Replace This With That
There are an endless number of substitutions or replacements that you can make in your daily meals to cut down on your fat, sugar and carbohydrates while increasing your protein and nutrient intake! While I have only listed a few, in the grand scheme of things, you can make substitutions on your own by looking at the nutritional information on the foods that you are eating!
White Pasta with Whole-wheat Pasta
Whole-wheat pasta has a higher fiber content and almost 50 fewer calories per serving, depending on the brand. Spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles can be used as well for an even lower carbohydrate substitute.
White Bread for Whole-wheat Bread
Much like pasta, whole-wheat offers more nutrients than white pasta.
Instant Oatmeal with Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Rolled oats are rolled into a flat grain, meanwhile steel cut oats are diced whole grains, therefore, maintaining more of their fiber rich shell, B vitamins, calcium and protein. They also lack the added sugar that usually comes with instant oatmeal.
Eggs with Egg Whites
Just one egg yolk has more than half of the recommended daily cholesterol for an average adult. In order to lessen the amount of cholesterol and increase your protein intake, you can replace whole eggs with egg whites. However, if you are using a few eggs in a recipe, I would recommend keeping a couple of the yolks because whole eggs can provide almost every essential vitamin and mineral our bodies need.
Iceberg Lettuce with Darker Greens
Iceberg is a very popular choice, especially amongst restaurant salads. Although, the darker the greens (arugula, romaine, spinach, or kale) the more nutrients there are, such as iron, vitamin C and antioxidants. In fact, iceberg is made up of almost 96% water and is much higher in sugar than other lettuces. Romaine has over 17 times the amount of vitamin A and over 4 times the amount of vitamin K.
Potato Chips with Popcorn
Popcorn is lower in calories and has about nine times less saturated fat and it is a great alternative to replace the oily, super-salty potato chips. Even baked potato chips, which are lower in fat, are high in calories and very low in nutrients. Since they are low in fiber, they will not fill you up, causing you to snack more than you should!
Ice Cream with Frozen Yogurt (or Banana Ice Cream)
Frozen yogurt can help cut down on the fat intake, or try the healthiest alternative: Guiltless Banana Ice Cream. Unfortunately, frozen yogurt is not as healthy as it is made out to be and contains about the same amount of calories. Be wary when adding toppings as they can greatly increase the calories.
French Fries with Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potatoes add on an extra dose of fiber and vitamins A, C, and B6. Also, it cuts out over 20 grams of carbohydrats per one-cup serving.
Sour Cream (or mayo) with Greek Yogurt
Using greek yogurt as a substitute cuts out about half of the fat and the calories and the texture is almost identical. Greek yogurt also provides a great amount of lean protein.
Soda with Seltzer or Tea
A can of soda contains over 8 teaspoons of sugar! Meanwhile, tea has no sugar but contains antioxidants! Seltzer water, which has the same fizzy texture, contains zero calories and is usually free of artificial sweeteners.
Latte with Americano
By cutting out the milk in your daily cup of joe, there are about 150 less calories.
White Wine with Red Wine
While white wine is usually lower in calories, red wine offers health benefits including cancer-fighting compounds. Red wine can also help to lower blood pressure, lower your risk of heart disease and stroke and help with weight loss!
Sports Drinks with Coconut Water
Both contain electrolytes necessary for long sporting events but coconut water has about half of the sugar and over 16 times the potassium in a sports drink.
Reduced Fat Peanut Butter with Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
Processed peanut butter contains hydrogenated vegetable oils and added sugars. While the label “reduced fat” sounds appealing, it also means more sugar and a long list of artificial additives.
Dark Meat with White Meat
White meat is lower in calories and fat and higher in protein and iron. Ground turkey or chicken is a great substitute for ground beef to cut down on the saturated fat and calories.
Butter or Oil (and sugar!) with Applesauce
Applesauce can be used in place of sugar without the extra calories and can be used in a number of recipes. It can also be used in place of butter or oil to cut down on fat.
Sugar with Applesauce or Stevia
Stevia is a natural sweetener, lower in calories and up to 300 times sweeter than sugar (swap with caution!).
White Rice with Brown Rice
When rice is processed, the “brown” layer is stripped away, removing essential nutrients and fiber.
Rice or Couscous with Quinoa
Quinoa is a whole-grain, packed with protein and nutrients without losing the texture! Quinoa has 150% more fiber and 100% more protein than white rice.