Healthy Foods are Easy to Substitute for Your Favorites

Using the same ingredients in different ways helps maintain a healthy lifestyle

We all have our staples, our “go to” foods that we have every week. Whether grains or proteins, fruits or vegetables, we are usually creatures of habit. Using similar ingredients the same way can help promote your new healthier lifestyle. For example:

Whole wheat pasta is better than white pasta

Whole wheat or high fibre pastas are wonderful. They have a subtly different taste that I have come to prefer in my meals. Having regular “white flour” pastas taste almost gluey to me now. Plus, higher fibre helps lower your glycemic index which helps regulate your blood sugar. Win win. Use it the same way as you would regular pasta (and add more veggies too!).

Eat more brown rice

When you produce white rice you take out a big part of the vitamin and nutrient content and all the dietary fibre and fatty acids as well. Whereas brown rice has lots of healthy minerals and retains more of the vitamins. Brown rice also has lots of fibre and selenium, which are great for cancer fighting, especially colon cancer.

Finally, the oil in brown rice can help lower cholesterol. We all want that. There are many more benefits to brown rice that I haven’t included here, and it tastes good too!

Sweet potatoes and why they are awesome

I’m a meat and potatoes kind of guy. I like a big hearty meal and I love potatoes in all forms. Swapping out spuds with sweet potatoes works well in almost any context. They make great oven-baked fries, they are super when they’re mashed and you can use them in stews and soups (to name just a few uses). The health benefits of sweet potatoes are simply too numerous to mention.

Is it a hamburger or not?

Aim for extra lean ground beef when you can. It makes a huge difference in the amount of fat you ingest. Don’t believe me? Fry up some regular hamburger in a pan and drain off the fat. Pretty gross right? That’s what you’re eating. If you don’t have or can’t find extra lean or lean, then try and drain that fat when you’re cooking. If you’re having burgers, use a grill pan or bbq if you can. Let it all just drip away from your meal.

Yogurt, not just for breakfast

Yogurt is very versatile and can be made even healthier than it already is. If you let it sit over a bowl with cheesecloth (or a strainer and a paper towel) more of the liquid will drain out, leaving you with a creamier and healthier yogurt. Try using it instead of sour cream. Or try it in a marinade, it works well with lamb and lemon, garlic and rosemary for example. Fill it full of berries and still take it for breakfast. Don’t underestimate the power of yogurt.

These are just a few examples of food substitutions that I use regularly. I have noticed a difference in my overall health because of my food choices and habits, and I hope they make a difference for you as well.

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