Cut It Out! Tips On Making Healthier Swaps
You can cut calories, fat and salt without having to sacrifice flavor. When preparing foods at home or eating out, it is possible to make healthy swaps to turn indulgences into sensible dishes. If you decide to incorporate some of these tips, your next meal can be a more well-balanced choice!
For breakfast, replace;
1. Steel Cut Oatmeal for Instant Oatmeal – Steel cut oats are diced whole grains that maintain their fiber-rich shell. They are rich in B-vitamins, calcium and protein. Steel-cut oats also don’t have all the added sugar that is in instant oatmeal.
2. Fresh Fruit for Fruit Juices – Juices are stripped of its fiber content and nutrients. Just 8 oz of orange juice has around 110 calories, which is equivalent to almost two oranges. You also won’t feel as full, because the juice itself doesn’t contain any fiber.
3. Multi-grain toast for White Toast – Whole-wheat toast contains more vitamins and fiber to keep you full longer. White breads are full of refined grains voiding them of beneficial nutrients. Top your toast with avocado, eggs and natural nut butters instead of sugary jam spreads, butter or chocolate spreads.
For Lunch/Dinner meals, replace;
1. Quinoa for Rice – Quinoa has more fiber and protein compared to brown or white rice. It can be eaten alone or even added to salads to help you feel more satisfied. Cook up a big batch at the beginning of your week to be prepared!
2. Whole Wheat Pasta for White Pasta– Whole wheat has more fiber & contains all three parts of the grain for a more nutrient-rich food.
3. Lettuce Leaves for Tortilla Wrap – Using fresh lettuce is a fun and easy swap that can lighten up any wrap or taco dish. Also, it’s definitely refreshing on a hot day!
4. Fresh grilled/roasted meats for deli meat – Protein helps keep you full and satisfied as well as helping with sugar cravings. However, deli meats are packed with preservatives, additives and excessive sodium. Swap your deli meat sandwiches for grilled/roasted lean meat or chicken breast sandwiches.
5. Spices for Sauces – Instead of being heavy on your sauces, use spices such as garlic powder, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper to season your meats along with some fresh olive oil and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice.
When eating out;
On top of making simple swaps, here are several suggestions you can request at a restaurant. Restaurant meals surprisingly can contain enough calories for the entire day. The next time you eat out, I recommend some of these choices.
1. Choose to start with a mixed green salad instead of chips or soup.
2. Request for salad dressings to be on the side.
3. Ask for salsa instead of sour cream or extra cheese.
4. Ask for light sauce/spreads on burgers or replace with freshly sliced avocados.
5. Choose baked, roasted, steamed or lightly sautéed items rather than fried foods.
6. When ordering a rice dish, ask for a substitution of ½ rice ½ salad.
Making these swaps can be difficult at first to adjust to but it can definitely be done! When you incorporate some of these changes into your eating habits, you will habitually be making healthier choices before you know it! Eat more nutrient dense foods but also allow yourself to enjoy your favorite foods and desserts in moderation!