Six Healthy Food Swaps
The other day, I had dinner with a friend over at her place. She is an aspiring health-food chef, so she is constantly trying out new recipes on her friends. While most of the time, her dishes turn out amazingly well and are hailed by all as complete successes, every once in a while she'll take it just a step too far with some sort of kale and tofu lasagna. That's what we (her friends) are there for- honesty. This last time, however, she served the lightest, fluffiest, richest mashed potatoes. I grilled her- how could these possibly be healthy?! They tasted like butter. As it turns out, they weren't actually mashed potatoes... they were mashed cauliflower! I was dumbstruck. But I wondered- how many other deliciously healthy food swaps were out there that could potentially make dieting a dream?
#1: Swap pasta for spiraled zucchini or spaghetti squash.
Sometimes, there is nothing more satisfying than a big bowl of pasta. However, if you're looking to reduce your carb intake, both spiraled zucchini and spaghetti squash are great-tasting, healthy options. Simply cook them according to the directions, and then top them with your favorite sauce!
#2: Swap mayonnaise for avocado.
This one's no surprise- people have been doing this for ever. But I can tell you- if you haven't tried it, it's really, really delicious. Just spread mashed avocado on a sandwich or wrap in place of mayonnaise for a much heart-healthier option.
#3: Swap regular french fries for baked sweet potato fries.
Nothing goes better with a homemade burger than french fries, am I right? If you're looking for a boost of vitamins B6, C, and D, then try swapping those deep-fried russet potatoes for baked sweet potatoes. Slice them into wedges or strips, drizzle with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then bake until browned!
#4: Swap fruit juice for coconut water.
While most fruit juices are packed with vitamins and nutrients, they're also packed with a ton of sugar. Try drinking coconut water, instead. It's delicious, super hydrating, and full of potassium and electrolytes.
#5: Swap refined sugar for a natural sugar.
If you can't fathom having your coffee sans sugar in the morning, consider swapping the white stuff for something less refined; coconut sugar, maple syrup, and raw honey are all great options!
#6: Swap table salt for sea salt.
While we want to keep our sodium intake to about 2,300 mg per day, there is definitely something to be said for swapping sea salt (pink Himalayan is an easy-to-find option) for table salt, which has been stripped of most of its essential minerals, such as magnesium.