Get smart! Apply these few easy substitutions to your diet and they will not only enhance the complexity and nutritional value of your food, but they will also cut down your daily calories tremendously. Remember, it is the small changes you make that can make the biggest differences.
1. Dairy milk to almond milk
Not only does almond milk have more calcium than regular milk, but it is also full of vitamins A, D and E. It is a great source of antioxidants and a smart lactose-free alternative with no added sugar. Unsweetened almond milk has only 30 calories per serving!
2. White rice to quinoa
Choosing this less starchy option will increase your protein and fiber intake. White rice also has around 15 times the amount of carbohydrates of quinoa and about 40 more calories per serving. Quinoa even has more protein and fiber, and fewer carbohydrates, than brown rice.
3. Sour cream to Greek yogurt
At a fraction of the calories, Greek yogurt also provides more protein than sour cream. This swap is easily done and still allows for the tangy, creamy taste that you love without all the saturated fat.
4. Oil to applesauce
Baking can often involve extra fats that aren’t heart-healthy or diet-friendly. An easy alternative to vegetable or canola oil in your baked goods is applesauce (unsweetened for lower calories). Replace half or all of the oil called for in a recipe to increase the nutritional value and add moisture to your cookies, cake or bread recipe.
5. Sugar to stevia
Stevia, derived from the stevia rebaudiana plant, not only has zero calories, but it is also more potent than sugar (300 times sweeter). Substitute it for sugar in baking or even in your coffee/tea. It is also better for your teeth than sugar is.
6. Potatoes to sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Potassium and Calcium. They have fewer calories, more Vitamin C, more fiber and fewer carbs than regular potatoes. Also, baked sweet potato fries are an extremely healthy swap for regular fries.
7. Ground beef to ground turkey
Lean turkey has significantly less saturated fat and it is easier on the waistline. Red meat is high in saturated fat and dietary cholesterol which can cause many health problems. Make sure you’re choosing ground turkey breast for these health benefits though.
With any diet, portion control and moderation are key, but switching a few foods for healthier options can go a long way!