The Good vs. The Bad: Substituting Healthy Food Alternatives to Maintain a Better Lifestyle

Article by Elizabeth Cadle
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Healthy Food Alternatives

We all eat food in regards to how it taste. In the midst of enjoying the food, we disregard the importance of eating a quality meal. A healthy food diet consists of consuming a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to maintain your well-being, increase your mood, and liveliness.

Unhealthy or Junk food pertains to foods that have little to no nutritional value also known as “empty calories”. You do not have to totally avoid junk food, but eating too much of it makes meeting your daily nutrient requirements harder and can result in experiencing weight gain and adverse health effects.

Making better food choices can enhance your mental and physical health. Balanced diets are associated with lower prevalence in mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. They are also linked to achieving high-quality sleep.

Foods packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients contain a variety of protective substances that can lower disease risks and boost the body’s immunity. If you consume fruits and vegetables regularly in your diet, you can lower your health risk problems including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Healthy diets are also associated with lower overall mortality rates.

Here at Leisure Fitness we strive to provide our customers with all the tools they need to reach their fitness goals. Whether you are striving to lose, gain, or maintain weight a proper diet is essential to do just that. Below are a few healthy substitutes you can use to lighten up your favorite dishes without feeling deprived of your favorite foods!

Grains:
White Rice: Trying substituting with whole grains like brown rice, quinoa or even grated steamed cauliflower
White Bread/Whole Grain Bread: Substitute with 100% whole wheat options
Pasta: Try substituting with whole wheat pasta or zucchini noodles/spaghetti squash
Flour Tortilla: Substitute with a corn tortilla or whole wheat tortillas
Mashed Potatoes: Substitute with grated steamed cauliflower
Burger & Sandwich Bun/Wrap: Try substituting with a lettuce wrap or whole-wheat option
Breadcrumbs: Substitute with rolled oats, crushed flax, or fiber cereal
Couscous: Instead substitute for quinoa

Dairy:
Cream Cheese: Substitute with a low-fat cream cheese or non-fat plain Greek yogurt
Sour Cream: Substitute with non-fat Greek yogurt or reduced-fat sour cream
Ranch: Substitute ranch by combining non-fat Greek yogurt with a dry ranch mix packet
Whole / 2% Milk: Skim / almond milk
Mayo: Plain low-fat Greek yogurt, avocado mash or low-fat cottage cheese

Protein:
Bacon: Substitute with turkey bacon or prosciutto
Dark Meat: Instead try substituting with white meat that holds fewer fat and calories
Canned Beans: Substitute with dry beans
Ground Beef: Ground turkey
Eggs: Try substituting whole eggs for egg whites or egg substitutes such as egg beaters to reduce cholesterol and saturated fat. For every whole egg substitute two egg whites.

Snacks:
Potato Chips & Pretzels: Substitute for fresh veggies, nuts, popcorn or kale chips
Ice Cream: Substitute for frozen banana ice cream or frozen yogurt topped with fresh fruit
French Fries: Substitute with baked sweet potato fries
Pita Bread for Dipping: Substitute with fresh veggies (peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, etc.)

Drinks/Alcohol:
Soda: Cut out completely or substitute with seltzer water & a citrus slice (orange, lemon, lime, etc.)
White Wine : Red wine
Cream/Sugar in Coffee: Substitute with honey and cinnamon
Juice Mixers: Substitute with soda water or tonic water

Baking:
Sugar: Substitute with Stevia
Butter/Oil: Unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas
Butter/Oil to Prevent Sticking: Instead use light cooking spray or light olive oil
Milk Chocolate: Dark chocolate or cacao nibs

These are just a few easy swaps you can make to your every day dishes and snacks that will propel you towards reaching your fitness goals, we hope you enjoy them!

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