Every time reaching out or looking for healthy options to eat is difficult unless the stuff around or at an easy reach is healthy.
When hungry we tend to reach for the food that is handy and at the peak of hunger, processed food or junk is what you crave the most. Filling up your pantry with healthy food would actually set you up for nutritional success.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you compromise on flavors. Some of the healthy food items are even tastier than the processed junk you crave for. Eating a balanced diet and eating nutritiously is a way to build better habits and lead a healthy life.
Here’s how you can give a healthy turn to your daily food habits.
9 Healthy Alternatives For Regularly Used Food Items
Replace White Rice With Quinoa
White rice is high in carbs and calories. Quinoa has emerged as a healthy alternative to rice as it is rich in fiber, protein, and minerals like iron and zinc.
One cup (185 gram) of quinoa contains 16% of DV of protein, 21% of DV of dietary fiber, and 13% of DV of carbohydrates(2)
Quinoa can also be good for the gut, as a study done on rats showed its gastro protective activity against gastric lesion(1)
It is a nutritious superfood and a good substitute for rice.
Replace Vegetable Oil With Coconut Oil
Medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil metabolize quickly for fast energy. It is a good option for sautéing veggies or cooking them at high temperatures.
It can also be used instead of butter on the toast.
Most oils and fats contain 100-120 calories per tablespoon(3) Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on the total calorie intake.
Replace Sour Cream With Greek Yogurt
Instead of sour cream if you replace your taco dip with Greek yogurt, be sure you would not notice much difference unless it is flavored.
The difference only is that Greek yogurt is rich in protein and probiotics. It is great for digestion and immune health(4)
Greek yogurt is of numerous benefits to health and can actually be a healthy swap of sour cream which is high in fat.
Replace Potato Chips With Popcorns
227 gram of potato chips contains 60% fats, 37% carbs, and just 3% proteins.(5) 227 grams is actually a bag of potato wafers and a binging option for most of the people. A cup of air-popped popcorns contains only 31 calories and would provide the body with more fiber and protein(6)
Air-popped popcorn can be a good option to snack on, in between meals.
Replace Sugar With Stevia
Stevia is an artificial sweetener and has been used in beverages since 16 century. It does not contain any calories and is a healthy alternative to many meals and beverages.
It is sweeter than sugar and is therefore, required in small quantities(7)
Those with a sweet tooth can replace their refined sugar with stevia to cut down on the calories consumed. But keep a check on the sweetness level.
Replace Table Salt With Himalayan Salt
Pink Himalayan salt is similar to table salt and contain 98% of sodium chloride. It contains traces of potassium, magnesium, and calcium but all these minerals are more than that present in the table salt(8)
It contains less sodium as compared to table salt and is saltier. This means you would need less of it than the salt regularly used. Also, Himalayan salt doesn’t undergo heavy processing that the standard table salt does.
Replace Chocolate Chips With Cocoa Nibs
Cocoa nibs are chocolate in its purest form and for those addicted to chocolate, it is a healthy alternative.
They add irresistible chocolate flavor to baked goods, smoothies and other recipes added to.
Cocoa nibs are just a delicious treat but also nutritional powerhouse. They contain antioxidants, fiber, iron, and magnesium. They help in boosting mood and enhancing cognitive performance.
Replace Sports Drink With Coconut Water
During any sports activity staying hydrated is very important. But drinking sports drink means you are consuming 34 grams of sugar.
Coconut water is a nutrient-rich drink. 240 ml of coconut water gives 46 calories, 2 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, and 17% of RDI of magnesium, 11% of RDI of sodium, and 10 % of RDI of vitamin C(9)
It contains antioxidants that help relieve oxidative stress. It is a naturally sweet and refreshing drink and should be stocked up to gain back the energy lost during any kind of sports activity.
Replace Fruit Juice With Fruit Infused Water
Drinking fruit juices has its own perks but how much you drink it matters. You should always keep a tab on the calories and sugar content of the juice. It is always better to consume whole fruits rather than drinking the juice, to get more fiber and other nutrients.
Fruit-infused water is a swap for the juices. This helps give you the flavor of fruits along with lesser calories.
To live a healthy lifestyle you need not change the way you eat completely. It is smart to make healthy choices and get near to your nutritional and wellness goals.
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