Making the jump to a healthier diet often seems overwhelming and not worth it. However, you may be surprised to learn that you can make quick diet adjustments that can make a difference. From switching chips with air-popped popcorn and cocoa powder with organic, plant-based protein powder, you may notice an increase in daily energy and a decrease on the LBS on the scale.
Replace Rice with Quinoa
Rice may be easier to spell and to pronounce than quinoa, but it’s no better for your body. Rice is processed, which as we’ve learned in recent studies is not a good sign for our health.
Quinoa, on the other hand, has 150 percent more fiber than white rice and has 100 percent more protein. It cooks similarly to rice and makes a great side dish for both lunch and dinner.
Replace Vegetable Oil with Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
While vegetable oil is considered a healthier option than canola oil or sesame oil, it can be trumped by coconut oil or olive oil. Vegetable oil is worth keeping around the house if you like to fry food (although grilled or baked is always a healthier option).
Coconut oil is made from about two-thirds medium-chain triglycerides, which are suspected to support weight loss efforts. If you have high cholesterol, though, coconut oil is not a great substitution. Extra virgin olive oil, on the contrary, retains many high-quality nutrients, is rich in monounsaturated fats, helps reduce inflammation, and strengthens brain cells (according to Authority Nutrition).
Replace Sour Cream with Greek Yogurt
Which would you prefer: calories or protein? Depending on your current health goals, you could choose one over the other and be on the right path. If your current health goal is to eat healthier overall and maybe lose some weight along the way, it’s in your best interest to skip the sour cream and use Greek yogurt instead. Sour cream has twice as many calories as Greek yogurt and has saturated fat. Although, sour cream can be used as a healthier substitution to mayonnaise, but then again, so could Greek yogurt.
Greek yogurt has three times as much protein as sour cream and does not change the flavor profile that is so deliciously appreciated with sour cream. Moreover, the consistency of sour cream and Greek yogurt remains the same. You can buy Greek yogurt at your neighborhood grocery store, making this a very simple substitution.
Organic Vitamins Can Help Supplement Your Diet
Replace Chips with Air-Popped Popcorn
Chips are an easy trap to fall into for a quick snack; however, they are one of the most unhealthy options you can consume, especially on a regular basis. The quick and simple reason for why you should carve chips out of your diet is chips lead to weight gain. They are high in fat and in calories, which are two things needed to get obese. According to the USDA, one serving of plain potato chips (about 1 ounce) has 152 calories, 10 grams of fat, 2 milligrams of sodium, and 2 grams of protein.
Air-popped popcorn, in comparison of the same serving size, has 120 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, and 4 grams of protein. It’s important to eat air-popped popcorn instead of microwave popcorn because the latter is not a healthy option. Air-popped popcorn is the natural kernel popped into perfection; whereas, the microwave popcorn is lathered in butter and smothered in salt, which spike those bad health properties.
Replace White Flour with Whole-Wheat Flour
White flour is processed flour, and processed foods should be eliminated! During the process, white flour is stripped of nearly all nutrients, leaving the grain as a filler instead of a healthy addition to a diet. Moreover, it is bleached with a chemical agent to make it appear white. How odd!
Whole-wheat flour keeps the grain as close to natural as possible, meaning you get the benefits of the entire grain without losing any to a manufacturing or bleaching process. Whole grains are a great source of fiber. When seeking whole grains instead of white flour in your diet, eat things such as whole grain bread and pasta.
Replace Sugar with Unsweetened Applesauce
Now this one can seem a little odd from the start, but unsweetened applesauce is a great substitution for white sugar because it is a naturally sweet food. White sugar is an empty calorie because there are no nutrients or ingredients that are actually good for you. There are plenty of studies available to learn more about how bad sugar really is for you and why you should cut it out of your diet.
But there is something to be said for the foods that satisfy your sweet-tooth craving. So instead of eliminating sweets or desserts altogether, consider unsweetened applesauce as a substitute for sugar. Unsweetened applesauce does not contain added sugar, but it is already naturally sweet. One thing to consider when replacing sugar with applesauce is other liquids in the recipe. Generally, reducing other liquids in the recipe by ¼ cup and using the applesauce on a 1:1 ratio with sugar will help the recipe turn out as intended.
Replace Cocoa Powder with Chocolate Vegan Protein Powder
There are studies available that state chocolate is good for you and should be consumed on a daily basis. We agree wholeheartedly to this principle; however, it’s important to remember that moderation is key to keeping a healthy diet. Altogether, cocoa powder is a natural sweetener that can help improve your mood from negative to positive, boost antioxidants, and quite possibly reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
All of these seem like benefits, so why is cocoa powder on the list of foods to substitute? Because there’s something even better available: chocolate fudge organic vegan protein powder. This is like cocoa powder but with added nutrients. Chocolate protein powder is great for baking or in a smoothie, and the organic plant-based protein powder base helps you meet your vegetable servings for the day, something cocoa powder cannot do.
Replace White Salt with Himalayan Crystal Salt
Like white flour and white sugar, white salt is a refined and processed version of sodium chloride that is a great seasoning spice for nearly every meal. White table salt lacks the few minerals and other elements because of the refining process. Moreover, it typically includes additives to prevent clumping as it sits on the table or in the cupboard. Altogether, these make white salt an unhealthy addition to your meals.
Himalayan crystal salt is natural and unprocessed, which means the consumer gets the minerals and trace elements that are naturally present in the grain. The light pink color may seem unnatural, but that’s because we are constantly exposed to a white salt grain that is truly unnatural. Pink salt has less natural sodium than white salt, and the minerals that aren’t stripped away help to improve hydration, to strengthen bones, to improve circulation, and more.
Replace Juice/Soda with Tea/Water
Juices and sodas purchased from the store or at a restaurant are packed with sugar. A can have soda has more than 8 teaspoons of sugar, and juice is not too far behind. Fruit by itself has natural sugars; however, canned or bottled juices typically include added sugars, which can really put a damper on a healthy diet.
Water is the best possible beverage for the body. First and foremost, drink water even when you’re not thirsty. When you feel thirsty, it is your body telling you that you’re already dehydrated. Therefore, it’s best to stay on top of hydration by drinking, on average, eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. Then, when you’re ready for something different, tea can be a great second choice. Tea has no sugar and also contains antioxidants, which makes it a great choice when you’re craving a bit of flavor in your next drink.