Sometimes eating healthier can feel like more of a hassle than it's worth. I get it. Not everyone has the time to cook a healthy meal or the money to afford all the fresh fruits and veggies that they may want. Plus, salad looks far less enticing when mac and cheese is also an option. Luckily, eating healthier doesn't have to mean a huge commitment. 

Eating healthier is not all about counting calories either: it means filling our bodies with all of the nutrients they need, and has little to do with how much we weigh. 

Given differences in allergies and availability, not every healthy food is an option for everyone, but there are ways in which we can all eat a little healthier, one simple food swap at a time. 

1. Switch Out Zoodles for Pasta

Here's why: Zoodles (zucchini noodles) appear just like pasta, but are lower in carbohydrates and offer more fiber than traditional pasta. Think full and happy stomach!

Here's how: When making your favorite pasta dishes, try adding zoodles or any other veggie-based noodle (spaghetti squash, I'm looking at you) in place of traditional pasta. Many grocery stores sell veggie noodles pre-made, though they can also be made with the help of this funky tool. Restaurants like Noodles & Company even offer zoodles on their menu, making this substitution an easy one. 

2. Swap Sweet Potato Fries for French Fries

Here's why: Sweet potatoes offer nutrients that regular potatoes do not. Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, as well as vitamins B and C, and contain beta carotene, which turns into vitamin A in the body. Unlike regular potatoes, they count as a sources of vegetables, and benefit the skin and immune system. 

Here's how: Next time you order fries at a restaurant, ask if you can substitute sweet potato fries for regular French fries. You can also stop by the frozen food aisle of your grocery store and look for sweet potato fries. If you are in the cooking mood, try making your own

3. Pile on Fruit Instead of Jam

Here's why: Fruits are rich in potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid, which help your body repair itself and helps you feel full. Jams and jellies don't offer these same nutrients, and they are filled with added sugars that can drain your body's energy. As an added bonus, adding sliced fruit and other toppings makes your toast look way more artsy. 

Here's how: When making your morning toast, slice up whatever fruit you have on hand and place them on top. It can be whatever fruit you choose, though bananas, strawberries, or raspberries work especially well with peanut butter on toast.

#SpoonTip: sprinkle on some flaxseed for a boost of healthy fats.

4. Get Your Protein with Beans Instead of Meat

Here's why: In addition to being better for your heart than red meat, beans offer protein and fiber that help digestive health. Also, cutting back on meat helps reduce the natural resources used on raising livestock for food. By switching to plant based protein, you can make yourself and the planet healthier.

Here's how: When ordering at a restaurant, look for vegetarian substitutes to your favorite dishes. If you're cooking at home, swap out meat for chick peas or beans in dishes like curry or soup. 

5. Order Almond Milk in Your Latte Instead of Regular Milk

Here's why: Plant-based milks (soy, oat, almond, cashew, coconut, etc.) offer the calcium that traditional cow's milk offers, as well as some additional nutrients depending on what plant base the milk has. Plus, cutting out some dairy may clear up skin and help people feel less bloated. 

Here's how: Plant-based milks, especially soy and almond, are available at most grocery stores. Just be careful to pick a type that doesn't have added sugars. Other ways to incorporate plant-based milk are ordering them in coffee drinks, adding them to smoothies, and using them in baking. 

6. Top Salads With Vinaigrette Instead of Dressing

Here's why: Vinaigrette is lower in fat and added sugar than classic salad dressings, reducing the amount of cholesterol going into your body. 

Here's how: There are tons of easy vinaigrette recipes online (bless Pinterest), as well as many store-bought versions. When buying dressings, make sure they are oil-based as well as low sodium. If you are ordering a sandwich or salad, ask for olive oil or any other vinaigrette instead of mayo or other classic salad dressings. 

7. Fill Up on Greek Yogurt Instead of Regular Yogurt

Here's why: Greek yogurt has roughly double the protein of regular yogurt, as well as roughly half the sugar. Plus, eating yogurt improves your gut biome, which controls many other aspects of your health. Greek yogurt also has a creamier texture that makes it extra tasty. 

Here's how: Since the texture of Greek yogurt is different than normal yogurt, it can take some getting used to, but it can easily be mixed with nuts, fruit, or even some dark chocolate chips for a delicious breakfast. Greek yogurt can also easily be substituted for yogurt and other creamy substances in sauces, dips, and other dishes. 

8. Sprinkle On Seeds & Nuts Instead of Croutons

Here's why: Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, antioxidants, and other nutrients that help improve immune functioning and act as a protein source. They also are an added crunchy element in a salad without the added carbs and sodium of croutons. 

Here's how: Next time you reach for croutons, sprinkle on some sunflower seeds, walnuts, or almonds instead.

9. Bake With Avocado Instead of Butter

Here's why: Unlike butter, which contains saturated fat, avocados add a dose of healthy fat while still adding creaminess to a recipe. Avocados are also lower in cholesterol and high in potassium. 

Here's how: The next time you're baking, swap out avocado for butter, such as in the avocado-based granola bars above. 

10. Use Whole Grains in Place of Refined Grains

Here's why: Refined grains have been stripped of their nutrients, including their fiber, vitamin B, and vitamin E. As a result, your digestive system and blood sugar levels lose out on the benefits of eating grains. 

Here's how: Refined grains are any sort of grain that is not in its whole, natural form, such as flour. Replace refined grains such as bread and cereal with whole grains like brown rice, barley, quinoa, whole oats, and wild rice. 

Happy swapping!