For many people, it can be challenging to make healthy food choices when you are in the grocery store. The problem is that the popular ingredients aren’t always what they seem. Lots of foods have hidden artificial sugars and fats in them. That’s why we put together this list of 16 incredibly healthy substitutes for some of these less-than-healthy favorites.
- 1 Substitute olive oil or coconut oil for butter
- 2 Substitute honey, maple, or brown sugar for white sugar
- 3 Substitute whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour
- 4 Substitute seafood and poultry for red meat
- 5 Substitute almond milk for cream
- 6 Substitute spices for salt
- 7 Substitute avocado or hummus for mayo
- 8 Substitute quinoa for white rice
- 9 Substitute chia seeds for heavy cream
- 10 Substitute canned beans for ground beef
- 11 Substitute brown rice noodles for white pasta
- 12 Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream
- 13 Substitute frozen vegetables for canned vegetables
- 14 Substitute low sodium tamari or coconut aminos for soy sauce
- 15 Substitute tofu for meat
- 16 Substitute trail mix for candy
- 17 Substitute kale chips for potato chips
- 18 Conclusion
Substitute olive oil or coconut oil for butter
Butter is a popular ingredient in so many dishes for a good reason. Unfortunately, it’s not the best thing to include in your diet since it contains lots of saturated fat and cholesterol.
Instead of using butter on bread or for baking cookies, try substituting in olive oil or coconut oil instead. These healthy oils contain antioxidants that can help protect you from heart disease and other illnesses like cancer and Alzheimer’s. They also don’t have too much bad fat like butter does.
Substitute honey, maple, or brown sugar for white sugar
White sugar is one of those ingredients that you should have as little as possible. It’s been linked to inflammation, making it harder for your body to fight off infections and illnesses.
Instead of using white sugar in baked goods or other dishes, try replacing some with honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar instead. These alternatives are healthier choices since they contain antioxidants and minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, etc. Honey also has a lot of vitamins B-complex, which can help improve brain function and lower cholesterol levels.
Substitute whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour
All-purpose flour has become very popular because it adds more flavor than regular whole wheat flour does when baking bread and desserts. Unfortunately, even though it has a little bit of fiber, it’s still not good for you because it contains lots of gluten. Whole wheat flour offers more protein and fiber than all-purpose flour, which can improve your digestion.
Instead of using all-purpose flour in baked goods or other dishes, try substituting whole wheat flour. This way, you’ll get more benefits like reduced inflammation, improved blood sugar control (less chance for diabetes), lower cholesterol levels, etc. It’s also packed with nutrients that your body needs to function correctly, including magnesium, manganese vitamin B complex vitamins like niacin and thiamine, antioxidants selenium copper, zinc potassium.
Substitute seafood and poultry for red meat
Red meat is another popular ingredient that you need to cut back on. It’s rich in cholesterol and saturated fat, which can clog your arteries, leading to heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.
Instead of eating red meat like beef or pork all the time. Try adding more fish like salmon or poultry instead. These are both excellent sources of lean protein without too much bad fat. They also contain many omega-rich fatty acids that help improve brain function and reduce inflammation throughout your body.
Substitute almond milk for cream
Creamy coffee drinks are great, but they’re not that good for you. That’s because the cream is high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Instead of using heavy cream or whole milk to make your favorite beverage, though, try switching it out with almond milk instead. Almond milk contains tons of vitamins like A B-complex, etc., and minerals like potassium phosphorus, which can help lower blood pressure levels and keep your bones healthy. It also doesn’t contain any bad fats, so there’s no need to worry about clogged arteries either.
Substitute spices for salt
Salt is one of the most popular seasonings globally, thanks to its unique ability to enhance flavors. Unfortunately, it’s also not very healthy for you since too much sodium can increase your blood pressure and cause heart disease, osteoporosis, etc.
Instead of using salt to season dishes at the end of cooking time, try some spices instead. Garlic powder is always a great option since studies have shown it reduces high cholesterol levels and lowers blood sugar levels because it contains manganese.
Substitute avocado or hummus for mayo
Thanks to its creamy texture, Mayo has become very popular, perfect for adding on sandwiches and burgers. Even though this condiment does contain healthy fats like omega-rich fatty acids, unfortunately, they don’t outweigh all the bad saturated fat from eggs, so you still need to be careful.
Try switching it out with avocado or hummus instead of using Mayo every time you add something creamy to your meal. These spreads are much healthier choices since they contain less fat and more fiber. They also give dishes a more decadent flavor, making them perfect for adding on top of pizzas, tacos, etc., in place of cheese sauce.
Substitute quinoa for white rice
Regular white rice is one the most popular grains in the world thanks to its unique texture that’s great when making fried rice or stir-fries. Unfortunately, though this grain does have some good carbs, it doesn’t do a lot besides providing energy for our bodies because there isn’t much other nutritional value in it.
