Eating in a healthful way is difficult, especially around holidays and summer cookouts.
There has been a much bigger focus in recent years to clean up how we eat. There are numerous websites, blogs, and dozens of programs to help you out. However, being able to really stick to a healthy lifestyle is just as much about what you eat as it is working out.
Today I’m sharing a few easy swaps you can make while cooking at home that can easily lighten up meals and are more nutritious. While I’m not a nutritionist or doctor, I am just a health conscious foodie whose husband doesn’t see the need to healthy swaps. These swaps are tried and true in our household and I can get away with subbing out for the less good-for-you options, while still making the hubby happy.
- Instead of sour cream try using non-fat Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is lower fat as well as higher protein than sour cream. Plus the plain variety offers the same twang as sour cream. The flavor isn’t far off and it’s great in baking as a crème fraiche/sour cream replacement and as a topping on tacos.
- Substitute canola or vegetable oil with healthy fats like coconut or olive oil. I’ve gone so far as to use olive oil in baking when it calls for canola; my favorite is in banana bread. Using the extra light tasting olive oil is great for baking if you’re worried about the taste. I personally use olive oil in everything that calls for oil and no one ever notices a difference in the taste.
- When a recipe calls for heavy cream try using fat-free evaporated milk. I’ve made everything from a chive Dijon sauce to Café au Lait with fat-free evaporated milk and it works out just as well as heavy cream for a fraction of the calories. Now it doesn’t whip like whipping cream, but in a sauce it doesn’t make a huge difference in taste.
- Instead of buying store bought mayo make your own. Using the healthy fat olive oil that we mentioned above you can have your mayo and eat it too. Simply combine ½ cup extra light tasting olive oil with 1 egg, a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of salt in a blender. Blend on high until it reaches a mayo consistency, refrigerate, and you’ve got your own healthy mayo to use on sandwiches or in pasta salads. (Note: the mayo will thicken after refrigeration.)
- Last but not least is my favorite food swap, using spaghetti squash instead of pasta. I love making lasagna with it, another favorite of ours in baked chicken parmesan on spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is a great low carbohydrate, low calorie substitution for pasta. Coming in at about 42 calories a serving, spaghetti squash (also known as winter squash) is much lower calorie than its pasta counterpart where a serving is 200 calories on average.
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These are just a few of the ways I healthy-up our meals without compromising flavor. I’m always looking for new food swaps and would love ideas from you!
For more inspiration, follow our Healthy Food Ideas Pinterest Board.