Simple food swaps are a great way to make a positive impact on your health… even if you’re constantly on the run.
In today’s day and age, time is limited and we are always juggling a multitude of things in our daily lives. Often, healthy eating falls by the wayside, but this is one way to ensure that you are opting for the best possible choices for your wellbeing.
Here are 14 savvy substitutes for you to make for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. We have also put together a few reasons as to why you should consider them.
1. Ditch the white bread and opt for whole wheat
Energy is released more slowly into the blood stream and the whole wheat provides extra fibre for good functioning of the digestion system. Whole wheat also has a much higher nutritional value than white bread.
2. Ditch eggs fried in butter and opt for dry-fried, poached or boiled eggs
Eggs are great protein, just ditch the butter or oil and rather fry them up in a healthier way. This also helps reduce the cholesterol in your meal.
3. Ditch fruit juice and opt for actual fruit
You can add a fruit juice as one portion towards your ‘5-a-day’ count (the total, not per glass) but eating the fruit adds fibre to your diet and each fruit counts as one portion. It’s also always best to try and eat foods in their most natural forms, before any processing has taken place.
4. Ditch sugary cereals and opt for home-cooked oats
Cut down on your daily sugar intake and provide a more sustained release of energy throughout your morning. Processed cereals with loads of sugar make your energy peak quickly, but also drop just as fast. They also contain added salt and flavourings that you can do without.
5. Ditch low-fat yoghurt and opt for Greek yogurt
Pump up your protein and calcium intake with Greek yogurt. It also contains less sugar and live cultures of beneficial bacteria. Low-fat yoghurt is also more processed than Greek yoghurt, which is unnecessary when there’s nothing wrong with the Greek variety.
6. Ditch biscuits and opt for a handful of nuts
Cut the kilojoules, carbs and sugar and exchange them for protein and good fats. Nuts might not taste as sweet, but once you get munching on them, they become quite addictive!
7. Ditch chips or crisps and opt for air popped popcorn
Popcorn is a whole grain and definitely healthier than fried crisps or chips. Enjoy as a snack and don’t add too much salt or extras like butter or caramel. It will also fill you up and prevent you from wanting to snack on anything else.
8. Ditch white pasta and opt for whole wheat pasta
Whole wheat is packed with fibre and is also a good source of B vitamins and antioxidants. White pasta has very little nutritional value.
9. Ditch regular potatoes and opt for sweet potato
Sneak in an extra veg and cut out a carbohydrate (they’re super tasty too). Try them sliced and grilled with a little bit of salt.
10. Ditch white rice and opt for brown or cauli-rice
Brown rice provides extra fibre and if you opt for cauli-rice, you can add it to your vegetable count.
11. Ditch store-bought salad dressing and opt for home-made
Mix olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and herbs of your choice for a tasty dressing that contains less kilojoules than creamy dressings. Add Dijon mustard for a bit of a kick.
12. Ditch potato mash and opt for cauli-mash
Ditch the carbohydrate for an extra veg. Add a dash of soya milk to the pureed cauliflower for a great, creamy taste.
13. Ditch red meat and opt for chicken or fish
Keep it simple – a chicken breast for steak; turkey or salmon in place of beef or lamb or tuna over cold meats. You don’t have to cut out red meat completely, just try eating less. Consider your own diet and how you can make changes. If you eat meat at every meal, try cutting down to one meal per day, or if you eat large portions of meat, reduce these. Don’t only swap meat for meat; try other sources of plant-based proteins like legumes.
14. Ditch sugary cold drinks and opt for water
Definitely a health win – less sugar and more water. Add a slice of lemon if you don’t like the taste of plain water. Water is also the most essential component when striving for optimal health. Keep yourself hydrated and flushed clean with a healthy daily intake of water.