How to make healthier food swaps

If you’re trying to make some healthier food choices and are feeling overwhelmed, it can help to start by choosing slightly healthier alternatives. Small changes can make a big difference overall to your diet. So with that in mind, here’s our list of 50 healthier food swaps that you can incorporate into your diet plan.

There are still favourites like pizza on our list! Because while pizza can never really be classed as a healthy food – there are ways to make it healthier. For example, choosing a version that has slightly less calories – such as one with a thinner crust, is a step in the right direction. Whether you’re making brunch choices at your local café, ordering takeaway food, or browsing the supermarket aisles, we’ve recommended swaps that:

  • increase the nutritional value of the meals you eat
  • don’t contain as many calories (useful if you’re trying to manage your weight)
  • may be more beneficial to your long-term health

50 healthier swaps

1. Meat in stews – swap for lentils

2. Sour cream – swap for low-fat Greek yoghurt or low fat crème fraiche

3. Crisps – swap for unsalted popcorn

4. Full-fat cheddar – swap for low-fat cottage cheese or a low-fat cheddar

5. Milk chocolate bar – swap for dark chocolate

6. Mayonnaise – swap for half an avocado or make your own dressing using olive oil, herbs and spices

7. Fruit juice – swap for a piece/portion of whole fruit or have half fruit juice and half water.

8. Sunflower oil – swap for rapeseed oil in cooking.

9. Apple pie – swap for stewed apple with oat crumble

10. Potato – swap for sweet potato

11. Chocolate biscuit – swap for a homemade muesli slice

12. Two-minute noodles – swap for thin rice noodles

13. Full-fat latte – swap for skinny latte or white Americano

14. Chicken wings or drumsticks – swap for skinless chicken breast

15. Thick-crust takeaway pizza – swap for thin-crust pizza

16. Soy sauce – swap for reduced-salt soy sauce

17. Salami – swap for turkey or chicken breast

18. Chocolate milkshake – swap for low-fat chocolate milkshake

19. Frozen fish in breadcrumbs – swap for fresh or frozen fish

20. Salted nuts – swap for unsalted nuts such as almonds, walnuts

21. Jam for smashed berries or mashed banana with a sprinkling of cinnamon

22. Tempura – swap for raw fish or veggie sushi roll

23. Sugary cereal – swap for porridge, wholegrain wheat cereal, or wholemeal toast with peanut butter

24. Creamy pasta sauces – swap for tomato-based sauces or pesto

25. Ice lollies – swap for frozen grapes

26. Butter – swap for olive oil-based spread or avocado spread

27. Ice cream – swap for a frozen blended banana

28. Cheese and biscuits – swap for crudités (vegetable sticks such as carrots, celery, peppers) and a dip such as low-fat humus or salsa

29. Caesar salad – swap for a build-your-own garden salad

30. French fries – swap for oven-baked potato wedges or sweet potato wedges

31. Chocolate mousse – swap for pudding made with blended avocado and banana with cocoa powder and vanilla extract

32. Creamy salad dressing – swap for olive oil and balsamic vinegar

33. Bacon and fried egg – swap for poached eggs

34. White rice – swap for whole barley or brown rice

35. Coconut milk – swap for light coconut milk or light evaporated milk with coconut essence

36. Spring rolls – swap for rice paper rolls

37. Sweet chilli sauce – swap for chilli lime vinaigrette dressing

38. Bacon – swap for smoked salmon

39. Blueberry muffin – swap for one slice of raisin toast

40. Gyoza (Japanese dumplings) entrée – swap for edamame, which are a type of soy bean

41. Pretzels – swap for salt and vinegar rice crackers

42. Carbonated drinks – swap for diet or zero carbonated drinks, no added sugar squash or sparkling or still water

43. Salt – swap for herbs and spices

44. Tinned fish in brine – swap for tinned fish in spring water such as mackerel, salmon and sardines

45. Hot chocolate – swap for warm, low-fat milk with cinnamon

46. Pancakes with lemon and sugar – swap for pancakes served with fresh fruit

47. Quiche – swap for omelette or frittata

48. Hamburger – swap for grilled chicken salad sandwich or wrap

49. Pasta – swap for courgette ribbons or aubergine sheets.

50. Sweets – swap for fresh dates or a handful of fruit such as grapes or strawberries

Try to make these easy, healthy swaps in your everyday life and see how you feel!

