In this two-part series I’m teaching you two simple strategies that can help you eat healthier without completely changing your diet.
The second strategy I like to call “Sneaky Swaps.” This can be done a variety of different ways but the basic premise is that you swap one thing for another when the change is barely noticeable to you. This way you’re eating healthier in a sustainable way; you’re still eating the things you like and you don’t feel like you had to make a complete diet overhaul.
These swaps are going to be different for every person depending on what things you can and can’t live without, and how sensitive your taste buds are to certain foods.
My personal favorite sneaky swap is nonfat greek yogurt for sour cream. I absolutely love Mexican food and cannot live without sour cream. I cannot tell a difference when I use nonfat greek yogurt, yet there is a huge difference in health – it cuts way down on saturated fat and calories.
Here are some other swaps:
Almond milk for regular milk. Although you can definitely taste a difference, many people find that they like almond milk better because it is very creamy. You can save a ton of calories and add more vitamin E (great for immunity) to your diet by replacing regular milk with almond milk.
Olives for meat. Think you could never stomach a veggie burrito because you’d miss the meat too much? Meat adds a salty/savory flavor and a certain texture that black olives easily make up for.
Double the beans and half the meat when you order up that big burrito. You’ll never notice a difference but you’re adding more fiber and reducing saturated fat and calories without compromising on protein.
Flavored water for after sports drinks. You only need an after sports drink with sodium in it if you sweated A LOT. Even then, you can get the sodium you need simply by eating something. Flavored water will help you get hydrated without drinking those precious calories that you just burned.
In a combination dish like lasagna or spaghetti, remember that you are not likely to taste a difference if you use a lower fat meat such as turkey instead of ground beef.
Play around with these and see where you can make healthier swaps without compromising taste. What people don’t realize is that little things add up. Making just a few small swaps could help you cut out lots of saturated fat and calories while adding in healthy stuff that will help you ward off heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Photo Courtesy Dr. Karlie Moore