12 HEALTHY FOOD SWAPS
Today I have got an article, all about healthy swaps. I’m gonna show you 12 different things that you can do to make slight adjustments with foods you might be craving or loving that are a bit healthier. So these are pretty common.
You might have seen some of these online, but they’re things that I like to use in my everyday life, and you might even discover some really cool swap slash products that you haven’t heard about before.
We are starting with savory, and my first tip is about crackers. So most crackers, like Ritz crackers or saltines, are made with butter or not so great oils, as well as super-refined flours. My suggestion is swapping them with whole food-based crackers.
There are so many options on the market, and the great thing is you still get to eat your crackers. You’re just choosing ones that have a higher quality ingredient list. So look for things that are full whole food ingredients that you can pronounce and are just generally a little bit healthier for you. Next is chips. So, of course, we all love potato chips.
How can you not? They’re deep fried in a very hydrogenated, highly processed oil. They really aren’t the best, although they do satisfy that salty, crunchy craving. The easy way to swap them is to swap them with popcorn.
Of course, popcorn is not a one to one swap, but, if you are craving something salty, crunchy and kind of crispy. Popcorn is a great option, and I will link my favorite recipe for popcorn down below. Next is bagels.
Bagels are a really delicious treat. I would say that they probably aren’t the best thing to eat all the time. They’re pretty much a pure carbohydrate, and they aren’t typically made with the best types of flours. Usually, they’re not whole grain. So what I would recommend is, if you are a bagel lover. Maybe you’re finding that they’re a little heavy, try swapping them with something a little lighter like rice cakes. Obviously, again, this isn’t a one to one substitute. So what I like to do is basically just top my rice cake with whatever. I would top my bagel with.
So, in this case, it’s a vegan cream cheese, it’s a slice of tomato. It’s some everything bagel seasoning to give it that everything bagel flavor. It’s just a lighter way to enjoy an open-faced sandwich type of thing. Next on my list is white rice. White rice, similar to bagels, is a very starchy carbohydrate, so it isn’t providing a ton of nutrition. It’s gentle on your digestive system, but you aren’t getting a ton from the white rice. What’s great about quinoa is it can be used as a substitute to rice, one to one, in pretty much every single application.
It’s higher in fiber, higher in protein, and it has more vitamins and minerals. So it’s just a little bit more nutrient dense. Next on the list is mayo. So mayo, if you don’t know, has made from eggs.
So if you are vegan, mayo is not an option for you.
You can find vegan mayo. But it also has made with oils. It’s really high in fat. It has a lot of saturated fat. It doesn’t have a lot of protein or anything like that.
So, if you are a sandwich lover and you want to try swapping mayo. You want to try to cut back on mayo, a really great option is hummus. And hummus, of course, has made from chickpeas, so it’s high in protein, it’s high in fiber. It can used like you would mayo, added into a chick pea or tuna salad, used on a piece of bread as your sandwich base. To go along with this is, we’re talking about tortillas and specifically flour tortillas.
Similar to bagels and other bread type things. Tortillas are usually full of flours that are pretty refined, and they often also have a lot of additives. I recommend swapping tortillas with a veggie wrap. Whether that’s romaine leaves, it could be baby bib lettuce, it could be collard wraps.
It even could be coconut wraps if you can find those online. So, here is an example of how you can use hummus as the base for your sandwich. So I’m just gonna spread it on the leaf of lettuce. I topped it with some black beans, sliced tomato and sprouts, and this is a super nutritious and filling lunch. I will have like four to five, maybe sometimes even more of these, and I absolutely love them.
It’s basically like having a salad and sandwich mashed together in one. Now we’re gonna move on to the sweets, and the first thing we’re talking about is white sugar. White sugar is not the best option because it is highly processed. Highly refined and very high on the glycemic index. I recommend is using a less refined option. If you are looking to sweeten things, and my option is maple syrup.
Maple syrup is lower on the glycemic index.
It’s less refined. It’s still sugar, but it’s a little bit healthier and a little less processed. Next is chocolate chips. Chocolate chips are full of cane sugar, usually. If you are somebody that’s trying to cut back on your sugar. But you still want that kind of chocolatey flavor, a great alternative to chocolate chips is cacao nibs. Cacao nibs are basically just raw cocoa beans that get mashed up into little bite-sized pieces. They aren’t sweet at all, but they do have a nice crunchy, chocolatey flavor.
Next on my list is milk chocolate. Milk chocolate has basically sugar mixed with milk. It does have a little bit of cocoa in it, but very, very little. So, I swapped that with a dark chocolate, and I recommend going 70% or darker with your cacao. And that just means you are gonna have a little bit less sugar, you’re gonna have more cacao.
It’s gonna be a nice rich, dark chocolate flavor. Now let’s talk about sugar candy. Sugar candy is usually makes with high fructose corn syrup, a lot of unnatural dyes. They just generally are not a great option. So put those aside. Luckily there are companies now that make healthier fruit and naturally sweetened candies.
Smart Sweets is an option. There’s also Wholesome Sweeteners, I think, or Wholesome Candy. I’ll link it down below. Smart Sweets is great because it uses whole food ingredients, and it’s make with natural colors and natural fruit flavors. Next is granola bars.
Granola bars are not my favorite choice. They don’t give you a lot of bang for your buck, nutritionally speaking.
They are often high in sugar, low in protein, high in carbohydrates, and you’re just not getting a lot. So, instead of eating granola bars as a snack, I would recommend picking up some protein bars. This protein bar obviously doesn’t look quite as good, but the nutrition is way better on it, and it’s gonna be a better satisfying snack. It has 12 grams of fiber, 14 grams of protein, and it only has three grams of sugar.
Last but not least in my healthy swaps list is soda. Obviously, soda is not a good thing to drink, at all. Super high in sugar, high in caffeine, full of dyes and really not great stuff.
So, instead of doing soda, I know this is not gonna be a one-to-one swap, but seltzer. Seltzer’s gonna give you that carbonation hit that is probably one of the things that your taste buds like.
And the great thing about seltzer these days is you can pretty much find them in any type of flavor that you like. So explore all of the different flavors. Find something that you enjoy to drink. And I promise that, over time, you will get to kick that soda habit. And there you have it, my friends.
I also just want to make a disclaimer that I’m not trying to say that any of the foods that I was giving swaps for are inherently bad. If you are somebody that is interested in trying to eat more healthy, wholesome, pure, whole food-type foods. Then I think the swaps that I offered is a great option for that.
So, not to say things are bad or that you should not eat certain food groups or anything like that.
Just making healthier choices, when you have the option. And when you would like to, I think is a great choice.