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You don’t have to overhaul your whole diet to eat healthier. Sometimes all it takes are a few simple tweaks, some basic nutrition know-how and a willingness to change. These five easy tips (recipes included!) are a great place to start.

Achieving your “get healthy” goal just got a whole lot easier. No gimmicks, no big outlay of money or time. Just some simple, everyday changes you can make to your eating habits right now, along with tasty, nutritious recipes. Give the tips below a try-starting with dinner tonight.

1. Swap Out: Refined Grains

Swap In: Whole Grains

At least half of our total daily grains should come from whole grains, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Makes sense: People who eat plenty of whole grains tend to be leaner and have a lower risk of heart disease than those who don’t. What’s more, whole grains-like brown rice, oats, quinoa and bulgur-have their bran intact, so they have more fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and other important nutrients.

Shopping for whole grains can be tricky, so don’t be fooled. Bread or crackers labeled “multi-grain,” “stone-ground” or “100% wheat” may look healthy, but they can be made mostly from refined white flour. To be sure you’re getting whole grains, look for products with the whole grain listed at the top of the ingredients list.

2. Swap Out: Salt

Swap In: Herbs and Spices

Even if you don’t have high blood pressure, it’s still wise to watch your sodium-and most of us get way more than the recommended 2,300 mg (about 1 teaspoon of salt) a day. While not always a perfect replacement for salt, distracting your palate with chopped fresh or dried herbs and spices can help ease the transition to lower-salt cooking by waking up other flavors. Get creative with seasoning blends found in any seasoning aisle-just make sure they’re labeled “salt-free.” Not ready to skip salt completely? Try this: Don’t add salt if you can’t taste it. A little salt goes a longer way if you add it just before serving, so skip it while you’re cooking.

3. Swap Out: Farmed Atlantic Salmon

Swap In: Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon

Pictured Recipe: Honey-Garlic Salmon

Picture a salmon out in the wild, happily splashing in the waters off Alaska, eating bugs and plankton. Now picture a salmon raised in a fish farm, where it’s fed a highly processed, high-fat diet designed to produce bigger fish. Which fish would you rather eat? It’s not a tough choice: while there are an increasing number of farms providing healthier, more sustainable options, most farmed salmon still falls on Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch “avoid” list. Alaskan wild-caught salmon delivers more heart-healthy omega-3s per serving and has fewer calories than farmed salmon. It also has fewer pollutants and contaminants, and is more sustainable. Can’t find it fresh or frozen? Try it canned.

4. Swap Out: Processed Meats

Swap In: Lean Meats and Plant-Based Protein

Remember those mystery-meat lunches served up in the school cafeteria? You probably knew back then that they weren’t all that good for you, and research confirms it. In 2015, the World Health Organization issued a serious warning: eating processed meats like hot dogs, sausage, corned beef, bologna and bacon can raise the risk of colon cancer, and may be linked to prostate and pancreatic cancer as well. We’re not saying you need to cut it out completely, but if your go-to lunch is a BLT or a Reuben, it’s time to cut back. Try canned tuna or salmon instead, or turkey or chicken breast without the skin. Sneak in more plant-based proteins like hummus, peanut butter and black beans-they’re high in fiber, lower in calories and deliver a ton of health benefits. One 2017 study shows that switching out just one or two servings of meat a day for plant-based protein can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Bonus: It’s cheaper, too.

5. Swap Out: Milk Chocolate

Swap In: Dark Chocolate

Here’s an easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth and boost your health: nibble on a little dark chocolate every day. It’s rich in flavanols, chemicals researchers have found can improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation. Other studies suggest dark chocolate may help prevent diabetes by increasing sensitivity to insulin. It’s also high in important minerals like magnesium, iron, copper, zinc and phosphorus. Choose varieties with at least 70 percent cocoa-the higher the percentage, the higher the antioxidants and other nutrients. Go easy, though-chocolate is high in sugar, fat and calories, so a little goes a long way.

Good without the guilt.

