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Making small changes toward eating healthier can have a significant impact on your overall health and well-being. Choosing foods that provide essential nutrients and are low in fats can help prevent heart disease, improve brain function, assist with weight loss, increase energy, and ward off illness.
Keep in mind that it’s often easier and more sustainable to make a series of smaller, new habits than attempting a drastic dietary change. Try making just one or two of the suggested replacements below – it may take time to adjust to new textures and tastes, so stick with your new habits for a couple of weeks! Once they’ve become part of your eating routine, add on a few more and watch as you begin to gain energy and feel healthier!
Try stocking up on healthy foods that can be swapped out in various ways for healthier eating. Here are a few super replacement ideas:
Greek yogurt is protein and calcium-rich with probiotic benefits. Its rich and creamy texture makes it a great substitute for fattier, higher-calorie toppings like mayonnaise and sour cream.
Cauliflower is a star in the food replacement scene for good reasons! It provides vitamin C, folate, and fiber. As a starchy vegetable, you can substitute it for carb-heavy foods like potatoes, rice, and even pizza crusts. Check out this recipe for the “perfect” cauliflower pizza crust!
Apple sauce is often used in vegan, baked goods recipes as a replacement for eggs. It also acts as a binding agent and can replace oil and butter. Its natural sweetness means you can skip or add less sugar!
Avocados are high in the right kind of fat as well as vitamins and fiber. That fat means avocados can replace butter and oil in baked goods or on toast. They can also replace mayonnaise in your egg or chicken salad, dressings, and dips.
This for That
Making a few of these swaps can help you begin your journey down the path to healthier eating:
- Spiral vegetables (like zucchini) instead of pasta
- Whole grain bread instead of white
- Ground turkey instead of ground beef
- Dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate
- Sweet potato fries instead of regular french fries
- Herbed seasonings instead of salt
Quit the Soda Habit
If you’re a regular soda drinker, consider cutting your consumption in half, or even altogether – doing so can have a noticeable positive change on your overall health! Both real sugar and diet sodas can damage your teeth and are linked to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. They also offer no health benefits. Making the switch to flavored seltzer, unsweetened iced tea, or water can help you feel better! Not a fan of plain water? Here’s a list of 9 water flavorings you can add to give you a little boost.
Make it Yourself
Pre-packaged foods frequently have added sodium, artificial sweeteners, and sugar. When you make food from scratch, you have a lot more control over the ingredients! Try making a few of these recipes on your own, and remember that you can always experiment with the portions to cater to your tastebuds:
- Salad dressings
- Granola bars
- Tomato sauce
- Bread, cookies, and other baked goods (like this delicious banana bread or whole wheat bread)
More of The Good
Almost all of us could use more fruits and vegetables in our lives. Replacing even one snack a day with a piece of fruit or a few vegetables will help you get closer to the recommended daily amount. Here are a few other ideas:
- Commit to eating a salad for lunch at least once a week
- Add blended spinach, kale, or broccoli to your sauces
- Drink a fruit or vegetable smoothie to start your day right
Remember that each small change you make gets you closer to your goal. These new habits will start building on each other, and you’ll begin to feel more energetic and won’t miss the sugar, carbohydrates, and salt you were used to consuming!
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