10 Simple Food Swaps
We all know that eating healthier means changes in our eating habits, and choosing some other foods instead of those that we are used to. Packing your own lunch instead of eating out, whole wheat bread and pasta instead of white ones, drinking sparkling water instead of sugary soft drinks, right? You could continue this list forever.
But being healthier version of you, or especially when trying to lose some weight, doesn’t have to mean that you have to change dramatically everything. I believe, that small changes in your diet makes it easier for you and those habits will become a part of your “normal” life, without extra effort. These changes can be so easy and tiny, that you haven’t even thought about them before!
Try these small changes when you have your next meal or drink, save some calories and you’ll see how small changes lead you to big results!
Black coffee instead of latte. I’m a coffee lover, definitely. Once in awhile, I’m indulging some special made coffees at cafe with no guilt, but I’m fully aware, that those aren’t that good for me. Sticking with pure coffee offers you a more concentrated dose of coffee, and its good-for-you, free-radical fighting antioxidants. And even if you can’t stand black coffee, a splash of low-fat milk, or dash of cinnamon or vanilla to flavor can still help you save hundreds of calories over a latte, which gets its extra calories from steamed (full fat) milk and added sugar.
Whole fruit instead of fruit juice. A glass of orange juice may seem a healthy choice, but it only offers you a sweet moment, and no fiber at all. Instead, go with the whole fruit to get the full nutritional benefits, stay feeling fuller for longer and save some calories.
Oatmeal instead of granola or breakfast cereals. Even though it says “healthy”, “fit”, or “low fat” in the package, most of the breakfast cereals and store-bought granolas are super high in sugar and fat, and they only offer to you loads of carbs. In some cases, eating a bowl of one of them with milk is as unhealthy as having five chocolate chip cookies for breakfast! Studies have shown, that calorie-for-calorie, porridge is more filling than an oat-based cereal, and will keep you going for longer and is packed with a bunch of fiber. Just remember to choose unflavored oat brand and top it with your favorite toppings!
Low-fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Thinking about Mexican dinner? Swap high-fat sour cream to low-fat Greek yogurt, that is lower in calories, loaded with protein and contains active yogurt cultures that aid in digestion. The yogurt will work in dips, hot meals and cheese cakes as well, and you won’t even notice the difference, I’ll promise!
Quinoa instead of white rice. Cooked quinoa has fewer calories than the same amount of white rice, but the real benefit is in the carbs; White rice has almost 15 times more grams of carbs, and quinoa provides 5 more grams of fiber and double the protein in one serving. Shortly said quinoa will help you to cut the calories and fill you up faster so that you end up eating less. If you still want to stick with rice, choose at least brown or wild rice to get all the nutrients.
Walnuts (or any other nuts) instead of croutons. You want to top your salad with something crunchy? Replace high-fat, salty croutons with walnuts, which are high in good fat, that can lower LDL while boosting HDL (aka good cholesterol), and are loaded with protein. This way you’ll also cut a lot of unneeded carbs from your dish!
Avocado instead of mayonnaise. Avocados add the moisture and fat that mayonnaise puts in a dish, but it’s less heavy and it has nearly half the calories of mayonnaise! Fat in avocados is actually “heart-healthy” fat, the kind of which lowers cholesterol, and actually helps your heart, plus it’s full of vitamins and nutrients. Just peel and destone the avocado, mash it with a fork, and spread it as you would mayonnaise 😉 .
Avocado instead of butter or margarine. In addition to the above, avocado also works perfectly as a spread. Use it like a butter, add a dash of sea salt and some sliced tomato for a great midday snack! Tasty and healthy, and packed with all the good-for-you-stuff!
Air-popped popcorn instead of chips. If you are craving after salty movie snack, turn to popcorn. Compared to chips, you’ll be able to eat a larger serving for the same amount of calories, and in addition you’ll also get more fiber. But remember, the type of popcorn you choose does make a big difference in how healthy it is! Opt for air-popped popcorn, and forget those high-fat and calorie versions sold in movie theatres.
Choose salsa instead of cream-based dips. If you love dips, you should choose carefully the type of you indulge. Have you ever checked how much calories and empty stuff those dips contain? If you haven’t, do it and you’ll understand why you should forget them! Plus, while having salsa, you’ll get less salt, sugar with fewer calories, and a lot of vitamins and minerals, especially when you make your own salsa from the scratch. Homemade salsa is super easy to make, this one is our family favorite!
These pics are from our favorite Italian restaurant here in Nerja, Restaurante Portofino. The food is just as it should be with all the fresh ingredients, and look at that view; wow <3 . And just to mention, they served my salad with walnuts on top of it 😉 .