Yes, you can have your cake (or other baked treat) and eat it too, with a lot less guilt. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to indulge in your favorite sweet treat with a couple of ingredient swaps to bump up the nutritional profile in the recipes. I’ll show you how to choose more nutritious alternatives to conventional sugar and flour, and point you to recipes to try.

Natural Sugar Alternatives

A simple way to healthy up treats is by swapping out white sugar with natural sweeteners. Natural sweeteners contain extra vitamins and minerals that are lacking in processed sugar. Alternative sweeteners like coconut sugar, dates, honey, maple syrup, and stevia can easily be used as replacements for white sugar. The unique flavors of these natural sweeteners can complement other ingredients in your recipe and most can be found at your neighborhood grocery store. Some also are low glycemic, making them ideal for those with blood sugar issues. Here’s a look at some sweet options, and how to use them:

  • Coconut sugar: High in B vitamins and high mineral content (potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron) and a low glycemic food. Substitute one for one with white sugar.
  • Dates Dates contain dietary fiber, iron, potassium, A, B and K vitamins. Substitute one cup date puree (puree one cup pitted dates with 1/2-1 cup hot water into a thick paste) for one cup of sugar.
  • Honey: Full of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and selenium. Substitute 1/2 cup honey for one cup of sugar, reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup, and increase the baking soda by 1/4 teaspoon. When baking with honey, lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees to avoid over browning.
  • Maple Syrup: A good source of zinc and manganese. Substitute 3/4 cup maple syrup for one cup of sugar and reduce by three tablespoons the other liquid content in the recipe for each cup of syrup used.
  • Stevia: Stevia: A naturally sweet herb. Follow package directions for substitution guidelines.

Recipes to try:

Paleo Salted Gingerbread Cookies are made with almond meal, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.

Whole-Grain Chocolate Cake is made with oat flour and spelt flour, and sweetened with coconut sugar.

Maple Shortbread Cookies are sweetened with maple syrup.

Flour Alternatives

Another simple swap: Replacing all-purpose flour with whole grain flour. Studies have shown that whole grains help lower the risk of chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also contribute to body weight management.

There are many whole grain flours to choose from and they are excellent sources of minerals such as iron, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. They are also complex carbohydrates, unlike refined flour, which has lost much of its fiber content.

Start by incorporating whole grains in your baking by replacing a cup of all purpose flour with a cup of whole grain flour, then experiment with proportions until you find your perfect combo of whole grain to white. Some flours, like rye or barley flour, are better used in smaller amounts while flours like whole wheat pastry or spelt can be used interchangeably for white flour. Many can be purchased in bulk, so you can buy just a little as you ease your way into more nutritious and delicious, baking.

Healthy eating made easy.

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By: Rebecca Jacobs

Healthy food swaps are our jam — we believe that eating clean is all about balance and def doesn’t require deprivation. So, we’re breaking down our top eight simple healthy food swaps that anyone can make to start eating healthy right away.

8 Simple Healthy Food Swaps That Make Eating Clean Easy

How to make healthier food swaps

#1 Go Lower Carb For Breakfast

Breakfast can be tricky — we’re running around trying to get everything ready for the busy day that sometimes we may not even have time to eat. B

ut, if you can get a solid breakfast in to help set the tone for a healthy day, then you’ll be setting yourself up for some serious healthy eating success.

So, instead of carb-heavy, sugar breakfast options, aim for a higher protein meal with some healthy fat mixed in to keep your blood sugar levels in check and your energy levels high.

Here are some great healthy food swaps that will take breakfast to a new healthy and delicious level.

  • Egg muffins made with bell peppers, spinach, tomato, and some shredded cheddar cheese (use nutritional yeast for a dairy-free option!)
  • Two hard-boiled eggs served with ½ of an avocado drizzled with lemon juice and seasoned with pink Himalayan sea salt and pepper.
  • Smoothie made with berries, spinach, unsweetened almond milk, a drizzle of almond butter and raw honey, and a scoop of JS Health X FitOn protein powder.

#2 Sliced Bell Peppers & Hummus vs. Chips & Dip

Skip the salty chips and go for a crunchy and healthy food swap with some sliced bell peppers and hummus.

This is literally the perfect summertime snack since it’s light and is less likely to leave you with post-carb indulgence bloat that comes with those salty and sugary snacks.

