30 Healthy Food Swaps (1-5)
We all want to eat healthy and there are many swaps that you can incorporate everyday to make those not so healthy dishes not only tasty but good for you.
1. SWAP PASTA - FOR SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Squash is one of the most delicious and versatile vegetables. It also has huge health and medicinal benefits and is an excellent source of antioxidant. "Different varieties of squash have the ability to improve your vision, aid in skin care, strengthen the immune system, prevent cancer, manage symptoms of diabetes, build strong bones, protect heart health, and reduce the symptoms of insomnia. It also helps to prevent inflammatory conditions, treat arthritis, eliminate ulcers, eliminate parasites and infections, improve prostate health, protect against birth defects, boost respiratory health, and reduce blood pressure.” -organicfacts
One cup of cooked squash only contains about 42 calories (that is 2% daily caloric intake for a 1,500-calorie diet & 1.5% of 2,000) so swapping this nutrient dense veggie which is high in Beta-Carotene, carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin (which protect the eyes) vitamin A, several B vitamins, vitamins C,E & K, calcium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium & 10 grams of total carbohydrates, including 2.2 grams of fiber for pasta will dramatically reduce the calories on your plate and if spaghetti is part of your weekly diet the swap could pay off huge…as in weight loss and a great benefit to your health.
Check out more of the amazing benefits of Squash here:
You can choose to make your own:
or buy it packaged…just make sure it’s organic
Spaghetti Squash can also be used at every meal! Here are some mouthwatering recipes: https://greatist.com/eat/spaghetti-squash-recipes
2. SWAP COW'S MILK FOR ALMOND, HEMP, COCONUT MILK OR SEED MILK
Dairy Products can cause inflammation and disease and are linked to cancer, heart disease, and chronic pain. Non-organic milks are also filled with all sorts hormones and pesticides. Skim milk has synthetic vitamins to replace those lost in fat-removal process and milk solids to replace the protein and calcium lost. If you are worried about your sugar intake think about the 12 grams of sugar in just one cup. Even organic milks may not be pure and many people are lactose intolerant or sensitive.
Contrary to popular belief milk is also not the best source of calcium. Plant based sources such as kale, broccoli, collards & beans can be a better healthier choice.
So if you feel the need for something to mix in your smoothie or pour over your cereal try unsweetened almond, coconut, hemp or seed milk. With half the calories, no sugar and nasty additives you may have just found your new obsession.
Want to get creative? Try seed milk. Sunflower, sesame and pumpkin oh my!
They are great sources of plant-based protein and good fats. -Sunflower seeds are anti-inflammatory, protect your heart, create glowing skin, protect your bones, are excellent for your nerves and may prevent cancer. -Pumpkins seeds are anti-inflammatory, great for your digestion, help to fight parasites, protect your prostate, are naturally effective with helping depression and may prevent osteoporosis and cancer.
-Sesame seeds are anti-inflammatory, good for your brain and mental health, good for your health, help you to sleep, improve your digestion and may prevent cancer.-Fitli
Try these yummy recipes from Nest & Glow:
3. Swap Soy Sauce for Coconut Aminos
We all know the healthy benefits of Coconut oil. Aside from providing nourishing properties that can improve immunity, build muscle, help fight bacteria, they increase HDL cholesterol (that’s the good one) and many more. It is also being used for weight loss as it’s fat easily converts into energy. However, what exactly are Aminos?
Aminos are commonly described as the “building blocks of protein, and when digested they are broken down into specific amino acids that your body uses to make up most solid matter in the body: skin, eyes, heart, intestines, bones and, and muscle." They basically help to the repair and rebuild muscle, enhance overall brain and nervous system function and play a role in boosting the immune system. Protein is one of the most important substances in our bodies besides water, which is why it is so important to consume food rich in amino acids.
When comes to Soy there is a lot of misinformation out there. Some people swear by it however, studies have shown unfermented Soy contains phytoestrogens that can disrupt hormones because they mimic estrogen and that can play a role in hormonal cancers, diseases and fertility issues. Then there is that whole GMO factor.. Not good. People with autoimmune disease (thyroid, hormones, adrenal glands) and endocrine system imbalances should also avoid it. Tamari which isn't always gluten-fee is a soy sauce that is fermented but doesn’t have half the benefits of Coconut Aminos. Bottom line..don’t do it.
That’s where Coconut Aminos come in as a healthier choice. Coconut Aminos are a sauce that is used as a substitution for soy sauce. It looks the same but it’s a bit sweeter. Coconut Amnios are also organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, MSG-free, kosher, vegan, low in sodium, high in vitamin Bs and free of soy and wheat.
How is it made? Coconut blossoms are tapped for the sap and blended with sun-dried sea salt that is rich in minerals. It has the perfect PH level and a glycemic index of 35. Pretty darn good.
