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9 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.

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 or lightly-seasoned popcorn, not the movie theatre kind!)

Swap chocolate for dark chocolate or 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.

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 try a sugar-free fruit sorbet.

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. 

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 viamins and minerals including the antioxidant powerhouse beta-carotene. You could even make your own healthy version of hot chips with sweet potato wedges. 

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. 

Swap cupcakes for banana bread

Make your own banana bread with wholemeal flower and add some nuts to give it a good protein and fibre mix. It makes a tasty sweet treat with less sugar and fat than those sneaky cakes!

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.

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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