Not a fan of bell peppers? Try some sliced cucumbers, carrots, or celery.

#3 Quinoa vs. Rice

Quinoa makes a super easy rice swap that actually comes with some impressive health benefits too. Quinoa is an awesome source of protein and fiber, and it’s gluten-free!

You’ll pack in about 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per 1 cup of cooked quinoa, so go ahead and use it in place of rice in your fav lunch or dinner recipes for a healthy food swap.

#4 Banana Nice Cream Bowl vs. Ice Cream

It’s during the hotter summer months that we all get a hankering for ice cream, and with this healthy food swap, you can still enjoy it (just a healthier way). Swap out the dairy-heavy ice cream and try making our favorite banana nice cream recipe below.

Chocolate Banana Nice Cream Bowl

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • ¼ cup almond, coconut or cashew milk
  • 2 tbsp raw unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • Shredded coconut and raw cacao nibs for serving

Add the bananas, dairy-free milk, cacao powder, and pure maple syrup to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

Split into two serving bowls and top with the shredded coconut and raw cacao nibs,

#5 Pure Maple Syrup vs. Refined Sugar

Swapping out sugar is one of those healthy food swaps we’ve heard about time and time again, but we’re here to acknowledge that it’s not always that easy. This is why we love to use delicious pure maple syrup as a natural sweetener in place of refined sugar.

While it should still be used in moderation, it comes with some additional benefits that plain old table sugar just couldn’t match up to.

Pure maple syrup happens to be a good source of important minerals like:

  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Manganese

So, use it in moderation in things like coffee, tea, and use in place of sugar in your favorite sweet treats for a healthier alternative.

Note: We’re talking pure maple syrup (like the real deal!) The pure varieties are often found in glass jars and can be found at most grocery stores.

#6 Real Fruit vs. Jam

Here’s another one of those healthy food swaps that’s not only healthier, but tastier too! Try using real fruit vs. jam to avoid any unnecessary added sugars or artificial ingredients.

For a tasty treat, try a slice of gluten-free bread with Kite Hill’s almond-based ricotta or cream cheese and some sliced strawberries (yum!)

#7 Avocado vs. Mayo

We love us some mayo too, but it’s not always the healthiest pick, and avocado makes a really tasty healthy food swap that packs in some added fiber and healthy fat.

Try swapping out mayo for sliced avocado on sandwiches or wraps.

Still missing that mayo? Try avocado oil mayonnaise instead.

#8 Sweet Potatoes vs. Fries

We can’t deny the fact that french fries are delish, but they are often fried in oil, overly salted, and not the healthiest pick.

Good news though — you can easily make sweet potato fries with just a few ingredients, and they taste pretty darn good.

Here’s how to make them.

Easy Sweet Potato Fries

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, washed and peeled
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • Sea salt to taste

Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the washed and peeled sweet potatoes into french fry strips.

Drizzle with the melted coconut oil, coating each fry and season with sea salt.

Bake for 15 minutes and then flip the fries.

Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the edges begin to crisp.

Healthy Eating Doesn’t Have to be Complicated

One of the most common misconceptions about healthy eating is that it’s complicated. But, these eight simple healthy food swaps prove that healthy eating can be simple and totally delicious.

Use these swaps to get your healthy eating on while still packing in tons of flavorful foods that you’ll actually be excited to enjoy.

How to make healthier food swaps

Lose the excess calories without missing out on your favorite foods.

Adopting healthier eating habits may be easier than you think. With a little know-how and some planning, you can provide your body with the nutrition it requires without giving up the foods you love.

When it comes to making healthier choices, one basic rule of thumb is to limit your consumption of processed foods. Chips, crackers, frozen entrees and the like tend to be higher in fat and sodium and lower in nutrients than similar items that you can make at home. Yes, home cooking might take a little more time, but knowing exactly what goes into the foods you eat makes it easier to stay on track, especially if you are trying to lose weight or lower your cholesterol.

Prepping more meals at home doesn’t have to be a chore. With forethought and planning, you can stock your fridge and pantry with healthy substitutions and start transforming the way you eat right away. Use these simple, smart and inexpensive food swaps to double-down on nutrients, cut out empty calories and even boost flavor.

