10 Easy Food Swaps for a Healthier You
Being healthy doesn’t require cutting chocolate, butter, and sugar out of your life—but if you can cut down on fat and calories without sacrificing taste, why not? Give these easy substitutions a shot and see how easy being healthy can be!
Mayonnaise → Avocado
For some, a good sandwich requires a creamy glob of mayonnaise. Unfortunately, mayonnaise is fatty and full of cholesterol. Avocados are creamy, healthy, and bland, making them a great substitute for mayo. Use a mashed or sliced avocado instead of mayonnaise on sandwiches.
Sour Cream → Plain Greek Yogurt
Yogurt is full of healthful bacteria that can benefit your gut, so jump on any excuse to eat more yogurt. While much healthier than sour cream, it’s nearly indistinguishable from sour cream in cooking. For example, use plain Greek yogurt to bread chicken breasts for a healthier and lower-fat breaded chicken dish.
Buttered Popcorn → Cayenne Pepper & Garlic Salt Popcorn
Popcorn is full of fiber, which is great for keeping you regular—but butter isn’t so great for your health. Use olive oil for popping, then coat with cayenne pepper and a little garlic salt. This stuff is addictively spicy, so make sure not to touch your eyes after eating!
Potato Chips → Sweet Potato Chips
Whether they’re mashed, fried, roasted, or baked, potatoes are delicious. But have you tried sweet potatoes? Try coating thin slices of sweet potato in olive oil and spices, then roasting them until crispy in the oven. They’re easy to make, smell amazing, and taste even better than regular potato chips!
Pizza → Chips and Salsa
Despite what the US Congress says, pizza is not a vegetable. Instead of having pizza for dinner, make chips and salsa your main dish. Salsa is full of vegetables and can be eaten straight from the jar. It can also be a healthy and tasty addition to omelets, tacos, burgers, grilled sandwiches, and so much more!
Butter → Olive Oil
Few things go together like bread and butter, but you might change your mind after trying bread with olive oil dip. You don’t have to go to an expensive Italian restaurant, either—you can make it easily and cheaply right at home! Instead of slathering butter onto your hot bread, dip the bread into a mixture of olive oil, Italian spices, and garlic salt for a little taste of heaven.
Water → Tea
Everybody wants to drink more water, but let’s be honest: water doesn’t always taste that good. Give your water a little flavor by adding a teabag, but don’t add sugar or milk. Fruit-flavored green, white, and oolong varieties are tasty and healthful alternatives to plain water. Tea is full of antioxidants, and you don’t even need the boil the water. Just throw in a teabag, wait a few minutes for the bag to steep, and drink up!
Sugar → Honey
Everyone knows that sugar isn’t very healthy. So instead of adding sugar to your lemonade, tea, or cornflakes, try adding honey! It has antioxidant and antibiotic properties, and it may even help treat a variety of maladies ranging from acid reflux to burns. Plus, it’s delicious!
Red Meat → Fish
Although delicious, red meat isn’t good to eat every day. It can contribute to heart disease and high cholesterol. Get your daily protein—and omega-3 fatty acids—from fish instead. Tilapia is becoming especially popular as the king of “non-fishy fish,” the fish that don’t taste or smell fishy. Pre-seasoned fish filets can be found fresh and frozen at nearly every grocery store these days, and many varieties (like tilapia, salmon, and trout) are easy to prepare at home.
Oil → Applesauce
In most baking recipes that call for oil, you can substitute applesauce for a healthier final product. Cakes, cupcakes, muffins, and more can benefit from swapping oil for unsweetened applesauce. Even swapping just half the oil can make a big difference in nutrition. In addition to lowering the fat content, the applesauce will also make baked items moister—that’s a double win!