20 Healthy Food Swaps to make implementing new healthy habits so much easier. These are simple ways to switch up your plate to feel energized, healthy and fit!
Sometimes when it comes to eating healthier, we get wrapped up in ‘what we can’t eat’. But eating well doesn’t have to involve sacrificing the meals you love! Sometimes just switching out a simple ingredient can give your food that nutritious boost that it needs! These healthy food swaps are not only super simple, they’ll help to satisfy those unhealthy cravings without leaving you feeling like you’ve missed out. Healthy food CAN be delicious, you’ve just got to get creative with it!
Puffed grains are a great alternative to sugar loaded cereals. There are so many options out there. Why not try buckwheat puffs, brown rice puffs or puffed oats? Top them with some berries and a little bit of almond milk and you’ve got the convenience of cereal without the processed sugar.
Coconut sugar is just as sweet as white sugar (it has a delicious caramel flavour) and it works perfectly in your morning cup of jo! White sugar doesn’t contain any vital nutrients, whereas coconut sugar retains quite a lot of the nutrients found in the coconut palm such as iron, zinc, calcium, potassium and antioxidants.
If you’re craving that fruity, chewy sweetness of gummies, dried fruit is a great alternative! I love pineapple, cranberries and dates. Not only do you get that sweet kick, you can feel good about eating them because they have no processed sugar or artificial coloring.
Ever noticed how sports drinks come in a whole variety of interesting colors? That’s a good sign that it’s filled with artificial flavorings and coloring. Coconut water is filled with electrolytes, it’s naturally sweetened and it’s so refreshing, especially after a good workout. Pop it into your water bottle and you’ve got a perfect healthy sports drink alternative to take with you.
Instead of that mayonnaise based veggie dip, why not substitute it for some hummus? You can even make your own (check out my easy veggie hummus dips 3 ways here) or of course grab it from the store. It’s basically just chickpeas and tahini and it tastes delicious with chopped up veggies!
Here’s a fun one that you might not have considered before. Instead of sprinkling parmesan cheese over your next pasta dish, why not swap it out for nutritional yeast? It’s basically an unactivated yeast that actually tastes really cheesy! If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go.
You probably already know it’s best to opt for brown rice over white rice, but if you’re getting bored of your typical rice why not try cauliflower rice? It’s super simple to make yourself. It’s just raw cauliflower blended up in a food processor and it produces a similar consistency and taste to regular rice. It works perfectly in stir fries! Check out my Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice recipe here.
For your next Sunday brunch, why not swap your egg fried in oil for a poached egg? It’s one of my favourite healthy food swaps because instead of cooking your egg in oil, you’re just using water, and it tastes amazing on avocado toast. For more egg inspo, check out my Eggs 10 Ways post.
Who doesn’t love mayonnaise? It’s so addictive and delicious, but it’s not always the best for you, especially if you’re eating a lot of it. Why not try substituting it for some smashed avocado? It has that creamy, buttery flavor and texture and you can literally put it on anything. Plus, it’s filled with tons of healthy fats! If you’re struggling for inspo on how to use avocado, check out my Avocado Toast 10 Ways post.
I love a bit of fizz occasionally, and this substitute is one of my faves! The lime adds that sweetness and flavour, while the sparkling water totally tricks you into thinking you’re drinking a sugary soda! You can also substitute the lime for any other fruit juice you’d prefer. Personally, I think it’s way more refreshing anyway.
Pro Tip: Add a few drops of liquid stevia if you’re craving that sweetness!
If you’re getting bored of wraps or sliced bread, try a lettuce wrap instead! These are so refreshing and crunchy, and you can fill them with anything you’d like. What about shredded chicken and salsa? Or you could even make these ‘bunless’ salmon burgers! These are perfect for packing for lunch, and you can feel good about adding those extra greens to your meal.
When you’re next cooking with oils, try instead using a vegetable stock. It works perfectly for sauteing vegetables! All you have to do is heat it up in a non-stick skillet and cook your veggies just like you would with oil. They’ll still be just as crispy and flavorful!
Pro-tip: You might need a little extra stock than you would oil because it evaporates.
You’ve probably seen this one floating around the internet, but it’s such a great hack! Zoodles are just zucchini that’s been spiralised to look like noodles. You can get it pre-made from the store, but it’s super fun to make your own using a spiralizer! You can have them raw, steamed, sauteed, however you’d like. They’re delicious to eat and add those extra veggies to your meal. Take a look at this creamy avocado zoodle dish, or this shrimp zoodle bowl!
Fries can be so tasty, I totally get it! But how about instead of opting for the packaged freezer fries you make your own sweet potato fries? Just cut your sweet potato into strips, bake them with a little bit of coconut oil and sea salt, and they’ll be just as crispy! They’re also just as good dipped into some organic ketchup. Of course if you have an airfryer, you can use that too!
We all know deep fried potato chips aren’t the healthiest option, but sometimes we just want that savoury crunch. Why not try some air popped popcorn instead? It’s a delicious alternative for a late night snack that you can actually feel good about snacking on, and you can flavor it with any seasoning you’d like!
Pro tip: Add some of that nutritional yeast that I mentioned above and thank me later. 😉
I love adding greek yogurt to baked potatoes! Anything you’d normally put sour cream on you can totally substitute with greek yogurt. Try it in your next taco, fajita or burrito bowl! It’s a little bit of a lighter option and works really well as a backup in case you run out of sour cream.
Ever heard of nice cream? It’s the perfect alternative to super sugary ice creams because it’s literally just blended up frozen bananas with a splash of almond milk! You can add extra fruit such as strawberries, and even a little bit of peanut butter, to create your perfect flavor. It melts pretty quick but I’m telling you, it tastes just like ice cream!
This is the best dairy free option for adding cream to some of your favourite dishes like pasta! It’s so easy to make – all you do is blend up some cashew nuts with water! Cashews are loaded with fibre and protein, and also add a ton of healthy fats to your meal.
I love fruit, and we all know it’s nature’s candy, but like everything there’s a limit. When you’re making smoothies you can easily load up on too much fruit (and therefore too much sugar). An easy way to still add that creamy base to your smoothie is to add frozen veggies like zucchini or cauliflower. It might not sound super appetising, but trust me, once it’s blended up with your fruit you don’t even notice them. Plus you get the health benefits of those extra veggies in your drink!
Last but not least for our healthy food swaps, I’ve been using this baking hack forever. Try swapping out your usual oil for some applesauce in your next baking session! This works especially well in banana bread. Applesauce is a great thing to have on hand in case you run out of oil, or if you just want to lighten up your baked goods. You might need to adjust the ratios a little bit, but test it out! It works great, trust me.
What are your favourite healthy food swaps? Leave a comment below, because I’m always on the hunt for new tips!