Eating is such a joy. Food brings comfort or excitement or, at the very least, sustenance. When looking to change a diet it can be extra difficult to let go of certain foods, especially if they’re a favorite. But don’t stress, this article is meant to help you swap out a few ingredients or items for healthier options without feeling growing pains associated with the swaps. With a few creative ideas eating healthy can be effortless.
Doable and Realistic Ingredient Substitutions
When discussing healthy ingredients and healthy recipes it is important to remember that following the shift in your diet some of the time will still have a positive impact. Also starting small with realistic swaps is a doable way to incorporate healthier foods.
- Replace refined white sugar and flour with healthier alternatives – when baking think about using almond flour or honey instead traditional flour and sugar.
- Use non-dairy milk for smoothies, baking, etc.
- Make veggie chips instead of eating chips – while eating vegetables should be a category separate from veggie chips, eating veggie chips instead of chips is a good way to reduce unwanted salts, fats, oils, and preservatives.
- Snack shift to plant-based – try thinking of replacing a fruit snack with a homemade fruit leather, or consider carrots and cucumbers with a hummus dip instead of chips and salsa.
- Substitute spinach for meat and dairy, like making a spinach lasagna instead of a meat lasagna.
- Cut back on alcohol – replace an alcoholic beverage with sparkling soda or try drinking wine and beer instead of mixed drinks to keep the sugar content lower.
- Try rice alternatives like quinoa or riced cauliflower
- Veggie noodles instead of pasta
- Real fruit instead of fruit juice
- Try dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate
- Oil and vinegar instead of bottled dressing
If your meals are often shared then talk about these changes with friends or family so that the effort doesn’t feel so isolating or difficult. Sometimes doing things together or under the guidance of a certified caregiver makes the difference when trying to switch up your eating habits. Just remember that not everything may work for you but starting somewhere will give you the courage to keep going and exploring all that food has to offer. Don’t be surprised to find out that you like some of these substitutes better or that the kind of energy you receive is stronger and longer lasting!