I am always looking for a healthy alternative to my favorite foods. I am not always perfect, but I try and commit to eating healthy 80% of the time. There are easy, healthy alternatives to swap out with your not so healthy favorites. Challenge yourself to swap out a one item at a time. This way it won’t seem so drastic, over time you’ll be eating more healthy without putting too much effort into, and it won’t seem like your giving up all your favorites.
5 Healthy Alternatives For Your Favorite Foods
Coconut Sugar Instead Of Granulated Sugar or Brown Sugar
According to Dr. Axe, “calorie for calorie, coconut sugar is about equal to regular granulated sugar.”
“Coconut sugar holds trace amounts of iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, some short chain fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants, and a fiber known as inulin, making it healthier than table sugar.”
“Coconut sugar can be used the same as you would use regular sugar., but you may want to start with half the amount until the desired sweetness is reached.”
This is my favorite brand of coconut sugar.
Quinoa instead of White Rice
Quinoa provides essential nutrients like amino acids and vitamins. Additionally, quinoa has 150% more fiber and 100% more protein. For your health quinoa is the better choice. The nutrition and health benefits it provides are far greater than what you could get from white rice.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and Balsamic Vinegar instead of Ranch Dressing
According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”Balsamic vinegar and olive oil both contain antioxidants that may lower your risk of cardiovascular disease; otherwise, they have different nutritional strengths. Olive oil is an excellent source of vitamins K and E, as well as healthy unsaturated fats. Balsamic vinegar is low in calories and may help lower your blood sugar.
Swapping out your traditional salad dressing for oil and vinegar can be tough, but after a few times, it’s hard to go back to Ranch. Most premade dressing you buy at the grocery stores contain over 20 ingredients, some which sound like a science experiment. Skip the premade dressing and try EVOO and Vinegar get a lot of health benefits.
Coconut Oil instead of Vegetable Oil
Coconut oil is the best oil you can use for cooking because it can resist heat-induced damage, so you can avoid eating oxidized fats. Its other benefits include:
- Oral Health: Using coconut oil (known as oil pulling) can help rid of bacteria, viruses and food debris between your teeth.
- Good Digestion: It has antimicrobial compounds that can help eliminate harmful bacteria in your digestive tract.
- Energy Boost: When coconut oil is digested and converted into energy by your liver.
- Weight Management: It can stimulate your metabolism and helps you shed body fat.
- Cardiovascular Health: Helps lower harmful cholesterol levels but increased the good.
See The Healthiest Alternatives to Cooking Oil by Dr. Mercola for the entire article.
Almond Butter instead of Peanut Butter
Both peanut and almond butter are good sources of the heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. However, almond butter is a slightly better source with 5 grams per tablespoon versus 3.3 grams-per-tablespoon in peanut butter. When part of a healthy diet, foods rich in monounsaturated fats may help lower blood cholesterol levels, according to the American Heart Association.
Almond Butter is a better source of fiber and Vit E., But after comparing all the benefits of almond butter to peanut butter, it seems you that you need to make almond butter a staple in your pantry. See the complete comparison at The Benefits of Almond Butter Vs. Peanut Butter by Jill Corleone, RDN, LD.