If you’re on a mission to change your lifestyle and/or lose weight, these healthy food swaps may be just the thing you are looking for.
Our body tells us it needs water, fruit, and vegetables. But these signs are often misinterpreted for the feeling that you need sugar, salt, or unhealthy fats. And that’s perfectly normal as we have been misled our whole life.
When we were little, getting a cookie meant we did something good and we made the connection that it is ok to treat our self or our kids with junk food. Via commercials the food and diet industry has been luring us to their unbalanced processed foods and turned us into sugar, fat, and salt addicts.
I know how frustrating it can be when you’re doing everything you can to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle while still being haunted with those needs for sugar, salt or fat. Especially if you are just starting out you may be craving your unhealthy foods from the past more often.
So here are some great and delicious food swaps for you to try to temper those cravings.
Healthy Alternatives For Your Favorite Unhealthy Foods
1. Steel cut oats instead of breakfast cereals or overly processed oats
Although breakfast cereals may have a healthy image, unfortunately almost all cereals contain too much refined sugars. Those sugars add lots of calories and lead to more sugar cravings. Opt for steel cut oats instead (without sugar-laden mix-ins, added sugars or flavorings). They are low in sugar and saturated fat, but high in fiber and iron.
2. Raw refrigerator jam instead of regular jam and jellies
If you start your mornings with toast and jam or love to swirl some jam in your yogurt, then you should try raw chia seed jam instead. Regular jams are packed with sugar or chemical sweeteners. Raw jams on the other hand are made of fruit and chia seeds and you can add a bit of raw honey or maple syrup if you want. These jams have fewer calories and no chemical-laden preservatives or additives.
Click here to learn how to make a delicious guilt-free raw chia seed jam (Sugar-Free). It only takes 5 minutes of your time and are so much yummier!
3. Quinoa (or whole grains) Instead Of Processed Grains (White rice, bread, pasta, etc)
Whole grains contain more fiber, vitamins, magnesium, and other beneficial nutrients. People who eat whole grains over refined grains tend to be thinner and have a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases.
4. Use more herbs instead of salt to flavor your food
Unrefined sea salt or mined salts like Himalayan pink and Celtic salt may be healthier form of salt with the whole spectrum of minerals, still you should use salt in moderation. Experiment more with fresh or dried herbs and you’ll soon notice that not every dish needs salt.
5. Whole fruits or smoothies instead of fruit juices
Commercially available fruit juices are packed with sugar, additives, and preservatives. But even if you opt for freshly made fruit juices, it is still better to eat the whole fruit or make a smoothie as they still contain all the fibers. Click here to download my FREE green smoothie eBook.
6. Almonds instead of snack or protein bars
Snack bars are often loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, refined sugar and additives. Instead of getting your protein out of those bars, get your quick energy fix through a handful of almonds (or other unsalted nuts of your liking). Almonds are full of protein and other beneficial nutrients to lengthen your lifespan by cutting down the risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and diabetes.
7. Sprinkle cinnamon instead of sugar
Instead of adding sugar to your tea, coffee, baked goods, oats, or yogurt, try cinnamon instead. It’s natural sweet and delicious flavor works as a great sugar substitute and has almost no calories and tons of benefits for your health.
8. Drink Infused Water instead of sugary drinks
This is something we all know. Sodas and other commercially available beverages are loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other harmful chemicals. Infused waters make drinking water more flavorful and exciting. Click here for 10 of my favorite infused or flat tummy water recipes. (Love the citrus combo or the one with apples and cinnamon)
9. Cauliflower mash instead mashed potatoes
Cooked cauliflower only contains 27 calories per cup compared to 116 calories for potatoes. And on top of that 1 cup cauliflower will give you almost a day’s worth of vitamin C. We love cauliflower and green onion mash.
10. Kale chips instead of potato chips
1 cup kale chips only contains 60 calories, while the same amount of potato chips clock around 200 calories. On top of that kale chips are loaded with vitamin A, C, calcium and folate. Not too fond of kale, try red beet chips instead.
11. Salad or soup lunch instead of a sandwich
Sandwiches are high in calories and refined grains that can cause inflammation and weight gain. Opt for thick vegetable soups or lunch salad instead. And try not to add cream or mayonnaise. Instead of mayonnaise try an avocado or a vinegar dressing.
12. Eat salmon instead of red meat
Although red meat is a great source of protein and iron, it also contains way too much saturated fat. If you’re a meat eater you don’t have to give up on red meat all together but try to swap it with salmon more often, which contains healthy omega-3 fats.
Enjoy these delicious and healthy food swaps! Once your body get used to more healthy and well-balanced foods, you’ll see your cravings won’t be as frequently anymore and you’ll simply find yourself craving healthy food instead of cookies, chips, hamburgers, and other comfort foods from your past.
Don’t forget to download my FREE green smoothie eBook for healthy breakfast and snacking inspiration or connect with me on Facebook or Google+ for more healthy tips, tricks, and recipes.