5 Simple and Healthy Food Substitutes

Eating healthy and making smarter food choices can become a daunting task for many people. Instead of throwing out all of your unhealthy foods at once start small, swapping a few foods, which are not so good for you, with some healthier food options. Changing just a few foods in your diet will make a big difference in your health and your weight. As you become accustomed to these changes, search out other healthy Food substitutes which are low in fat and calories and packed with vitamins and nutrients. Here are a few beginning substitutions that won’t throw your taste buds into shock.

Greek Yogurt

Substitute nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream or mayo. Greek yogurt has a relatively high protein count and is low in calories. Add Greek yogurt to tacos or put it on chili for a similar taste with fewer calories. Use it as a base for dips and serve it with baked crackers for a healthier option to chips and regular dip. Mix honey and fruit into it then freeze for a sweet tasting, low calorie treat. Substitute this in recipes which call for cream, such as Alfredo sauce recipes.

Cauliflower

Substituting cauliflower for mashed potatoes can cut a significant amount of calories from your diet. One cup of mashed cauliflower contains 101 fewer calories than a cup of mashed potatoes. Pair that with the high amount of vitamin C and you have a healthy swap that is also good for you. Swap the butter with olive oil to reduce even more calories in this dish.

Spinach

Swap Iceberg lettuce for leafy spinach in a salad. Iceberg lettuce is low in nutrients. Spinach packs more nutrients and flavor into a smaller serving size. Replace lettuce on sandwiches with baby spinach and you will hardly know the difference. Substituting baby spinach not only adds more flavor, but you also get more iron and folic acid with each serving.

Spaghetti Squash

Substitute spaghetti squash for pasta. This is a perfect substitution for spaghetti piled high with marinara sauce and meatballs. You can also add olive oil, parmesan cheese and a pinch of basil to give the spaghetti squash flavor, and serve it as a side dish just as you would noodles. This is a great substitute for any recipe which calls for pasta of any kind. You will save yourself 178 calories by substituting one cup of spaghetti squash for the one cup of regular pasta.

Quinoa

Quinoa gives you the opportunity to still have your beloved grains with meals and eliminate the excess carbohydrates. Quinoa helps fill you up and provides a host of nutrients including six grams of protein and three grams of fiber per serving. These high levels of protein help you eat less at your meal, and feel full longer. If you’re not ready to dive right into straight quinoa, mix it with vegetables and olive oil to create a healthy stir fry, until you are accustomed to the different taste and texture quinoa provides over rice.

Play around and be creative with your food swaps. Try adding other healthy ingredients to make unique dishes of your own filled with healthy low fat foods. These simple food swaps will not greatly affect the flavor of many of the foods that you have come to love, and are a simple way to lose weight without even trying. They provide ways to consume a healthier diet while still enjoying the foods that you love.