Food Substitutions for Healthy Eating

Five healthy food substitutions you should try today

pearWhen it comes to the battle of eating healthy, each of us has our own guilty little pleasures that can sabotage even our best efforts to eat right. For some it’s chocolate, others it’s butter, and still others just can’t say no to that freshly baked loaf of bread that your favorite restaurant serves up before dinner. Whatever your weakness is, there is likely a healthy substitution that can help you satisfy your craving while not sacrificing your health.

As any health expert will attest to, eating healthy is a life style and not a feat to be taken lightly. But if you’re serious about making changes, beginning with these five healthy food substitutions is a sure-fire way to get started.

Replace ground beef with healthier substitutes in recipes- If you’re a meat lover then chances are you’re serious about your beef products and just can’t find it plausible that there is another meat that can come anywhere near to comparing to beef, but you’d be wrong.

Ground turkey or soy tofu contain considerably less fat and calories than beef and can be used instead of beef in recipes for meat loafs, tacos, casseroles, and spaghetti. While some people are able to detect the taste difference, many people fail to notice a distinguishable difference when it is seasoned and served in various foods.

Use fresh fruit, honey, or applesauce, instead of natural sugar-Sugar is in practically everything we eat and drink, and what few items it’s not in we often add it in ourselves in those products. Our obsession with sugar has created a health epidemic that is resulting in the prevalence of diabetes, obesity and dental problems. Our taste buds are so used to the taste of too much sugar that it’s likely we don’t have the slightest idea as to how naturally sweetened products should taste. By replacing natural sugar with fresh fruit, honey, or applesauce, we can bring our desire for sugar back under control.

(Learn more about honey in our article on The Key Relevance Factors for Grading Honey.)

Season foods with natural spices and seasonings instead of table salt- Just as with sugar, salt is yet another ingredient that is overused by individuals and food producers alike. Salt is also often used as a preservative to help extend the shelf-life of foods that are pre-packaged. Millions of people suffer from illnesses such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and fluid retention because of the consumption of too much salt. Although it’s impossible to eliminate some of the salt in your diet, you can opt to ask for natural seasonings such as herbs, spices, and specialty blends such as Mrs. Dash and Nu-Salt. If you simply can’t give up your craving for salt then sea salt is your next best option.

Exchange white bread for wheat bread¬- The consumption of whole wheat flour is widely discouraged for those who are looking to shave pounds, but what about those who are more interested in eating healthy than shaving pounds? Most people prefer the taste of white bread but don’t necessarily want the calories that come along with the more favorable taste. If you’ve been to the store lately then you may have seen a new type of bread described as “white whole wheat bread.” This bread is made with an albino variety of wheat instead of the traditional reddish wheat that is used to make regular white bread. This bread offers a good substitute for those who prefer the taste of white bread, but traditional wheat bread still offers more nutritional value in the form of fiber and less calories and fat.

Substitute organic skim, 1%, or 2% milk for whole milk- Whole milk is high in calcium and calories. Just one cup of whole milk has around 150 calories, compare this to the just 86 calories in skim milk, and it’s easy to see the health benefits. The differences in all milk is based on fat content, whole milk contains the most fat at around 4% while 2% milk has literally 2% fat, and 1% has approximately half that of 2%. While the fat and calories offered by milk is often needed by children, in adults it can lead to unwanted weight gain.

Making just a few substitutions in our diets can help us to live happier and healthier lives.

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