9 Simple Food Swaps to Eat Healthier

Tasty and delicious ways to make the switch.

Jan 20, 2020
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When it comes to eating healthier, it’s the little changes in your diet that can make a huge difference. It doesn't mean that you need to give up your favorite dishes, you just have to tweak them and make some easy food swaps.

Here are nine healthy substitutions that will help you cut down on salt, trans fats, cholesterol, and sugar in the meals you make in your own kitchen and while eating out. Bon Appetit!

Choose Olive Oil Instead of Butter

This is a really simple swap. Instead of using butter on your bread or in your vegetable, drizzle olive oil instead. You will be adding nutrients and good fats to your food while reaping in the amazing health benefits of olive oil. Each teaspoon of olive oil is equivalent to 4.2 grams of butter or margarine. Make a super tasty and healthy bread dip by adding garlic, onion powder, pepper and herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, and parsley to olive oil.

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Switch Out Whole Wheat Flour for White Flour

This is a super healthy swap. Whole wheat flour can be substituted for part or all of most baked goods. Use all whole grains for a hearty bread or use half whole wheat flour when you make pancakes or cookies. Use only 7/8 of a cup of whole wheat in recipes that call for one cup of white flour. There are recipes all over the internet for the best whole wheat cookies. FiveheartHome has an easy one-bowl chocolate chip cookie recipe.

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Cook With Egg Whites Instead of Whole Eggs

Improve cholesterol numbers and cut calories by using egg whites. You can replace a whole egg in most recipes with two egg whites or a quarter cup of an egg substitute like Egg Beaters. Egg white omelets are especially delicious when loaded with vegetables like spinach and broccoli and topped with low-fat cheese.

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Make the Change to Fresh Herbs Instead of Salt

Cutting down on salt is not too hard. You just need to use herbs and spices to season your food. You can use as garlic powder, celery seed, garlic, onions and finely chopped fresh herbs like dill, parsley, rosemary, garlic, celery or onions. If you can't find fresh, dried herbs will work too. If you must use salt, try light salt products instead.

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Substitute Pureed Cauliflower for Cream or Potatoes

This healthy vegetable can be used to replace almost anything. Mash it and serve it instead of potatoes. Blend it and use it as a cream sauce. Tasty lists 23 ways to eat cauliflower instead of carbs including such unique dishes as cheesy breadsticks, everything bagel rolls, grilled cheese, and pizza bagels.

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Swap Fat-Free Yogurt for Sour Cream

All low-fat yogurts are better for you than fat-laden sour cream. Zero-fat Greek yogurt is similar to the consistency of sour cream and has a bite to it, so it is an excellent replacement. If you use regular yogurt, you have to remember that it is thinner in texture, so you need to plan accordingly. The Spruce Eats said that you can thicken yogurt by draining it through a cheesecloth lined strainer over a bowl in your refrigerator. It takes around 30 minutes. Have a guilt free baked potato with yogurt instead of sour cream or butter.

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Use Ground Chicken or Turkey to Replace Ground Beef

White meat poultry has less fat than beef and is much better for the environment. You can make the switch in chili, meatballs, pasta sauce, meat loaf and even hamburgers. If you cannot replace beef, use the leanest meat available. If you want to replace meat completely, then there is a host of healthy vegan burgers available in your local supermarket.

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Switch to Whole Grains Instead of White Rice

Feel your best by replacing white rice with brown rice, wild, whole wheat couscous, bulgur, kasha, or pearl barley. Use these grains in soups, casseroles, stews, stir fries or as a tasty side dish. For dinner with a Moroccan theme, make whole wheat couscous topped with slow cooked vegetables and dried fruits seasoned with, black pepper, paprika, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and if you like it spicy hot cayenne pepper.

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Replace Beans for Meat

Beans – black, kidney, cannellini, chickpeas, pinto, great northern, fava, and more – are full of protein and fiber. Eating plant-based proteins are better for you and for the environment. Use beans in soups, chili, cholent, vegetarian stews, and casseroles. Serve hummus – made from chickpeas – as a tasty dip for veggies or chips.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.
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