Keeping healthy and being mindful of the food you eat can be an incredible challenge. This is especially hard when fatty foods and unhealthy snacks are so common in many grocery stores and restaurants. However, making healthier choices doesn’t mean you need to completely change your diet. Instead, simply swap out some less nutritious foods for healthier (but still tasty) alternatives that can go a long way toward improving your overall well-being. Here are just a few food swaps you can try.
- Swap Baked Goods for Dark Chocolate
Baked goods are often made with butter or hydrogenated oils, which contain saturated or trans fats that can increase your risk of heart disease. By cutting back on baked goods and replacing them with a square of dark chocolate several times a week, you can help reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Swap Chips for Nuts or Popcorn
Nuts and popcorn provide a healthy and satisfying alternative to salty snacks like chips. Cashews, walnuts, and almonds contain high levels of protein, fiber, and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Popcorn contains antioxidants that may lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
- Swap Red Meat for Seafood
Red meat like steaks and burgers can greatly contribute to high cholesterol, which increases your risk of heart disease. By swapping out red meat for seafood like salmon and tuna, you can reduce the levels of plaque and “bad fats” in your bloodstream and lower your risk of heart disease.
- Swap Ice Cream for Greek Yogurt
It should come as no surprise that ice cream has very high levels of sugar and fat, which can contribute to diabetes and heart disease. Instead of having ice cream for dessert, try swapping it with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit, which contain high levels of protein, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B12.
- Swap Sugar for Cinnamon
Despite being a staple of many delicious desserts, cinnamon is much healthier for you than sugar. Cinnamon can reduce your cholesterol and blood sugar levels, speed up your metabolism, and even suppress your appetite.
This information is not meant to serve as medical advice. You should always keep in mind any specific conditions or dietary issues that you may have before making changes to your diet. For more advice on nutrition or other healthy food swaps, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider (PCP). Your PCP can help you make informed decisions about your diet and reduce your risk of serious illness.