How to Eat Healthy: Simple Food Swap Suggestions
If You're Craving Juice...
Many juices are filled with sugar and calories that don't offer much in the way of nutritional value. One glass of orange juice has approximately the same amount of calories as 1.5 cups of fresh orange slices. Often, upwards of 75 percent of the calories in a glass of orange juice come from sugar. It is easy to forget about the calories that come from the liquids you're ingesting and they can add up to a significant number.
If you really want a sweet drink, try trading a store-bought juice for a freshly squeezed alternative. This helps you avoid added sugars and preservatives while maintaining the nutritional integrity of the fruit. You can also trade your sugary juice drinks for a fruit-infused seltzer or water, keeping your body hydrated and your taste buds happy. Don't have time to squeeze your own juice? You can still satisfy your craving with whole fruit! It's all-natural and portable, making it the perfect on-the-go snack.
The Healthier Alternative To Chips
Salty snacks like chips are easy to over-indulge, especially when you're eating mindlessly from the bag. Swapping the bag for a bowl is the first step towards satisfying a salty craving in a healthy way. Separating out a single serving size into its own dish can help you control your portion size and prevent an over indulgence. By doing this you can enjoy your favorite “unhealthy” snacks without going overboard.
An even healthier alternative, still, is to trade the fried snacks for baked ones. Whether it's pretzels, air-popped chips, popcorn, or rice cakes, there are a number of different options that can reduce the fat that comes in deep-fried snacks while still satisfying a salty craving. Look for labels that indicated the snack is baked instead of fried and you'll be on a good path towards healthier snack options.
If it is not the salt you crave, but the crunch, try trading veggies for your chips and dip. Carrot sticks, celery, radishes, and other types of veggies offer the crunch you are looking for without extra fats and processed additives. You can also get more vitamins and nutrients from the vegetables than you would a traditional chip.
Ditch The Deep Dish
For all the pizza lovers out there, you can enjoy this classic without blowing your daily allowance out of the water. Trading out the deep dish or hand-tossed crust for a thin crust alternative can help you get more of the good stuff with less of the bad. You can take that one step further by trading a flour crust for one made from cauliflower, adding some veggies to your favorite dish.
A Healthier Sandwich
Sub sandwiches have become the go-to alternative to fast food, but often the sandwiches are not as healthy as you think. Sub-style bread is often a high-carb option that prevents your sandwich from being as nutritionally beneficial as we'd like. Try trading your sub-sandwich for an open-faced alternative to decrease empty carbs while still satisfying your sandwich craving.
Condiments Are Sneaky Calories
One area of nutrition many people don't consider is the condiments we use in the cooking and eating of our favorite foods. These sneaky calories can add up quickly – and for what? Extra flavor of course! But you don't have to sacrifice flavor to make healthy choices. Here are some alternative options for healthier condiments.
Swap Mayo For Mustard
Mustard is the holy grail of condiments, having low to no macronutrients while still packing a punch of flavor. Mayonnaise is mustard's less healthy counterpart, carrying 10 grams of fat in a single tablespoon. Try trading mayo for mustard on your sandwiches and burgers to save fat without sacrificing flavor.
Trade In Your Processed Nut Butters
Nuts and nut butters are widely recognized for their high percentage of good fats, however, many nut butters are filled with additional sodium, sugar, and other preservatives that make them a less than ideal option for a healthy diet. If you're a peanut butter lover, try swapping out your name-brand butters for an all-natural version that's made from just the nut. Typically, these are found in the refrigerator section of your grocery store.
Swap The Sour Cream
Sour cream is a popular topping for many types of dishes, but it doesn't have much to offer in the way of nutritional value. Often high in fat, it's easy to overdo it on this creamy topping. By trading the sour cream for plain Greek yogurt, you can achieve the same flavor with less fat and more protein! Don't forget to keep an eye on the sugar content in the yogurt, all Greek yogurts are not created equal.
To Spray Or To Spread
Cooking spreads are also sneaky fat adders and you can find yourself consuming 15+ grams of fat and 100+ extra calories in a single meal without even realizing it. Try using an olive oil spray next time you're cooking on the stove to save fat and calories while still making a meal filled with flavor.
Sugar is a common addition to coffee, oatmeal, and many other foods that are likely to be a part of your regular routine. It takes your meal from bland to delicious in a matter of sprinkles, but there are healthier alternatives to white or brown sugar that help you get the sweet flavor you're looking for. Cinnamon has been widely recognized as a spice with a number of health benefits, including playing a beneficial role in Type-II Diabetes. More recently, cinnamon has been found to act as a glucose disposal agent, helping shuttle carbohydrates to your muscles to be used as energy instead of stored as fat. Trading your sugar toppings for cinnamon can help you save calories while helping your body operate more efficiently.
How To Eat Healthy Without Giving Up Your Favorite Foods
Eating healthy does not mean that you have to give up all of the foods you love. Often, too many restrictions are what cause diets to fail. By being conscientious of what you put into your body, you can enjoy all the foods you love without going overboard on calories when you don't mean to. These healthy alternatives to popular, less healthy options can help you stay on track even when cravings strike.
Looking for support in your effort to eat healthier? Contact the nutrition expert at Whole Intent today.