It certainly is important to eat a healthy, balanced diet, even though sometimes we cannot resist that delectable chocolate chip cookie, or a few crisp and salty potato chips. Still, a smidgen of cheating now and then actually helps us stay on track with our diet as a whole, experts say. When it comes to the bulk of what we eat, it never hurts to reevaluate, and see if there are healthier alternatives to the common foods we generally consume, for overall cleaner eating. Here are some foods you can substitute for those normally eaten, which have more of the good stuff our body needs, and less of the bad. Brown rice is pretty healthy, and on the tip of everyone’s tongue, particularly when it comes time to order and you want a healthier alternative to white rice. But at home, you can go one step further. Save 86 calories by eating 100 g. of cauliflower rice, rather than the same amount of brown. It is not only a synch to make, it’s delicious too. You will consume 18 g. less carbs, .6 g. less fat, and cauliflower is very healthy, packed with so many vitamins and minerals, dieticians call it a super food.
Most people know about substituting regular spaghetti with spaghetti squash (for 100 g. servings of each, you save 127 calories and 24 g. of carbs), and white bread for whole grain (saves over 117 calories, 13 g. of carbs per slice). But few consider the common white potato. Sweet potatoes are vitamin rich, particularly in vitamin A which is great for the skin, and the immune system. This swap saves 49 calories and 11 g. of carbs. Many of the aforementioned are dinner items. But it’s often in the spreads and dressings that we trip up. For instance, who doesn’t love the smooth, creaminess of mayo on their sandwich? It’s so unhealthy though. The only thing comparable is a smear of mashed avocado. For 1 tbsp. of mayonnaise, substitute 1 tbsp. of avocado mash. You’ll save 72 calories this way, 7.9 g. of fat, but add 1.2 g. of carbs. The trouble oftentimes is with fat. You just need to select the good ones. According to the Journal of Nutrition, 1 tbsp. of coconut oil per day reduces body fat by giving the metabolism a boost. Why not replace butter, margarine, and other oils for this healthy alternative? You will reap the benefits, and save your heart. There are two types of coconut oil, refined and unrefined. If you choose to fry at a high temperature, select the refined variety as it has a higher smoking point. This is the temperature in which oil begins to burn. You want a high smoking point when frying at high temperature. Why not take advantage of these substitutes? Just a few simple switches can mean a big difference in how you look and feel.