Instead of using white rice for your meals, try swapping it out with quinoa instead. This is a fantastic grain since not only does this provide more fiber than regular rice, but it’s full of healthy proteins too. It contains all nine essential amino acids that the body needs to get from dietary sources, making great substitutes if you’re vegetarian or vegan.
Substitute chia seeds for heavy cream
Thick soups are excellent, but they’re even better when they’re creamy and rich with flavor. Unfortunately, though, most cream-based soups aren’t very healthy because the cream in them has a lot of fat which can clog your arteries.
Instead of adding heavy whipping cream to your favorite soup recipe, try swapping it out for chia seeds instead. Studies have shown these tiny seeds reduce high cholesterol levels and lower blood sugar levels due to their manganese content, so you don’t need to worry about heart disease or diabetes either. They also act like an emulsifier that helps thicken up liquids since they absorb water, making this one excellent replacement option.
Substitute canned beans for ground beef
Beef is one of the most popular meats globally thanks to its fantastic versatility that it can be used for everything from savory stews, chili, etc. Unfortunately, beef isn’t very healthy because those grilled steaks are high in saturated fat, which clogs your arteries.
Try swapping it out with canned beans instead of ground beef when making tacos or burritos. These little guys provide way more fiber than regular meat, so you’ll feel full faster, and they also contain tons of protein. The next time you make tacos, replace ground beef with black bean or kidney beans instead. You’ll save money and make your favorite recipes healthy too.
Substitute brown rice noodles for white pasta
Regular pasta is a favorite in many countries because it’s cheap, easy to cook, and tastes fantastic with most sauces. Unfortunately, this grain doesn’t offer much nutritional value besides carbohydrates, which can cause weight gain or high blood sugar levels if you overeat them.
Try swapping them out for brown rice noodles instead of regular noodles when making your favorite Italian dishes. These guys don’t just taste precisely like white pasta, but they provide way more fiber and protein too. The best part about switching from regular carbs to whole wheat ones? You’ll lose inches off your waistline over time.
Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream
Sour cream is a common ingredient in many recipes, ranging from dips to baked goods. Unfortunately, though, sour cream doesn’t contain much nutritional value besides fat which can cause weight gain or high cholesterol levels if you overeat them.
Instead of using sour cream when baking your favorite dessert recipe, try swapping it out with Greek yogurt instead. Greek yogurt is a fantastic sour cream substitute because it provides tons of protein, calcium, and probiotics. Probiotics are essential for gut health, so using Greek yogurt as a sour cream replacement will help improve your digestion too.
Substitute frozen vegetables for canned vegetables
Canned vegetables are a favorite pantry staple for many people because they can be stored for long periods and provide instant cooking. Unfortunately, canned vegetables are usually packed with extra salt and preservatives for shelf stability.
Try swapping it out with frozen ones instead of canned veggies when making your next pot roast. They are just as convenient, but they don’t always have added salt or preservatives. Frozen veggies are also often cheaper than canned ones, so you’ll be able to save money in the long run.
Substitute low sodium tamari or coconut aminos for soy sauce
Soy sauce is a popular Asian ingredient that can add tons of flavor to any dish. Unfortunately, sodium present in soy sauce could increase blood pressure and cause bloating if you have too much.
Instead of using regular soy sauce when making your next stir fry, try swapping it out with low-sodium tamari or coconut aminos instead. These sauces contain less sodium, but they still pack tons of flavor. Coconut aminos also have a slightly sweet taste that goes great with most Asian dishes.
Substitute tofu for meat
Tofu is a typical vegetarian substitute used in tofu scrambles, stir-frys, and more. They provide a great source of plant-based protein and are low in fat.
Try tofu instead of beef or pork when making your next stir fry. Tofu is a great meat replacement because it absorbs flavors well and can be cooked in various ways. It’s also cholesterol-free and provides a good amount of calcium. If you’re looking for an animal-free protein source, then tofu is the way to go.
Substitute trail mix for candy
Candy is a favorite for many people because it’s so sweet and delicious. Unfortunately, candy doesn’t provide much nutritional value besides sugar, which can cause unsightly weight gain if you overeat it.
Swap out your next bag of M&Ms or Skittles with some trail mix instead. Trail mix provides tons of vitamins and minerals that are great for your body while also satisfying the cravings from time to time without feeling guilty about it. It will keep you energized throughout the day as well.
Substitute kale chips for potato chips
Potato chips are a popular snack food because they’re salty and crunchy. Unfortunately, though, potato chips are also high in unhealthy fats and sodium, which can cause weight gain and high blood pressure.
Kale chips make for a great healthy alternative to potato chips. Kale is a nutrient-rich superfood that provides tons of fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals like potassium. It’s also low in calories, so you can eat as many as you want without feeling guilty. Plus, kale chips have a delicious savory flavor that most people love.
Eating your favorite foods without worrying about your waistline or health can be a lot easier than you think with the proper substitutes. The next time you’re craving your favorite comfort food, try using some of these substitutes to make your old recipes healthier.