White bread, glasses of fruit juice, French fries-these are only some of the most common foods millions of people consume every day. They’re so ingrained in our everyday lives that we don’t think twice about reaching for them anymore. But while they’re tasty, convenient, and often cheap, they don’t provide enough nutritional value.
We understand, though, that it can be difficult to simply give them up. So, we propose an alternative: swapping.
Food swaps encourage you to consume healthier food choices in a way that has less pressure than going on a specific diet. You simply have to be mindful that you choose the healthy option when you start reaching for your go-to foods. Below, we have a few easy examples to start you off.
1. Choose green tea or flavored water over soda
Don’t you just love that first thirst-quenching sip from a glass of ice-cold soda? With the caffeine, soda can wake you up and make you feel refreshed. But no matter how good the fizz is, soda is full of sugar and drinking it regularly will increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
If you want a shot of caffeine, green tea is the healthiest beverage of choice. It may be an acquired taste, but if you tweak it right, you can find a blend you’ll love. If you want something refreshing, stock up on packs of fruit-infused water.
2. Munch on nuts instead of chips
On weekend movie nights, middle-of-the-day Netflix binge-watches, or simple afternoon cravings, it’s easy to reach for a pack of chips to munch on. While chips are mostly made from potatoes, they’re usually fried in vats of oil and flavored with tons of sodium, neither of which are good for your health.
So the next time you’re planning to marathon a series, snack on nuts instead. They’re flavorful, heart-healthy, and contain a ton of other nutrients that are good for your mind and body.
3. Go for fruits instead of fruit juice
When grocery shopping, you might be prompted by your conscience and pick up a carton of orange juice so it’s not all coffee and soda in your cart. But these fruit juices often have as much sugar content and other additives as soda.
Instead of spending your budget on juice boxes, why not buy a basket of actual fruits instead? They don’t contain harmful additives and you can eat them as is, squeeze them for a glass of fresh juice, or make a smoothie out of them!
4. Indulge in dark chocolate instead of baked goods
Craving for a sweet dessert? Instead of taking a bite of cakes, cookies, and other baked pastries, why not indulge in dark chocolate instead? The former contains plenty of not-so-healthy ingredients, such as sugar, butter, and oil, which are high in trans fat. Dark chocolate meanwhile, is not overly sweet and contains antioxidants and can lower your risk of heart disease. As long as you eat it in moderation, you can enjoy the decadence of dark chocolate and stay healthy.
These are just only a few of the food choices you can swap. But if you take these first few steps, you’ll find it will be easier to swap more unhealthy foods with healthier alternatives.
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