Eating healthier foods can be hard because let's face it, not everyone enjoys the taste of nutritious foods! Fortunately, there are ways to swap out unhealthy foods with ones that are more conducive to overall health and weight loss, and the best part is, the swaps are just minor tweaks to the foods you love. There is a large misconception that one must stick to a very limited nutrition plan that is lacking in flavor in order to lose the pounds but that can't be further from the truth. Below are six small food changes that will make a large impact on your goals:
1. Use the Whole Egg
Time and again, you here people talking about how they are forcing their bland egg whites down the hatch in order to make an improvement to their nutrition plan. The egg yolk got a bad wrap 50 years ago and that traditional "wisdom" of needing to avoid the egg yolk has stuck with us throughout the decades. Not only are they the tastiest part of the egg, they are full of Omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for overall health. Not to mention, 45 percent of the protein in the whole egg is found in the yolk! You may be wondering about the cholesterol in the egg yolk, however, many recent studies have concluded that the type of cholesterol found in the healthy yolk will have little to no effect on your bad cholesterol. Matter of fact--it can actually raise your good cholesterol!
2. Replace Salt with Lemon
Yes, salt makes everything taste better but guess what? Lemon excites your taste buds in the exact same manner so be sure to squeeze that vitamin C goodness all over your lunch and dinner. The average American consumes 3,400 mg of sodium per day, however it is recommended not to exceed more than 2,300 mg in healthy adults and that's equivalent to just one teaspoon. Squeezing fresh lemon on your salads, vegetables, fish, and meats will add all of the same flavor without the added sodium.
3. Use Cauliflower Instead of Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a dinner side dish staple and they area also a staple of excessive high-glycemic carbohydrates that turn into a lot of sugar. Cauliflower is far lower in carbs and if you prepare correctly, you'll get that good old mashed potato taste and texture while reaching your weight loss goals. Simply steam your cauliflower until you can easily insert a fork all the way through the florets and then mash with grated parmesan cheese until you have a smooth consistency.
4. Ditch the Rice and Use the Quinoa
Quinoa is actually a seed and not a grain, so it's lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein. Amazingly enough, quinoa is the only plant-based food which boasts all nine of the essential amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. Quinoa can stand alone as a side dish, simmered in chicken broth as it soaks up the flavor, or incorporated into salads.
5. Mashed Banana and Peanut Butter Instead of Ice Cream
Okay, I know that ice cream is hard to replace but bear with me on this one as I promise it won't disappoint (if you love the PB and banana combo). Take one banana and mash it with a fork until it's smooth and creamy. Then incorporate a tablespoon or two (depending on how much of a PB fan you are) until it is perfectly blended with the mashed banana. Stick in the freezer for at least an hour and voila--frozen peanut butter banana pie!
Using these five simple food swaps will be sure to make an impact on the quality of your daily nutrition plan and stay tuned because we will list five more in the coming weeks. Now if you're someone who is wanting even easier swaps that are already premade for you, check out our selection of healthy high-protein snacks here! You'll get the sweet or salty satisfaction you're looking for without the added high-glycemic carboydrates, calories, and unhealthy fats.