Check out these recipes:
4. SWAP BREAD AND GRAINS FOR ….JUST ABOUT ANYTHING!
A lot of us are looking to cut back on bread & grain whether you have celiac, a gluten sensitivity or you want to cut the carbs out. But how do you handle the craving for a nice piece of warm baked bread?
😩 Lucky for us there are tons of healthy ways to swap it out by using almond flour, coconut flour even vegetables, beans & nuts.
Take almond flour for instance, it’s rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins like riboflavin, vitamin E (good for immune system, skin & eyes), phosphourus (helps your body detox & strengthen), calcium, iron and magnesium. Almond flour also contains 5 grams of protein & fiber per serving. Nut allergy? No worries, try coconut flour which is super good for you with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids and great for immunity. In fact, Pacific Islanders believe that it can cure all illness and call the palm tree from which coconuts are grown “The Tree of Life.” Can’t live without Pizza? Yup, you can use Coconut Flour for that as well.
Veggies and beans can also be used instead of bread. You can use large leafy lettuce as a “wrap” in place of bread or Cauliflower “Rice” which is a process where cauliflower is chopped into fine rice-like “grains” and used in place of rice. Zucchini “Noodles” or “Zoodles” (shredding raw zucchini into thin long stands) in place of pasta are also a yummy swap. Chickpea Flour can be used to make Socca bread which has been used throughout the Middle East for centuries.
So why should you give up bread? Unless you are someone with allergies and insensitivities and you need to avoid it, the verdict is still out on everyone else. We do know that white bread can do more harm than good with excess calories, very few nutrients and can cause blood sugar levels to spike higher than a Snicker Bar and drop shortly after leaving you hungry. Whole-meal bread on the other hand, contains whole grains, fiber, vitamin B and minerals. A lot of people who give up bread tend to lose weight and feel better however, according to some dietitians, the weight loss may have more to do with water than fat because carbs are stored in the body as glycogen and can store three times it’s weight in water so as soon as you cut out the carbs you lose all of the stored water. Carbs are also your main source of energy so if you cut down on them you and your brain are running on fumes. So the choice is yours. If you choose to eat bread make sure it is whole grain and organic. If you want to hop on the no carb train they are definitely healthy food swaps to help you do it.
Check out these recipes:
5. SWAP SUGAR & AGAVE FOR RAW HONEY
If Sugar is the devil than Honey is certainly an Angel…. maybe a God.
The average person in the US consumes about 20 teaspoons a day in processed food alone, not including what you are adding to your coffee, tea or anything else you choose to sprinkle it on. Yikes. It is also linked to diabetes, heart disease, cancer & obesity. The worse part is that you don’t even know it is there. Food manufacturers are hiding it by calling it Fructose, Sucrose, Maltose, and anything ending with OSE. These “OSES” are highly addictive and produce dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers) which causes you to crave and eat more.
In the land of sweeteners Honey reins supreme. Not only does it contain nutraceuticals that help the body remove free radicals which improves immunity and helps with digestion, it is rich in vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, calcium, iron, sodium chlorine, magnesium, phosphate, and potassium. (just to name a few) It also boasts HUGE antiseptic, anti-fungal, antimicrobial healing properties, and has been documented to be used as a medicine in cultures around the world for the past 2,500. (Honey, you look good for your age.) In fact, many archeologists have discovered honey pots in the tombs of Egyptian royals from thousands of years ago while excavating. The Greeks and Romans have also documented the healing properties of honey as early as 384 BC when Aristotle spoke of it.
It’s also extremely versatile and can be eaten directly, put in a drink, baked into food or rubbed on your skin and hair. The best part? It tastes delicious. It also helps reduce allergy symptoms due to the little amounts of pollen it contains that act like a natural vaccine. Your body produces antibodies that build up a defense against the allergy. Pretty cool.
There are many different kinds of honey depending on what the bee ingests. (Yes, they ingest it and then regurgitate it..sounds gross. Just don’t think about it) For allergies it is important to get honey locally because that will contain pollen spores from local flowers that you will come in contact with and then take it a least a couple of months before allergy season to get your system prepped. Manuka honey from New Zealand is one of the best you can get for medicinal purposes and actually comes in different “strengths”... it’s a bit pricier but if you are using it for tons of things it’s totally worth it.
Make sure to check your labels and always get RAW non-processed honey. Grade A honey might sound good (I mean, its says Grade A) but it’s probably been highly processed and lost most of it’s beneficial properties.
To quote King Solomon "My son, eat thou honey, for it is good." So go forth and swap to honey.
*(Important to note that you should NEVER give honey to an infant, should the honey have botulism their immune system can't handle it and can make them very sick)
Check out these recipes & remedies: