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Easy Switches to Make Your Dishes Healthier

By Randi Morse

A few years ago I decided to start making healthier meals. I realized that we'd fallen into the same "meat and potatoes" type of dinners that both my husband and I had grown up with, and while those dishes are comforting, they're full of calories and very heavy. It took a long time but I eventually figured out ways to cut the calories and to make our meals healthier without sacrificing taste or having to eat things that I didn't like. If you're looking to make healthier meals, here are a number of simple substitutions that you can change which will improve the quality of your meals.

Baking - If you're baking, try using applesauce instead of oil. The golden rule is to use applesauce for half of the amount of baking when you're making a baking recipe. This enables you to cut your calories dramatically without having to lose the delicious taste of your baked goods, or mess with the texture of it.

Rice - I knew that rice was a healthier option for me than many other side dishes, but making the jump to brown rice was the key to having healthier dishes. Brown rice has more fiber and nutrients in it than white rice does; it is healthier for you and is more filling as well.

Eggs - If you use eggs in recipes, try using two egg whites for each egg. The calories in eggs come from the yolk, as does the cholesterol, so substituting the white for the yolk helps make any dish more healthy.

Cheese - Have you checked the dairy aisle lately? There are dozens of low-fat cheese options on the shelves. Switch to a low-fat cheese, especially if you're using the cheese in a dish, and save the full-fat cheese for your charcuterie board!

Meat - Ground meat recipes can be made much lighter, and can be much more healthy, when you use ground chicken or turkey. These meats are low in flavor so bump things up by adding spices while you're browning the meat for your dish.

Making changes to your diet isn't easy, but these little substitutions are a great way to get healthier without forcing yourself to eat things that you don't like. Change one or two things at a time. Get rid of your white rice, for example, and just have brown rice in your house. Over time you'll find that all of your dishes are a healthier, lighter version of the ones you originally made.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Carlsbad, Calif.

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