A healthy diet has many benefits: not only can it help you lose weight, but it can also lower your cholesterol and prevent certain health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and depression.
The food choices we make directly impact the way we feel and our overall health, though making the most nutritious choice at every meal is easier said than done.
There’s a list of reasons why we don’t make the healthiest choices, like being too busy to cook something tasty or falling vicim to packages that claim “these breakfast cookies are a high source of fibre!“. No matter the cause, its important to know that there are better alternatives to the nutrient-void food items we tend to grab when we’re on the go.
Even better, they never compromise on taste. Here are seven healthy swaps to reach for in place of your favourite “I don’t have time for this sh*t” kind of products.
1. Swap Juice For Actual Fruit
Drinking a glass of orange juice in the morning has been marketed as a “healthy” way to start the day, when in reality, one serving of juice (which is often made from concentrate) has more than double the amount of sugar than the piece of fruit. Fruit is fibrous, which slows down digestions, while juice is digested quickly and spikes our blood sugar. This can lead to excess weight gain and can increase our risk of Type 2 diabetes. So, start your day with a fresh piece of fruit instead of “fruit juice”.
2. Swap Low-Fat Milk For Greek Yogurt
If you add milk to your oatmeal or granola in the morning, consider swapping it for Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt contains probiotics, which are good bacteria that restore a healthy balance within the gut. It’s also high in protein – one cup of Greek yogurt has a whopping 23 grams of protein, while one cup of one per cent milk has only eight grams.
3. Swap Cereal For Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Cereal is loaded with sugar and is a refined carbohydrate. Being that its highly processed, its easily digested in our bodies and spikes our blood sugar. On the other hand, steel-cut oatmeal is not refined or processed and the oats still have fibrous husks on them, which slow digestion down. This swap will assist with weight loss, prevent diseases such as diabetes, and lower your cholesterol.
4. Swap Pasta For Spiralized Zucchini
Like cereal, pasta is a highly processed and refined carbohydrate. It’s stripped of its fibre and is digested easily, leading to weight gain and increasing the risk factor of other diseases. Using spiralized zucchini (otherwise known as zoodles) to make spaghetti-like noodles is a great way to add more nutritional value to your diet.
5. Swap Soda For Seltzer
Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages like soda can have various adverse impacts on your health, from increased chances of tooth decay to a higher risk of heart disease, to metabolic disorders like Type 2 diabetes. Try swapping sugary drinks for fizzy water like seltzer. Often times, its the bubbles we crave!
6. Swap White Bread For Sourdough Bread
Sourdough bread is more nutritious than conventional white bread because the method of fermentation lowers the overall starch and sugar content it contains. Another benefit of the fermentation process is an increased level of antioxidants and better nutrient absorption.
7. Swap A Latte For A Coffee With Non-Dairy Milk
Non-dairy milk has less saturated fat and more unsaturated fat than cow’s milk. Non-dairy alternatives also have fewer overall calories and sugars, making them easy to add into your morning routine. Play around with plant-based options like almond, oat and even hazelnut milk (pictured below!).