Trying to eat healthily can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. There are some easy food swaps out there that can really save you time, money, and most importantly – calories.
It doesn’t need a drastic change to your diet to make a big difference, small adjustments are easier to get used to, and there’s more chance of you sticking to the changes if they are little. It’s not just about losing weight, there are things you can do without much effort that your body will thank you for. One of those things is eating less processed food, with their high levels of salt, sugar, hidden trans-fats and other lurking nasties.
So, which easy and tasty food swaps are easy to incorporate into your diet?
1. Flavoured Yogurt to Greek Yogurt
Flavoured yoghurt is packed with sugar, and an average serving can cost you around 194 calories. Greek yoghurt has no sugar or sweeteners, and has around 100 calories, so you would make a 94 calorie saving in a day. Greek yoghurt is high in protein, and can help you feel fuller for longer too.
2. Protein Bars to a Boiled Egg
Protein bars are often touted as a great health food, but they can be full of hidden extras. An average 30g bar can contain around 110 calories. Eggs are naturally full of protein, and a medium egg has around 74 calories. They also contain zinc, B vitamins and healthy fats. It’s also very hard to binge eat boiled eggs!
3.Margarine Spread to Hummus
Spreads aren’t all that healthy compared to hummus, and they contain more calories per tablespoon. Margarine has around 37 calories per tablespoon, while hummus has only 25. Hummus is also high in fibre and low in fat, making it an ideal spread for your toast, or even as a sandwich base. It’s also cheap to buy, or make yourself at home.
4. Baked Beans to Legumes
Canned baked beans, while high in fibre, are also high in sugar and salt. Chickpeas, on the other hand, are an ideal replacement as there is no added sugars or salt. They are higher in calories than canned beans, but much healthier overall.
5. Rice to Quinoa
The phytates in rice can make it hard to absorb the minerals it contains, but quinoa is packed with protein, iron and essential amino acids. It is more calorific than rice, with one cup of quinoa containing 368 calories to 151 calories for white rice, but the nutrients make it much better for you.
6. Muesli Bar to Homemade Protein Ball
Muesli bars are a popular snack for people in a hurry, but they can be packed with sugar. A healthy, homemade alternative is to make your own protein balls with dates, nuts and coconuts, which come in at around 100 calories compared to the muesli bar’s 122.
7. Peanuts to Edamame Beans
Nuts are generally a good snack choice, but peanuts can be coated in extra salt. Steamed edamame beans don’t have that high salt, and they are lower in calories and higher in protein. A handful of peanuts will cost you around 180 calories, while edamame beans have around 122 calories.
8. White Pasta and Grains to Brown Rice
Brown rice is low GI, and is also cheap to buy. Although the calorie count in white pasta and brown rice is roughly the same, brown rice is better for your health.
9. Electrolyte Drinks for Coconut Water
Coconut water is full of natural electrolytes, and swapping from high-calorie electrolyte drinks can save you a good amount of calories. Sugary electrolyte drinks contain around 140 calories in each bottle, while coconut water only has 19 calories.
10. Cereals to Oats
A lot of cereals have a high sugar content, and trying to find one that hasn’t can be time-consuming. Oats can be easily cooked with water, and adding things like almond milk, cinnamon and banana can make a really satisfying breakfast. Oats are also good for gut, immune and skin health.