From trading in white grains for their wholegrain counterparts to choosing semi-skimmed milk over full-fat, simple food swaps can help you eat smart to lead a healthier life
Making small changes to our everyday meals can dramatically boost our health and wellbeing. Eating well doesn't always have to mean compromising on flavour or leaving the table feeling hungry and unsatisfied. Here, Live to 100 outlines some of the easiest—and tastiest—food swaps for meals, snacks and all kinds of culinary occasions.
White bread → Wholegrain bread
In addition to being more filling, granary, soya, linseed and multi-seed bread is better for your digestive health, too. Refined grains—like the flour used for white bread—are processed and don't contain nutrient-rich germ, vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Jam → Mashed banana
If you’re looking for something sweet to spread on your toast, mashed bananas are the way to go. In addition to being full of potassium, they are naturally sweet—unlike sugar-filled jams and preserves.
Fruit juice → Cup of berries
As a rule of thumb, it’s always better to eat your fruit instead of drink it. This is because juices are high in sugar and tend to remove all of the natural fibre present in fruit, which actually has great digestive benefits.
Hamburger buns → Roasted Portobello mushrooms
Portobello mushrooms are a much healthier ‘version’ of your average sesame-encrusted or pretzel bun—they even come in the same size. Packed with flavour, these mushrooms are also a great source of B vitamins and phosphorus.
Tortillas → Greens
Sturdy greens like kale or chard can be great alternatives to tortillas when making dishes like tacos and fajitas—just place the filling in the middle of a good-sized leaf and wrap away. This swap certainly does not let down in the satisfaction department.
Processed salad dressing → Oil and balsamic vinegar
Opting to eat a salad is all well and good, but loading it with processed dressings—which are high in sugar and fat—is counterproductive. Invest in some good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead, the less processed food you consume the better.
Lasagna noodles → Sliced courgettes
By swapping lasagna noodles with sliced courgettes—or other vegetables such as squash—you can create a delicious, gluten-free meal loaded with key nutrients and vitamins.
Margarita → Wine
For those who like to treat themselves to a drink with dinner, choosing red wine over a cocktail will mean drinking about half the calories.
Pork → Turkey
If you’ve got a craving for meat but want to watch your cholesterol, opt for leaner, white meats like turkey—they are high in protein and very low in fat.
Cheese and crackers → Cheese and apples
It doesn’t take long to make a significant dent in a packet of crackers. Apples, on the other hand, pack in around 17 percent of your daily fiber needs—they also taste great when paired with cheese.
Crisps → Kale chips
In general, kale chips are just as beneficial for your health as eating kale in a salad. Swap out greasy, salty, processed crisps with a baked kale snack and pack in the nutrients—they can be tasty all the same.
Candy → Frozen grapes
Instead of loading your body up on processed sugar, create your own sweet treat by putting some seedless grapes in the freezer. Raisins are also a good alternative to sweets if what you’re craving is a bit of sugar.
To find out more about healthy eating see our Top Ten Clean Eating Myths