Identifying healthier ingredients and dishes can be one of your biggest assets on your journey with weight and health, especially when combined with a consistent exercise routine. However, this skill can be difficult if you don’t know what kinds of nutritious foods to work with and what ingredients can optimize your health.
Fortunately, many of our favorite dishes can be revamped and enjoyed time and time again — even the ones that we look down upon as culprits for weight gain and poor health. Yes, we said it! With simple strategy and creativity, you can turn almost any dish into a nutritious, healthy meal or snack that benefits your body and brings you further to your goals for weight and health.
Check out a few of them below!
Get Creative: Try these Simple Swaps for a Healthier Plate!
By utilizing some of these simple food substitutions, you’ll save on calories, fat and more while loading up on flavor and revamping your plate.
- Avocados vs. Butter – By swapping butter for avocados in some of your favorite dishes that require cooking, you’ll be keeping the same creamy texture while adding vitamins, minerals and healthy monounsaturated fats.
- Low-fat Cottage Cheese vs. Cream Cheese – If you puree cottage cheese to work some of the lumps out, it has a very similar texture to cream cheese and is just as creamy! Cottage cheese also has less fat, fewer calories and more protein.
- Frozen Bananas vs. Ice Cream – We know that ice cream is one of those foods that can be incredibly difficult to sacrifice, but frozen bananas make a great alternative! By blending the bananas in the food processor and adding in one or two flavorful ingredients such as cocoa powder, for instance, you’ll end up with a tasty treat that’s hard to beat!
- Vegetables vs. Pasta – Vegetables instead of pasta? “No way!” you might be thinking. However, thin strips of zucchini (commonly referred to as “zoodles”) and spaghetti squash that has been roasted and pulled apart both make grand stand-ins for pasta. You’ll be foregoing the extra carbohydrates for vitamins, minerals and lower calories.
- Sweet Potato Fries vs. French Fries – French fries are a timeless snack, but the extra calories and carbohydrates can sometimes make it less than ideal. Instead, try sweet potatoes. This easy substitution boosts your fiber and vitamin intake while cutting back on some of the bad stuff.
- Popcorn vs Potato Chips – Love crunchy snacks? Air-popped popcorn makes a great alternative to potato chips with less saturated fat and 1/3 fewer calories. If you’re looking for a little extra flavor, try sprinkling in some sea salt or even some cheese. Just remember — everything in moderation!