1. Swap Evaporated Milk for Heavy Cream

One cup of heavy cream boasts a whopping 819 calories and 88 grams of fat. Keep that rich flavor but cut the calories in half by using one cup of evaporated skim milk instead.

2. Try Hummus on Your Sandwich

Instead of slathering mayonnaise on your lunchtime sandwich or wrap, try hummus instead. This tasty spread, made from chickpeas and tahini, will provide more protein and fiber with a fraction of the calories and just 2.7 grams of fat — compared to 20 grams — per two tablespoons.

3. When Baking, Use Applesauce

Instead of one cup of vegetable oil, use one cup of applesauce in baked goods, such as brownies or cakes, and cut out 1,925 calories and 218 grams of fat per recipe. If you’ve never tried this before, you’ll be surprised by how much moisture and texture applesauce provides. 1

4. Try a Side of Brown Rice

Healthy swaps don’t always mean lower calories. It’s also helpful to choose foods that are more nutrient-dense. Try eating brown rice instead of white rice to instantly increase your fiber and nutrient intake, so you stay full longer.

5. Hold the Yolk

Whole eggs are a good source of folate and vitamin B12. But if you’re looking to cut calories, two egg whites instead of a whole egg can save you 43 calories and 5 grams of fat while still delivering plenty of protein. Try this swap for breakfast or in any baked good or casserole that calls for whole eggs.

6. Use Wheat Flour

Although white and wheat grain flour have similar calorie counts, wheat grain flour is rich in vitamin B, riboflavin, iron, calcium, protein and other nutrients. 2 Consider choosing whole wheat over other options to take advantage of these perks and give your body an extra boost.

7. Eat the Fruit, Skip the Juice

Instead of drinking a glass of orange juice in the morning, try eating an actual orange instead. Juice has the sugar of fruit but doesn’t contain the fiber-filled pulp that helps to control insulin levels and keep you full. Plus, a glass of juice can have more than twice the amount of sugar and calories than a piece of fruit.

8. Fill Your Glass with H2O

Want a great way to cut calories and save money, too? Choose to drink water instead of soda. A 12-ounce sugary cola typically contains around 140 calories compared to zero calories from 12 ounces of water (flat or sparkling) with lemon slices. 3

Along with smart food choices and regular physical activity, access to health care, including preventive care, is key to living a long, healthy life. If you’re searching for a health plan, check out your options by using Covered California’s Shop and Compare tool today.

Good without the guilt.

Yes, you can have your cake (or other baked treat) and eat it too, with a lot less guilt. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to indulge in your favorite sweet treat with a couple of ingredient swaps to bump up the nutritional profile in the recipes. I’ll show you how to choose more nutritious alternatives to conventional sugar and flour, and point you to recipes to try.

Natural Sugar Alternatives

A simple way to healthy up treats is by swapping out white sugar with natural sweeteners. Natural sweeteners contain extra vitamins and minerals that are lacking in processed sugar. Alternative sweeteners like coconut sugar, dates, honey, maple syrup, and stevia can easily be used as replacements for white sugar. The unique flavors of these natural sweeteners can complement other ingredients in your recipe and most can be found at your neighborhood grocery store. Some also are low glycemic, making them ideal for those with blood sugar issues. Here’s a look at some sweet options, and how to use them:

  • Coconut sugar: High in B vitamins and high mineral content (potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron) and a low glycemic food. Substitute one for one with white sugar.
  • Dates Dates contain dietary fiber, iron, potassium, A, B and K vitamins. Substitute one cup date puree (puree one cup pitted dates with 1/2-1 cup hot water into a thick paste) for one cup of sugar.
  • Honey: Full of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and selenium. Substitute 1/2 cup honey for one cup of sugar, reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup, and increase the baking soda by 1/4 teaspoon. When baking with honey, lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees to avoid over browning.
  • Maple Syrup: A good source of zinc and manganese. Substitute 3/4 cup maple syrup for one cup of sugar and reduce by three tablespoons the other liquid content in the recipe for each cup of syrup used.
  • Stevia: Stevia: A naturally sweet herb. Follow package directions for substitution guidelines.

