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9 super-easy healthy food swaps

Lifestyle — Posted 17/02/14

Creating a healthier lifestyle can be as simple as making a few small changes to your food choices each day. Here are some (easy!) swaps you can make now.

1. Swap chips for popcorn

You’ll save loads of fat and calories, and get a boost of fibre and nutrients – plus, it’s delicious and satisfyingly crunchy. (Just as long as it’s plain, natural popcorn, not the buttery movie theatre kind! Season with herbs for extra flavour.)

2. Swap pasta for zoodles

Get yourself a spiraliser (you can get a simple one for around $10) and instantly create ribbons of zucchini. Lightly fry them in a little olive oil, and you've got a deliciously low-carb alternative for all your favourite noodle dishes. Genius! Check out some great spiralising ideas for more inspiration.  

3. Swap ice cream for frozen yogurt

Lower your sugar and fat content of your dessert and still get that sweet, icy flavour with frozen yogurt. Add some fresh or frozen fruit like berries or banana for extra deliciousness. You could also making your own fruit sorbet - try this easy banana ice cream recipe

2. Swap chocolate for homemade cacao treats

Don’t stress, you can still have your chocolate fix – just swap it for dark chocolate to get the nutritional benefits and less sugar and calories. Better yet, head to your local health food store and pick up some cacao nibs or cacao powder. You can use them to make loads of yummy treats that taste just as good as your favourite chocolate bars. Try these goji bliss balls and experiment with your favourite ingredients. 

4. Swap vegetable oil for extra virgin olive oil

The good fats and antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil make it one of the healthiest varieties – it’s no wonder it’s a staple of the Mediterranean diet, which is often thought to be one of the healthiest diets in the world. 

5. Swap potatoes for sweet potatoes

The normal guys are good, but sweet potatoes are even better – they’re much lower GI and are packed full of vitamins and minerals including the antioxidant powerhouse beta-carotene. You could even make your own healthy version of hot chips with sweet potato wedges. Try these 10 tasty sweet potato ideas.

6. Swap couscous for quinoa

There’s nothing wrong with couscous, but quinoa is less processed, lower GI, higher in fibre, packed with iron, magnesium and zinc, gluten-free and one of the best plant sources of protein. Give this quinoa salad a try. 

8. Swap white grains for brown

One of the easiest health swaps you can make is choosing brown rice, brown bread and wholemeal pasta. They’ll give you a more steady energy supply, and you’ll hardly notice the difference in taste.

9. Swap salad dressing for vinegar and lemon juice

Your healthy salad can quickly become a lot higher in fat with most packaged salad dressings. Try drizzling on some balsamic vinegar and lemon juice – yummy, and much lower in fat and cholesterol.

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