We all have our weaknesses when it comes to food. Who doesn’t love a big slab of chocolate or a few scoops of ice cream? Unfortunately, when we’re trying to get (or stay) healthy, these food cravings can be our downfall! Healthy food swops can help – changing something you love out for a healthier alternative reduces the amount of willpower needed to resist your favorite food. Here are our faves – can you think of any more? Comment below with your favorite healthy food swops!
1. Coffee >>> Green Tea
Sound terrible? Hear us out. If you want to cut out the caffeine but love the taste of coffee, try downgrading to decaf first. If you’d just like a healthier source of caffeine, go for green tea – it contains caffeine but it’s also full of antioxidants to help rid your body of all the nasties. It’s also pretty tasty!
2. Milk Chocolate >>> Dark Chocolate
Chocoholic? We feel you, we really do. If you struggle to cut it out completely, try swopping out milk chocolate, which is usually full of dairy and a ton of sugar, for dark. Good quality dark chocolate usually lacks the high sugar content of milk chocolate, yet still gives you the chocolate hit you’re after. It’s also packed with good stuff like antioxidants and minerals – bonus!
3. Spaghetti >>> Vegetable Noodles
Pasta doesn’t agree with everyone, often because of its gluten content. Even if it does agree with you, white pasta, although yummy, isn’t the healthiest carb in the world. The new trend for pasta made from vegetables provides a great alternative to standard pasta and gets a couple of your five-a-day in there too. Try zucchini or butternut squash pasta, or opt for cauliflower or broccoli rice – you can make your own or buy it ready-made.
4. Sweets >>> Frozen Fruit
The health benefits here are clear, but why frozen? Well, mostly because frozen fruit adds a novelty value that you don’t get from fresh. Plus, frozen fruit doesn’t go off. You can buy fruit already frozen or you can simply chop some up yourself and pop it in the freezer. Grapes, berries, and mango all work really well, and are super-scrummy.
5. Ice Cream >>> Homemade Ice Lollies
In the middle of summer or, let’s be honest, any time of the year AT ALL, ice cream is a go-to treat food. Because it’s the yummiest invention ever. Except maybe for cake. Maybe. But it’s full of dairy, fat, and sugar, so too much of a good thing is definitely bad in this case. A healthy alternative is to get yourself some ice lolly molds, fill with fruit juice, and freeze. For something creamier, try whipping up a coconut milk lolly, like these bad boys. Yum.
6. Creamy Dips >>> Hummus
Chips and dip are a great go-to snack for parties and quiet evenings in alike. They delicious and filling, as well as being a pretty much guaranteed crowd-pleaser. But they’re rarely considered particularly good for you, especially if you opt for a creamy dip or a sugar-packed grocery store salsa. Try swopping out the chips for carrot, celery, and cucumber sticks, and choose hummus (store-bought is fine if you’re no chef!) or fresh salsa (you might have to make this one yourself if you want it sans nasty sugar!). So much better for you!
7. Meat >>> Veggie Proteins
Vegetarians and vegans can obviously skip this one, but if you’re a meat-eater, have you ever considered going meat-free occasionally? We’re not talking about a full-on conversion to vegetarianism, just the occasional meal. Meat-Free Mondays are a thing now and protein-packed meat alternatives are easy to come by – and to cook. Consider a bean-burger instead of a hamburger or nuts instead of jerky. They’re just as yummy – and it’s only one day a week!
8. Cordial >>> Juice
Do you love water-diluted cordial? It’s tasty and refreshing but, more often than not, it’s filled with either a ton of refined sugar or artificial sweeteners. Opt for a small glass of fruit juice instead, making sure that it’s pure fruit juice with no added nasties. You get all the sweetness and none of the rubbish. Remember to go easy though – no refined sugar doesn’t mean no fruit sugar which, although definitely healthier, isn’t good in excess!
9. Salad dressing >>> Olive Oil
Shop-bought salad dressings are loaded with sugars that can spoil your healthy, veggie-packed salad. Try swopping the dressing out for a simply combination of olive oil with a little salt and pepper. It’s just as yummy but way better for you, especially as it has some amazing health benefits! Don’t go overboard with the salt, mind – just a tiny pinch to add a little flavor, or none at all if pepper is enough for you!