Recipes to try:

Paleo Salted Gingerbread Cookies are made with almond meal, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.

Whole-Grain Chocolate Cake is made with oat flour and spelt flour, and sweetened with coconut sugar.

Maple Shortbread Cookies are sweetened with maple syrup.

Flour Alternatives

Another simple swap: Replacing all-purpose flour with whole grain flour. Studies have shown that whole grains help lower the risk of chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also contribute to body weight management.

There are many whole grain flours to choose from and they are excellent sources of minerals such as iron, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. They are also complex carbohydrates, unlike refined flour, which has lost much of its fiber content.

Start by incorporating whole grains in your baking by replacing a cup of all purpose flour with a cup of whole grain flour, then experiment with proportions until you find your perfect combo of whole grain to white. Some flours, like rye or barley flour, are better used in smaller amounts while flours like whole wheat pastry or spelt can be used interchangeably for white flour. Many can be purchased in bulk, so you can buy just a little as you ease your way into more nutritious and delicious, baking.

How to make healthier food swaps

Becoming more heart-healthy doesn’t happen in one day. The status of your heart health is dependent on an entire lifetime of choices and other factors, including your genetics or family history. Regardless if you already have pre-existing heart conditions or you’re simply worried about your future, everyone can make simple dietary changes starting today.

A truly heart-healthy lifestyle develops from gradual steps over time. In this post, we want to share some easy food swaps to make your meals more heart-healthy.

Heart-Healthy Food Swaps

1. Swap canned vegetables with fresh vegetables

Canned foods tend to have lots of sodium. Eating too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and fluid buildup ( 1 ). Instead of pouring out a can of green beans, choose fresh or frozen vegetables for less sodium. Steam or microwave plain vegetables and season with black pepper, olive oil, and herbs.

2. Swap red meat with fish

Not only is red meat associated with greater risk of heart disease, but fish, especially fatty fish, work against heart disease ( 2 , 3 ). Salmon, canned light tuna, and trout are examples of fatty fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids. Adequate daily intake of Omega-3s may help reduce inflammation and improve heart health biomarkers ( 4 ).

3. Swap whole milk with skim

Cut back on unhealthy saturated fat when you switch out full fat milk, yogurt, and cheese with skim or lowfat versions. Aside from less fat, skim milk has less calories and the same amount of protein as whole milk.

4. Swap fried food with grilled

The way you cook your foods can also affect its nutrition. Deep fried and breaded foods have lots more calories and fat than foods that are unbreaded and grilled. Other heart-healthy cooking methods include sautéing, poaching, baking, and steaming. If you grill your chicken breast rather than fry it, you’re doing your heart a favor.

5. Swap canned fruit with fresh fruit

Think of canned fruit as a dessert. Canned fruit has less fiber and is often canned in juice or syrup, adding an enormous amount of sugar. Choose fresh or plain, frozen fruit most often. Fresh fruit has less calories, less sugar, and more fiber than canned fruit, which is good for weight management.

6. Swap chips with popcorn

Here’s one of the best heart-healthy switches out there. Instead of fried potato chips, get some crunch with plain, air-popped popcorn. Not only is popcorn very low in calories (30 calories per 1 cup popped), but it also has fiber ( 5 ). Controlling your calorie intake while increasing your fiber intake is extremely important for supporting your heart health.

Healthy Food Swaps to Standard Meals

The goal of this 1-day meal plan is to show you how easy it is to make a few food swaps for healthier meals.

How to make healthier food swaps

Breakfast

¾ cup whole grain cereal, unsweetened (instead of sweetened cereal)

½ cup skim milk (instead of whole milk)

½ cup plain tropical fruit medley, from frozen or fresh (instead of canned tropical fruit)

Optional: coffee with skim milk (instead of whole milk), green tea with lemon (instead of honey)

Lunch

6 oz salmon filet, shredded for salmon tacos (instead of beef tacos)

1 whole grain tortilla (instead of white flour tortilla)

½ cup dark green leafies, shredded (instead of lettuce; for a vitamin boost)

1 dollop nonfat, plain Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream)

1/8 th an avocado, sliced for topping (instead of cheddar cheese)

1 glass water (instead of juice)

Dinner

1 chicken breast, grilled (instead of fried chicken)

½ cup roasted potatoes with skin, baked in olive oil (instead of French fries)

1 cup side salad with 1 Tbsp dressing (instead of canned corn or green beans)

1 glass water (instead of soda)

Snacks & Dessert

1 cup air-popped popcorn (instead of potato chips)

1 small peach (instead of canned peaches)

As you can see from the meal plan above, healthy switches don’t have to change up your whole meal. Sometimes, just preparing the food in a different way automatically makes it healthier to eat. Need more heart-healthy inspiration? Check out our collection of easy, healthy recipes .

