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Healthy Food Swaps

Locals Share Their Favorite Substitutes

Small, sustainable improvements to your diet can have a major impact on your health. These simple swaps don’t compromise on taste, but they can help you pack in more nutrition!

I have picky kids, so I will use any opportunity to sneak some vegetables into their little bodies. I put spinach and beets in smoothies, and then freeze the smoothies into popsicles to make them seem even more fun. I put butternut squash in meatballs and carrots in tomato sauce for pasta. Whatever it takes!"

Instead of rice, I love to use quinoa. One cup of cooked quinoa has fewer carbohydrates than rice, more fiber, and double the protein. Easy to prepare, quinoa can be served hot as a side or in a casserole, or cold in a salad. I make a big batch and keep it in the fridge to add to salads and soups throughout the week."

While I was skeptical at first, cauliflower has become one of my favorite substitutes in the kitchen. I love creating a cauliflower mash in my food processor with some garlic, butter, salt, and pepper. I also use it as a “rice” in one of the dishes from the blog Paleo Running Momma – cauliflower fried “rice” with chicken and pork."

Whole fruit > Fruit juice

Fruit juice, even the 100% variety, is stripped of its fiber – and it can spike blood sugar levels. A whole orange or apple, on the other hand, is a tasty snack that promotes satiety.

Popcorn > Chips

When you’re craving a crunch, reach for air-popped popcorn over a bag of potato chips. You’ll get double the fiber without the saturated fat..

Spaghetti squash > White pasta

Mix up pasta night with a bowl of spaghetti squash covered in your favorite sauce. One cup has just 42 calories! Or, if you’re short on time, opt for a whole-wheat pasta.   

Greek yogurt > Sour cream

Whether topping a baked potato, taco, or chili, try subbing tangy Greek yogurt for sour cream. You’ll benefit from the probiotics, which promote a healthy gut, and extra protein.

Oatmeal > Granola

While most granolas contain heart-healthy oats, they also contain added sugars. Control your sugar intake by making your own bowl of oatmeal topped with fruit, cinnamon, and a little honey.

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