11 Healthy Food Swaps That Will Make Weight Loss Easier
Losing a little weight doesn’t have to mean completely transforming how and what you eat. By simply making a few healthy food swaps, you can make surprisingly drastic changes.
Although there are many ways to improve your diet and lose weight, like trying one of best protein powder for weight lossmaking small adjustments to what you eat during the day can also have a big impact.
We’ve talked to a few diet experts to bring you a guide to the best healthy food swaps you can start incorporating into your diet today.
1. Swap the soda with lemon seltzer water
We all know sodas like Coke and Sprite are loaded with sugar and empty calories, but they’re undeniably delicious. Instead of having a can of soda, which contains around 139 calories, Ashley Bannister, Noom Coach and dietitian, recommends making a zero-calorie sparkling water with lemon instead.
2. Replace whole sour cream with Greek yogurt
Although full-fat sour cream is delicious in all kinds of dishes or as a dip, it’s not always the healthiest option. Full-fat sour cream can contain 198 calories per 3.5 ounces as well as 19 grams of fat.
Instead, try opting for Greek yogurt “for a protein boost with a similar flavor,” says Bannister. Greek yogurt is only 100 calories and 1 gram of fat per 3.5 ounces, and it’s a wonderful source of protein, making it a much healthier option.
After a while, you can even replace your Greek yogurt with milk or coconut yogurt. As Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, MS, ND suggests, say goodbye to sweetened yogurt and opt for unsweetened whole milk or coconut yogurt instead to give your gut all the probiotic power you want, without the bulk. sugar.
3. Replace potato chips with popcorn
We all know salty potato chips aren’t exactly healthy, but once you start snacking on them, they can be hard to swallow. Popcorn is a perfect substitute.
“Popcorn is a low calorie cereal rich in saturated fiber and nutrients,” says dietitian Edibel Quintero. “As long as popcorn isn’t seasoned with salt, butter, or syrup, it’s great for weight loss.”
4. Swap store-bought juice for freshly squeezed juice
While it’s much easier to get a carton of juice out of the fridge, using fresh fruit to make your own homemade juice is much healthier because your juice won’t contain any unhealthy added preservatives or sugars. Like a study 2021 notes, added sugars in fruit juices may play a significant role in weight gain and diabetes.
“Replace store-bought sugary fruit juices with freshly squeezed ones,” says Quintero. “Most store-bought juices are high in sugar, so frequent consumption puts you at risk of diabetes and heart disease. , because it contains more vitamins, minerals and other nutritional compounds.Another alternative is to drink water with a slice of lemon, orange or other favorite fruit.
5. Replace fries with baked potato wedges
Instead of buying frozen fries, you can make your own baked potato wedges.
“Make your own baked potato fries,” says Bannister. “They will still have a similar crispy texture, but will have significantly fewer calories and less saturated fat.”
6. Swap butter with olive oil in cooking and avocado on toast
Butter is a common ingredient in many dishes, but if you regularly use butter in your recipes, you may be making your food less healthy without realizing it. Instead, try using olive oil when frying food.
Or, if you like having butter on toast in the morning, try replacing it with mashed avocado which is high in healthy fats and fiber.
7. Replace fried tacos with soft tacos
You may not have realized that soft and hard tacos are so different in everything but texture, however, hard shell tacos are much less healthy. As dietitian nutritionist Vandana Sheth explains, that’s because hard tacos are fried in oil, while soft tacos are not. Hard tacos may contain fewer calories, but that doesn’t make them healthier.
To really make a difference, try using whole wheat wraps instead of soft tacos for an even healthier meal.
8. Replace ground meat with a mixture of mushrooms and ground meat
Whether you’re making burritos, lasagna, or pasta, ground meat can add a big boost of flavor. However, trying an option with less red meat can make your dish much healthier.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your ground meat altogether. “Mix chopped mushrooms with meat at 50:50 in your favorite burger recipe,” suggests Sheth.
9. Replace dried fruit with fresh fruit
You can make snack time much healthier by “choosing fresh fruit or dried fruit with no added sugar rather than canned fruit with added syrups,” suggests dietician Patricia Kolesa.
Many dried fruits contain added sugars. Also, since fruit shrinks when it dries, it’s very easy to eat more of it than if you chose fresh fruit.
10. Replace fried chicken with grilled or baked chicken
“Try opting for grilled, baked, and boiled chicken instead of fried chicken,” suggests Kolesa.
Fried chicken is cooked in oil while grilled chicken is cooked with just a little seasoning. By swapping fried chicken for grilled chicken, you can shave 100 calories and 10 grams of fat from your meal.
11. Swap candy with nuts and dried cranberries
Sweets are always a tempting snack, but as we all know they are loaded with sugar and can lead to weight gain and dental issues.
“Have a handful of nuts as a snack instead of chips, candy, or other processed snacks,” Sheth says.
Add a few dried cranberries to your nut mixture and you’ll always get that little kick of sweetness.