The key to balanced, nutritious and yummy eating, is often in healthy substitutions. Now we all know that some foods are bad for us; but we are so addicted to eating them in our day to day lives, that somehow we tend to ignore the little voice inside that tells us to avoid them. Substituting certain ‘bad’ or ‘nutritionally challenged’ foods for more robust, healthy foods is both easy and doesn’t take a whole lot of effort, so in this post I will try and break down these healthy substitutions in a way that is easy to understand and practise.
HEALTHY SUBSTITUTIONS FOR EVERYDAY FOODS
1. Extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil for any other kind of oil
This is often times a controversial recommendation; but this among the healthy substitutions backed by medical research the world over; which has proven without the shadow of a doubt that olive oil is one of the most rich in heart healthy amino acids and elements and should be consumed as much as possible – However this is true for Olive oil ONLY at room temperature and hence I do not recommend getting on a bandwagon of switching to olive oil for cooking!
If you ask me about oils for cooking – The best bet is Mustard oil followed by any seed oil that is non processed and doesn’t have an ingredient list that you don’t recognize!
2. Skim milk or soy/almond/nut milk over full fat milk
This is one of the healthy substitutions is a virtual no brainer. Skim milk or 1% fat milk is a healthier alternative to full fat milk. It is lighter on the gut, and is easier to digest. If you want to get off the ‘white’ stuff altogether, try any nut milk. These are vegan options, are a lot easier on your tummy, they do not contain lactose, and therefore are readily accepted by you gut. What’s more health food stores, supermarkets and even local stores have started to stock these healthier substitutions, so you’ll never run out.
3. Mustard over mayo
If you are addicted to sandwiches, or salads, this is one of the healthy substitutions is especially for you. Sandwiches and salads, made properly can often be the keys to a healthy, substantial meal. One classic mistake we all make however is using store bought mayonnaise as a condiment in salads as a dressing or in stuffing for sandwiches. Mayonnaise contains a whole load of calories and is loaded with sodium and other preservatives that do nothing good for you.
Switch over to mustard which is comparatively lighter and adds an element of tartness to your salad or sandwich, breaking the monotony. Good Old Coriander or Mint chutney can do wonders too!
4. OATS OVER FLAVOURED CORN FLAKES
Corn flakes in and of themselves are considered a great way to start your day. But if you’re addicted to ‘Chocos’ or ‘Apple flavoured’ corn flakes, you are doing yourself more harm than good.
The artificial flavoring in these items are potentially harmful to your health, not to mention the added sugar, which itself is a health hazard.
Making an healthy substitution to white oats, which you can make a quick porridge out of, or add to your traditional upma or poha, lending a power packed helping of fibre to the proceedings!
5.Hung curd over sour cream
Sour cream is a popular dip, and there’s no denying that it tastes amazing. Combined with potato chips, corn nachos or even stir fried veggies, it is a classic party snack. It is however the one thing that is adding those inches to your waistline. For the similar, tangy taste, without half the calories, try hung curd. A simple, much healthier and more economical option, hung curd contains the good bacteria, that helps in digestion, and calcium for bone health. Add a few drops of lemon or soy sauce and/or apple cider vinegar and you have yourself a great dip, you can indulge in, without the guilt!
6.Vinaigrettes over salad dressings
Salad dressings like ranch, thousand island, creamy mayo, cheesy mayo and others are the culprits that can turn the healthiest of salads into unwanted calorie traps. A single dash of any of these dressings adds hundreds of calories to a frugal salad. Switch to easy to make vinaigrettes with two or three ingredients, and nearly 80% less calories. Combining hung curd, with apple cider vinegar makes a tangy vinaigrette. Extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar is another excellent option!
7. Coconut water over Gatorade
While there’s no denying that sports drinks like Gatorade can replenish the nutrients lost in exercise, they are loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners and even harmful elements. Nature’s sports drink, coconut water has the same action on thirst and dehydration, with none of the unwanted elements and it in fact helps replenish lost nutrients quicker!
8. Almonds and pistachios over sports bars
Sports bars are all the rage today. Sure there are artisanal granola bars that contain nuts, natural sweeteners like dates and honey and other good stuff, but most commercially available ones are simply full of sugar and artificial flavourings that have literally no nutritional value! If you’re craving a quick fix, and don’t want to end up consuming sugar, turn to nuts like almonds and pistachios that have awesome nutrients, fibre and taste amazing too!
Food substitution needn’t be rocket science. Most often it is choosing sensible alternatives that are found in nature. As a nutrition coach and motivator, I possess the knowledge to enable you to make these and many more smart substitutions to enable you to live the kind of life that you crave and deserve. So don’t forget to give me a shoutout if you need a plan, want to have a chat, or are looking to become the best version of yourself there is! Hit me up on social media, or click here and leave me a comment, I’ll be more than happy to get in touch! Until next time, live well, be well and don’t stress!