Bite This, Not That: 4 Easy Healthy Food Swaps

Dr. Angela Seabright
Lindsay Norrod

| 3 min read

food swaps
Food is something to be enjoyed and it can be tough to make the healthier choice when we are faced with so many tempting things in everyday life. Plus, giving up something completely may not always be realistic for us to do. Trying to focus on small changes to our eating habits may be more effective to stick with, in the long term.
If you want to save some calories throughout the day, think about making a few substitutions to the foods you eat. The idea is everything in moderation so that you can still enjoy your favorite foods but with a healthier twist. And, you may even surprise yourself and not miss the old things as much as you thought.
In honor of this month’s National Nutrition Month theme “Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle”, we present Bite This, Not That, a take on the popular book series Eat This, Not That.
Bite This
Not That
A whole grain cereal: This will give you the crunch you’re looking for in something like a yogurt parfait but saves big time on the calories. A 1 cup serving of Original Cheerios is only 100 calories so you’re getting double the crunch for half the calories. Store bought granola: You’ll get extra calories from the added sugar and fat. A ½ cup serving of Nature Valley Protein Crunch Granola gives you 210 calories. A plain oatmeal packet: A packet of the Quaker Original Instant Oatmeal is only 100 calories. It is still convenient coming from a packet and if you add your own berries you can check off a serving of fruit for the day. Flavored oatmeal packets: Sure it may taste pretty good but with the added sugar to give it that flavor, you’re getting unneeded calories. One packet of the Quaker Maple and Brown Sugar oatmeal is 160 calories. Chips with salsa: You’ll still get to enjoy the chips as a snack but the same serving size from the Pace Chunky Salsa is only 10 calories. Feel free to splurge a bit more with this snack. Chips with guacamole: Sure, avocados are a healthy fat which can be good in moderation but they still have calories and how many of us are only eating the recommended 2 tablespoon serving size? This serving from Sabra Classic Guacamole runs you 45 calories. Low-fat mayo: A one-tablespoon serving of Hellman’s Light Mayo is 35 calories and 3.5 grams of fat. If you really want to save, try using mustard instead. One teaspoon of French’s Mustard is 0 calories and 0 grams of fat. Regular mayo on your sandwich or burger: It tastes pretty good but a 1 tablespoon serving of Hellman’s Mayo is 90 calories and 10 grams of fat.
You can see that it’s not about making big changes to your diet but making small swaps to save some calories, extra fat, and added sugar. If you can’t make some of these suggestions, think of other ways to make your meal or snack a little healthier. Try eating a little less than what you normally would. Put mayo on only one slice of your sandwich bread. Get the salad dressing on the side so you can use a little less. Split your fries with a friend when eating out. Add some veggies to your scrambled egg instead of the cheese. Before you know it you will have saved some big calories for the day!
If you don’t like the options above, be sure to check out this video about enjoying the taste of eating right!
Photo credit: Bobbi Bowers

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