This article is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as or substituted for medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health care provider with any questions about your health or a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have read on the internet.

How to make healthier food swaps

How to make healthier food swaps

How to make healthier food swaps

Do you have cravings you just can’t resist? We all do, but with some strategic planning, you can stick to your diet while also satisfying that craving for sweet or salty foods. The secret is keeping healthy swaps in your pantry and refrigerator. These are my 25 favorite food swaps that will quickly make your diet healthier so you can lose weight and reach your fitness goals.

Healthy food swaps

  1. Keep the swap in the same food family.
  2. Swap food with the same textures.
  3. Look for foods with fewer calories.
  4. Grab foods that have fiber and protein.

First, keep the swap in the same food family. So, if you crave sweets, grab dates. They’re sweet and taste like candy, but they’re healthy. You have to try this awesome no-bake date brownie recipe.

Also, keep the texture the same. So, if you like the crunch of potato chips, swap them for pickles! They’re both salty so you’re still giving your tastebuds what they want while still maintaining your diet.

Think ahead. If you’re a gardener in the summer, grab those extra cucumbers and make your own fresh, pickles. They’re delicious. All you need is vinegar, salt, and garlic. They’re so much better than store-bought pickles. Fresh and healthy!

The food swap should not only be healthier, but it should also have fewer calories and be packed with good nutrients. Try to eat raw vegetables or fresh foods rather than boxed, canned, or bagged food. Usually, those are processed.

How to make healthier food swaps

Finally, eat food high in fiber and protein. That will help you keep your portions under control because you’ll feel full longer. Chia pudding and smoothies are perfect for this.

Smoothies are my go-to snack. You can prep these ahead of time in the freezer so all you need to do is add liquid and blend. Or, make them with fresh fruits and vegetables. They fill you up and are a perfect late-afternoon snack so you eat fewer snacks and eat less at dinner.

Here are some tips for a perfect smoothie, without any lumps, plenty of fiber and greens!

Snack swaps

Skip this: Try this:
Pizza Deli roll-ups
High fat cheese Greek yogurt & hummus
Cookies Berries
Candy Frozen grapes
Ice cream Chia pudding
Pretzels & chips Popcorn or pickles
Cakes & baked goods Fresh vegetables, fruit and dried fruit

Pantry swaps

Making these healthy swaps starts with a stocked-pantry. These are great foods to add to your grocery list.

Before you stock-up on these healthy items, get rid of all the foods in your pantry that make it hard to stick with your diet. If you don’t want to throw them away, because after all, that’s wasteful, donate them to a local charity if unopened.

If you shouldn’t be eating something, don’t have it in your house.

Skip this: Try this:
White rice Quinoa
Soda (regular and sugar-free) Green tea, filtered water
Vegetable oil Coconut oil
Croutons Almonds
Flour Coconut flour
Sugar Stevia
Chocolate chips Cacao nibs
Bread crumbs Chia seeds
Salt Himalayan Crystal Salt
Processed peanut butter Almond butter

Refrigerator swaps

It’s not just your cupboards, but your refrigerator too.

“If you keep good food in your fridge, you eat good food” – Errick McAdams

Skip this: Try this:
Mayonnaise Mustard
Sour cream Greek yogurt
Iceberg lettuce Romaine lettuce
Ranch dressing Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
Sports drinks Coconut water
Juices Water
Milk Almond milk
Commercial salad dressings Salsa, guacamole, mustard

Healthy eating requires a plan. If you’re just winging it and trying to eat healthy on the go, you’ll likely struggle.

If you want more recipes and meal planning ideas, get my free plan guide!

What food swaps are you going to make in your home?