There’s something about setting goals that fills your body and soul with motivation. When thinking about beginning a healthy lifestyle journey, the focus tends to be solely on exercising. All too often the importance of nutrition is overlooked, however. With today’s latest technology constantly at our fingertips, the amount of information available to us is overwhelming. It can be incredibly daunting… so where should you start? Healthy food swaps!
This answer may seem like it won’t make much of a difference, but small changes in your diet can have a tremendous impact on improving your health. Not only are these healthy food swaps still delicious, but they make your goal of eating healthier actually attainable. Here are some healthy food swaps that get you one step closer to a healthier, happier you!
Peanut Butter → Protein Nut Butter
Protein nut butters are, you guessed it, packed with protein! Not only will you be cutting down on your sugar intake, but the added protein will help you feel fuller for longer. With an endless list of flavors to choose from, like white chocolate pretzel or birthday cake, conquering your sweet tooth has never been easier! Pair your favorite nut butter with some apple slices or pretzel crisps. You’ll be surprised that eating healthy can taste so good!
Potato Chips → Avocado Oil Chips
Late-night cravings leave you grabbing for the nearest bag of chips? Swap out those greasy potato chips for chips cooked in avocado oil, like Boulder Canyon Avocado Oil Sea Salt Chips. With only 3 ingredients total (you read that right, THREE!) this healthy alternative is perfect for dipping or just eaten by itself.
Flavored Instant Oatmeal → Steel-Cut Oats With Berries
Oats are one of the healthiest grains you can choose. They’re high in fiber, which can reduce bad cholesterol, and can even enhance the body’s immune response and stabilize blood sugar. Opting for steel-cut or rolled oats and adding your own toppings, such as berries, or even mixing in protein powder, can give you a delicious meal without all of the enormous amounts of sugar and salt that are in its flavored instant oats counterpart.
Regular Pasta → Zoodles
Sure, you could swap out regular, refined pasta for whole wheat pasta, but why not take it one step further? Spiralizing zucchini (and other vegetables!) into “zoodles” is a great option for pasta lovers. Not only do you get the vitamins and minerals associated with your daily dose of vegetables, but this pasta alternative still provides plenty of flavor and crunch! Tip: if you’re still unsure about this option, try mixing equal portions of zoodles and whole wheat pasta together for a tasty middle ground!
Bagels → Bagel Thins
Swapping out traditional bagels for bagel thins is a great way to reduce the number of carbs you’re consuming, all while still enjoying your favorite breakfast staple. Bonus: the same rule applies to swapping traditional pretzels for pretzel thins and traditional bread for sandwich thins!
Rice -Cauliflower “Rice”
There’s plenty of buzz going on lately regarding cauliflower “rice”. Just like the infamous zucchini “zoodle”, cauliflower “rice” is a great alternative to traditional rice. Lower in carbs and helping you reach your daily vegetable goal, cauliflower “rice” can be seasoned, mixed with other vegetables (like carrots or peas), and can be used as a side dish or in the main entree.
Regular Dressings – Whole30/Organic Dressings
Whether you’re a ranch lover or a thousand island enthusiast, dressings are the perfect pairing to many meals. Unfortunately, dressings are often the culprit in turning a healthy meal into something far from it. Choosing organic or Whole30 dressings may sound like they’re going to taste anything like their namesake, but companies like Tessemae’s and Primal Kitchen will quickly change your mind. You can even use the dressings as marinades for your cooking! (Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic dressing is a household staple in Jaime & Alex’s kitchen!)
Burrito – Burrito bowl
This common Mexican cuisine can quickly become loaded with excess fat and carbohydrates. Simply by opting to put your ingredients in a bowl rather than folding in a flour tortilla cuts unnecessary carbs and allows the tasty proteins and veggies to truly shine. Get creative with black beans, guacamole, cherry tomatoes, and spinach- the sky’s the limit! Bonus tip: This “healthy food swaps” principle can be applied to tacos too!
Ground beef – ground turkey
Hear us out before shouting out that you’ll never give up beef for some ol’ bird. Between the fat, protein, and caloric content alone, ground turkey acts as the perfect substitute for the tried-and-true ground beef counterpart. Still not convinced? Try mixing a 1:1 ratio of lean ground beef and ground turkey. Your taste buds won’t be able to tell the difference, I promise.
Delivered Pizza – Homemade pizza
Instead of ordering pizza online and waiting until the grease-soaked cardboard box arrives at your door, opt for making your own pizza at home. With plenty of options for crusts such as thin crust, whole grain, or traditional, there’s bound to be one the family will love. This is also a great opportunity to load up on fresh veggies and proteins of your choice! Because let’s admit it, we could never truly give up pizza for the rest of our lives.
Not only are these healthy food swaps delicious, but they can be found at your local supermarket. Making these small changes can help you take that first step forward in your healthy lifestyle journey! Check out more healthy food swaps here.