of chocolate chips. Did you know that one serving of oatmeal costs less than one serving of cereal?
You can start cutting your rice portions by adding more vegetables. Also, you can add some variety by using quinoa as a substitute for rice. If you have a rice cooker, you can cook quinoa there and season it like you’d season rice. Consuming quinoa aids weight loss, as well as improves lipid profile and capacity to respond to oxidative stress (NCBI).
If you can’t live without milk, try to reduce how much you drink. You can do this by mixing milk with milk alternatives like soy, almond, coconut or cashew milk. This way, you will consume less animal product and get used to drinking milk alternative until you can completely remove milk from your diet.
Yogurts are full of sugar. Greek yogurts are a better option because some are low in sugar and high in protein. Natural Greek yogurts make a delicious snack when you mix them with nuts, honey, and berries.
Let’s be honest; there’s no substitute for pasta. You can cook pasta in small quantities with zucchini and sweet potatoes noodles or spinach to add volume. This way, it will fill you up without the need to eat a lot of processed carbohydrates. Don't cut carbs from your diet completely, just eat more complex and less processed carb sources.
Most packaged potato chips don’t taste like potatoes. They’re full of salt, oil, and preservatives. Make chips at home by baking them in the oven. You can also try to bake other vegetables like sweet potatoes, zucchini, and green beans. You just need olive oil, black pepper and garlic powder.
Sauces & Dips
Food can be dry and boring; however, sauces can save the day. However, store-bought sauces have additives, salt, sugar, saturated fat, and preservatives. Pesto and Marinara sauces are easy to make, and they taste much better when homemade. Hummus, avocado, and Greek yogurt can serve as a great base for your dips.
Instead of eating whole eggs, eat the egg whites only. They are full of protein and have zero carbs or fat. Egg whites are prepared in the same manner that you would make whole eggs. Furthermore, add egg whites to your pancakes and your favorite baked goods.