By Lisa Pecos
Is eating healthy one of your New Year’s resolution? Eating healthy can be daunting, but these 5 simple swaps will help. Not only are they easy changes to make, but they’re also delicious so you don’t feel deprived and ditch your resolution before January is even done.
Cauliflower instead of Potatoes and Rice
Believe it or not, swapping out potatoes with cauliflower works in pretty much all of your favourite potato dishes, from mashed potatoes to potato salad! Potatoes may have their merit when it comes to nutrition, but cauliflower is higher in vitamin C and doesn’t raise blood glucose levels the way potatoes and other starchy carbs can. Speaking of starchy carbs; rice can be substituted with cauliflower, too. Pick up riced cauliflower in the frozen foods aisle or use a food processor to chop it up into a rice-like consistency. (If French fries are your potatoes dish of choice, then sweet potatoes, which are high in antioxidants, are the better way to go.)
Avocado instead of Mayo and Butter
The creaminess of avocado makes it perfect for everything from toast sandwiches to chicken and tuna salad. Mash it with a fork or in a food processor for a buttery-smooth consistency that spreads beautifully on bread or adds creaminess to other recipes. It’s even creamy enough to combine with cocoa powder and natural sweetener to make chocolate pudding!
Coconut Water instead of Sports Drink and Juice
The next time you work out, reach for coconut water to quench your thirst and replenish electrolytes. This natural source of potassium is sweet and refreshing without the sugar, sodium and high calories found in sports drinks and other sweetened beverages.
Pure Maple Syrup or Raw Honey instead of Refined White Sugar
Refined white sugar has been linked to obesity as well as several diseases. A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that people who get 25 percent or more of their calories from sugar are two times more likely to die from heart disease, regardless of their age, activity level and weight. Sweetening your coffee and tea naturally with pure maple syrup or raw honey can help cut down the amount of sugar you consume in a day while also offering you other benefits, such as antioxidants and zinc, which can help reduce the risk of infection and disease.
Spaghetti Squash instead of Pasta
This particular healthy food swap has gained some serious popularity in recent years and, rightfully so, given how delicious and healthy it is! The internet is full of great recipes that use spaghetti squash in place of pasta, including popular favorites like mac and cheese and spaghetti and meatballs. Spaghetti squash is low in fat, high in antioxidants and vitamins, and high in fiber.
A Few Extra Tips
Try these quick and easy bonus tips to make healthier eating even easier:
- Pick up a vegetable spiralizer to make it easier for you to swap out everything from pasta to chips with healthy veggies. These inexpensive gadgets let you make “noodles” from zucchini and other vegetables, or slice them and other veggies, like beets and sweet potatoes, into thin “chips” that you can season and bake in the oven.
- Make healthy dips using Greek yogurt and seasoning packets from the grocery store. Having healthy dips and chopped vegetables ready to eat in the fridge makes you less likely to snack on junk food.
Just a few simple swaps and you’ll be enjoying healthy eating in no time!