You don’t have to sacrifice taste when switching to a healthier diet. In fact, there are a number of nutritious foods which can replace your naughtier preferences – without forgoing flavor. From ice cream to pasta, why not try these healthier alternatives, sure to please your palate and your waistline.
Quinoa instead of white rice or pasta
This amazing ancient grain is not only the perfect platform for soaking up sauces, just like pasta and rice, but it’s also a complete protein, which means it delivers all nine essential amino acids.
Fruit sorbet instead of ice cream
Conventional ice cream is loaded with added sugars, emulsifiers and preservatives (not to mention pasteurized milk). Instead, blend frozen fruits like strawberries, bananas, blueberries, pineapple and mango in a high speed blender with a little water and voilà! You’ve got a yummy fruit sorbet clocking in with just a fraction of the calories and fat, yet plenty of vitamins and minerals. If you like, go ahead and mix in some Greek yogurt to make it extra thick and creamy.
Nut or seed milks instead of cow milk
Conventional milk is loaded with pesticides, hormones, and by-products of genetically modified foods. Almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, walnuts, hemp seeds and flaxseeds make wonderful milk substitutes, with healthy omega-3s and vitamins you’ll actually absorb. You can even make your own if you don’t want store-bought.
Shaved zucchini instead of pasta
Another magical swap, shaved zucchini (simply shave zucchini into strands with a vegetable peeler) can carry sauces from the plate to your palate – and add a serving of veggies to your dish to boot. Bonus: You don’t even have to cook it!
Coconut water instead of Gatorade
Unless you’re a serious athlete, you don’t need the amounts of potassium and electrolytes – or calories – found in Gatorade anyway; filtered water will more than do the trick. To get the same boost as a sports drink, try coconut water. It’s sweet, replenishes electrolytes, and provides about as much potassium as you’d find in a banana, without unnecessary additives.
Spinach and tomato sauce instead of spaghetti with sauce
Let’s be honest. Pasta’s main purpose is to be a vehicle for sauce. So why not switch to a healthier vehicle? Lightly cooked spinach can be a perfect partner for tomato sauces, while serving up vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Kale chips instead of potato chips
You know it – potato chips aren’t healthy. Kale chips, though, offer up the same satisfying crunch plus great flavor. They’re best when you make them yourself. Just de-stem kale leaves, spray them with a tiny bit of coconut oil, sprinkle them with sea salt, and bake for 30 minutes at 200°F. Go ahead and eat an entire bunch – it’ll meet your daily greens requirement at a lowly 200 calories!
Cauliflower instead of potatoes
There’s a reason roasted cauliflower is everyone’s new darling. Blasting cauliflower florets in a hot oven concentrates their natural sweetness, turning them into something akin to vegetable candy. Bonus? Pound for pound, potatoes have nearly four times the calories as cauliflower and a fraction of the nutritional value.