If you need some healthy food swaps to start eating healthier, then you are in the right place.
The idea of changing your diet can feel overwhelming. Instead of doing a complete overhaul over-haul of your diet, start by finding some simple healthy food alternatives.
Taking small steps to replace unhealthy food for healthier food adds up over time. These habits turn into lifelong diet choices that are much easier to maintain than a fad diet.
When you find some healthy food swaps that you enjoy, eating healthy becomes a daily habit and lifestyle for the long term.
Achieving optimal health or maintaining a healthy weight is all about your daily eating habits.
Below are 7 healthy food swaps that you can start implementing today so that you can have the life, body and energy that you deserve.
#1 Replace breakfast cereals with a chia oatmeal porridge as a healthy food swap for breakfast
Breakfast cereals are chalked full of sugar and refined carbohydrates that are the unhealthy carbs.
Breakfast cereals disrupt blood sugar balance by causing a spike in blood sugar (you know the sugar high), followed by the crash. Ya, breakfast cereals are terrible at providing any longterm energy or nutrition.
I know breakfast cereals are super easy for busy moms or people working full time. But making this chia oatmeal porridge only takes a few minutes. You will also be nourishing your body with quality fats, proteins, and healthy carbs.
This mango chia pudding is another super easy food swap for breakfast cereal that ban be pre-prepped and taken on the go. No excuses for not having time as these two breakfast swaps are super easy to make.
#2 Replace juice and pop with water or coconut water
Juice and pop are packed full of sugar and calories that contribute to weight gain and insulin resistance.
Instead of drinking sugar-laden pop drink water which is a crucial nutrient for the human body. Water contains zero calories and is free. By drinking water instead of juice or pop, you will be saving money on your grocery budget and preventing insulin resistance.
If you do not like the taste of plain water, you can make naturally flavored water by adding in lemon juice with a touch of honey and pinch of sea salt for a DIY electrolyte drink. Try flavoring your water cucumber and mint or by cutting up some fresh fruit into the water.
#3 Replace Processed snacks such as granola bars and crackers with fruit for a healthy snack
I know processed snacks such as chips, granola bars, and crackers are super easy to snack on, but so is fruit. Fruit is quick and easy to pack for a picnic or on the go snack.
Processed snacks are nutrient deficient and full of refined carbohydrates and sugar. Fruit, on the other hand, contains natural sugars, prebiotics for gut health, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to cleanse the liver and fight free radicals.
The choice seems simple to me. Do you want to eat processed snacks that cause inflammation, insulin resistance, and weight gain? Or do you want to eat whole fruits that promote weight loss and contain anti-aging phytonutrients and antioxidants?
Both are easy snacks, yet one is a powerhouse of nutrition, and the other can cause a myriad of health symptoms. I will pick the fruit.
#4 Replace ice cream with frozen fruits or smoothie bowls for a healthy alternative to ice cream
Everyone enjoys a chilled sweet treat from time to time, including me. Instead of reaching for ice cream, which is full of empty calories and processed sugar, try eating some frozen fruit.
I love snacking on frozen cherries and grapes on a hot summer day. Both cherries and grapes are high anti-oxidant fruits with health-promoting properties.
I never miss ice cream since frozen fruit or smoothie bowls hit the spot every time.
#5 Replace store-bought salad dressing with homemade salad dressings
Store-bought salad dressings contain unhealthy fats, sugar, and preservatives. Most store-bought salad dressings are made with refined vegetable oils that are highly processed, high in calories yet low in nutrients.
Instead, make a homemade salad dressing with cold-pressed olive oil, lemon juice, and honey with salt and pepper to taste for easy homemade dressings.
I use a combination between olive oil, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, tamari, honey, coconut sugar, dijon mustard, Greek yogurt, nutritional yeast, and tahini to make a variety of different homemade salad dressing that is super tasty.
For some delicious healthy salad ideas with homemade salad dressings, check out these seven healthy salads and homemade dressings.
I am sure you will find a homemade salad dressing that you will love. Sometimes my best salads are the random ones thrown together with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast, tamari, and coconut sugar.
#6 Replace white rice and pasta with brown rice, zucchini noodles, or quinoa.
White rice and pasta are essentially sugar and do not offer very much nutritional value. These simple carbs cause blood sugar imbalances and strip the body of vital nutrients such as magnesium.
Instead, use brown rice with vegetable stir-fries.
Zucchini noodles are another healthy food swap for pasta noodles and taste just as delicious. Serve zucchini noodles with some pesto and parmesan or this lentil bolognese sauce.
Quinoa is another fantastic food swap that can be added to salads or buddha bowls. This Greek Quinoa Salad is one of my favourites.
#7 Replace refined white sugar with natural sweeteners such as honey.
Refined white sugar has been stripped of all its nutrients and is empty calories. These empty calories harm the body be feeding pathogenic organisms, disrupting blood sugar balance, and depleting the body of vitamins and minerals.
The best natural sweeteners are stevia and honey. I also stock my cupboards with coconut sugar and brown rice syrup.
You won’t miss the white sugar once you use these healthier sugar alternatives. I have not had white sugar in my home for years, and I have not missed it once.
Use sugar alternatives sparingly, so they last ages. My primary uses for coconut sugar and honey are in coffee, salad dressings, homemade granola, and the occasional sweet treat.
Finding healthy food swaps is the easiest way to transition to eating a healthy diet. Once you make the swap and start to feel better, you won’t even miss the unhealthy food that you used to eat.
The key to eating healthy is to enjoy your food. Pizza is one of my favourite foods, so I learned how to make a healthier version of pizza such as this gluten-free vegetarian tortilla pizza.
Eating healthy is not about depriving yourself of the foods you love but instead about finding new and healthier foods that you do enjoy.