Small Daily Food Swaps Can Net Huge Results
| 3 min read
When you’re trying to eat better, it can be hard to put your “best fork forward” day in and day out. Making perfect food choices every single minute from morning to night can feel overwhelming (and happens to be a good way to fail at whatever diet you’re trying to stick to).
Instead of trying to overhaul your entire way of eating, work on making smaller healthy food choices throughout your day. They might not seem like they’d do much on their own, but together, they add up to a new way of eating that will help you be healthier and happier. In honor of National Nutrition Month, follow these simple swaps and see how easy eating healthy can be:
Your usual drink: a café latte
Replacement idea: coffee with a splash of milk
Since a latte is mostly milk, it can contain up to 220 calories and 35% of your saturated fat for the day, depending on the milk you use. By going with a simple cup of coffee (black coffee has no calories) and pouring in a dash of milk, you’ll get your caffeine boost with a fraction of the calories and fat. If you find yourself craving a sweeter coffee drink, skip the sugary syrups and sprinkle on some ground cinnamon.
You usually eat: a deli meat sandwich
Replacement idea: avocado toast
Cold cuts are a lunchtime classic, but deli meat can be overloaded with sodium and preservatives. In addition, most people top their sandwiches with cheese and mayonnaise, sending the calories and saturated fat amounts higher and higher. The simple swap of meat for sliced avocado can switch your afternoon meal to one filled with heart-healthy fats, fiber, potassium and vitamins. Just toast a slice of multigrain bread and spread on smashed avocado (don’t go overboard—avocado can have a lot of calories since it’s so full of fat). Top with a little hummus (this adds protein), red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
You usually snack on: pretzels
Replacement idea: popcorn
Pretzels might be fat-free, but that doesn’t make them an ideal snack. Just a handful of medium pretzels can contain more than 70% of your daily sodium intake. Thankfully, you can turn to fiber-filled popcorn instead. These bagged options contain less sodium than pretzels and have no artificial flavors or sweeteners. You can also make it yourself! Just pop a bag of plain kernels in the microwave and sprinkle on a little olive oil, freshly ground pepper and garlic powder. If you’d like to make it on stovetop, this step-by-step guide shows how to get the perfect pop without burning your snack or pan.
You usually eat: packaged pasta
Replacement idea: spaghetti squash
Noodles tend to have less nutrition—especially ones made with white flour, while ramping carbohydrate intake. But since the best part of a pasta dish is the sauce, swap out the noodles for cooked spaghetti squash! You’ll add some fiber and good nutrition to your plate while cutting way down on the calories. Check out these recipes to get started.
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Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker