Healthy Swaps for 7 of Your Favorite Indulgent Foods
Think about it, when someone tells you that you can’t eat something, of course this is going to make you want to eat it even more! Be ready next time a craving hits and learn below of great substitutes for your favorite indulgent foods. Eventually you won’t crave unhealthy foods as much because once you cut them out, your body starts to prefer higher nutritional value foods. But in the meantime, it’s good to know some healthy swaps for unhealthy favorites.
Below lists healthy swaps for 7 favorite indulgences:
1. Skip: French fries
Sorry, but there is definitely nothing good about fried anything. Fries are bad by themselves, and when you pair them with a highly processed and high sugar condiment such as ketchup, talk about diet disaster, yikes!
Substitute in: Baked sweet potato fries
Sweet potatoes have more flavor and also more antioxidants and vitamins compared to white potatoes. Baking the sweet potato is also much healthier compared to frying. The oil used for frying is generally not healthy and will only be adding bad fats and extra empty calories.
2. Skip: Rice
White rice has zero fiber and has been stripped of basically all nutritional value. Brown rice is not far behind with only a couple more grams of fiber compared to white. DID YOU KNOW – one sushi roll has about 1 cup of rice, which is equivalent to three servings of carbs.
Substitute in: Cauliflower rice
Making “rice” out of cauliflower is brilliant! You still get the crunchy texture and feel of rice, but without all of the carbohydrates and empty calories. You can literally eat as much cauliflower rice you want, we guarantee eating cauliflower rice will not make you fat! Try making sushi at home with this sushi mat and try using cauliflower rice next time!
3. Skip This: Thick crust pizza
Thick crust pizza includes traditional pan crust pizza, deep dish, and Sicilian style pizza. All have thick crusts meaning more bread, carbs, and tons of empty calories – and that’s without the toppings! You basically take one bite and that’s a serving 😉
Substitute for: Flatbread or thin crust pizza
Instead, really enjoy your food and eat more of it when you eat flatbread pizza or any type of thin crust pizza. You are still getting all of the ingredients but cutting back on a few servings of dough as well as cutting back on tons of carbs and empty calories.
4. Skip This: milk chocolate
Cocoa is the part of chocolate that makes it good for you due to the high amount of flavonoids it contains. Flavonoids act like antioxidants to fight off cellular damage in your body. Milk chocolate has a very low amount of cocoa that is often diluted with cream and sugar.
Substitute for: Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is the best choice in terms of chocolate due to its high amount of flavonoids. Go for dark chocolate that is made up of at least 70% of cocoa to benefit from the antioxidant power of the flavonoids. Also note that the greater the percentage of cocoa, the lower the sugar content.
5. Skip This: Skim milk
Does anyone think that skim milk actually tastes good? 😉 Skim milk is surprisingly high in sugar (about 12 grams per cup), which is just about half as much as the total amount of sugar you should consume in one day.
Substitute for: Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Go for unsweetened vanilla almond milk (less than 1 gram of sugar) which has greater flavor from the almonds and the vanilla. Yum! Almond milk is always lactose free, dairy free, and antibiotic free so you don’t have to worry about this type of milk messing with your stomach.
6. Skip This: Orange Juice
Orange juice is basically sugar and water with an orange taste, and one cup has around 20 grams of sugar – almost the total amount of sugar you should consume in one day!
Substitute for: An Orange
If you are really craving that orange flavor, eat the orange. It will leave you more satisfied compared to drinking the juice. If you are thirsty then drink a glass of water 🙂 Eating a whole food is always better than drinking its juice. When you only drink the juice you miss out on the nutrients and fiber that comes from the actual food itself.
7. Skip This: Pasta noodles
Pasta is super high in carbohydrates and low in nutrients, and most individuals eat double or triple what a serving should really be. It’s very easy to overeat pasta because one serving will generally not fill you up, which makes you eat more and more. Talk about a diet killer.
Substitute for: Zucchini noodles
Zucchini noodles taste pretty darn close to traditional noodles, except they don’t make you feel tired and don’t flood your body with carbohydrates and calories! Invest in a spiralizer, which is the device that makes noodles out of zucchini, and it will become one of your most favorite kitchen gadgets! You can eat the noodles raw, cook on the stove, or bake in the oven – all are great choices! Get your handheld spiralizer HERE!
Try one or more of the above next time you have a craving!
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy-league trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab
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